Spinnerbait Mods for Cold Water

Spinnerbait Mods for Cold Water

As the water continues to cool, the spinnerbait bite just gets better and better. But you’ll need to do things a little different when the water temps drop into the lower 50s. This is a magical little window when many anglers are tempted to lay down their moving baits a little prematurely, and swap over to exclusively fishing jigs, Ned rigs and shakyheads. 

And while these baits certainly catch fish in cold waters, the spinnerbait can still catch big ones. Here are some ways to modify you’re approach to spinnerbait fishing so that you can keep the bait in your hand and getting bit in colder water. 

Big blades - 

You need to slow your spinnerbait down to fish it in cold water. That is the common theme that you’ll see tying most of these tips together. Bigger blades create more resistance. This in effect slows the bait down. So by using Colorado or Indiana blades in place of willow leaf blades, you can dramatically slow the speed of your bait. 

This gives the cold-blooded and lethargic bass more time to track the bait and eat it as it moves slowly through the water. The extra thump of the bigger blades also helps the fish locate the spinnerbait in stained to muddy water that is often prevalent in the wetter winter months. 

Bigger Blades

Lighten the head - 

For the same reason that you use bigger blades, using a lighter spinnerbait head can help you slow your bait down and get more bites in the winter. If you move from a 1/2- ounce spinnerbait to a 3/8 ounce, you can slow your retrieve without even changing the blade size or style. If you lighten up your spinnerbait and incorporate the bigger blades with more resistant, you can really get to a point that you can crawl a spinnerbait along. 

Lighten Head

Twin tail trailer - 

Again, in an effort to slow your bait down, you can add a twin tail trailer. By using something like a Zoom Fat Albert Twin Tail Grub on the back of your spinnerbait, you’ll add even more resistance to the bait. A flat and wide trailer also adds lift to a bait, the same way wings do on an airplane. This will help the bait ride higher in the water column, again allowing you to fish it through the water slower than you could a bait with no trailer. 


Trailer hook - 

This is the first tip that has nothing to do with the speed of the bait, but still correlates to the mood of the fish. Bass in cold water are again sluggish. Adding a trailer hook to the back of your spinnerbait is a great way to turn half-hearted swats at your bait into key fish catches. There are dozens of trailer hook styles and sizes on the market, and several ways to secure one to a bait. 

I prefer to use a trailer hook that I can slide up on the main hook and then secure with a stopper. The stopper prevents the hook from coming off the bait, but still allows the hook to swing freely and pivot. This makes the bait as weedless as possible and takes away some of the leverage a bass could get on a bait, if you were to use a trailer hook that stays pretty fixed in position instead. 

In conclusion - 

Making every effort to slow your retrieve down will certainly create more fish catch opportunities when fishing a spinnerbait in cold water. You can do this by adding a bulky trailer to your bait, by swapping out the blades for some with more thump or by lightening up your bait selection. 

Any of these, or a combination of them, will help you fish your spinnerbait as slow as possible, while still keeping it moving and the blades spinning. Finishing off the bait with a trailer hook on the back will increase your odds even further of turning sluggish bites into bass in hand.

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