“Don’t even waste your time bringing that rod. As cold as the water is this month, you have a better chance of catching fish on a cigarette butt than you do a spinnerbait, especially today, when the water temps won’t get above 47 degrees.”
Those were the words of a young Zoom pro to a media member entering his boat for a day of fishing in the month of February. The weather in the region was nasty, with snow flurries on some parts of the lake, and the sun wasn’t expected to peak out until after noon. But what that young pro didn’t know was the spinnerbait he so easily dismissed wasn’t just any spinnerbait. Thanks to a specially made trailer, an idea shared with the media member by a grizzled Zoom pro years in advance, the lure was a cold-water killer.
Just what was the trailer? A 4-inch section of Zoom Trick Worm in the Limetreuse color. Everyone knows the Trick Worm is a bass-catcher under just about any conditions, but it’s popularity as a spinnerbait trailer, particularly in less than ideal conditions, is largely untapped.
And it works. It will also work for you as well.
The first time the writer had a look at the spinnerbait/Trick Worm combo was a stay-at-home cold day in February, several years ago. The water temperature was in the low 40s, and the only lures bass would hit consistently were jigging spoons and Rapala No. 5 Shap Raps. But whenever the elder Zoom pro found bright sun shining onto cover, such as riprap or wood, he’d throw the spinnerbait parallel to the cover, and Wham! The bass, usually nice fish, would eat it up.
“I’ve had people say, ‘It’s a fluke getting bass in coldwater to hit a spinnerbait,’” the Zoom pro says. “I’m not saying it works all the time, but when the weather is cold and I can find some sun on wood or rocks, this little trick has never failed me.”
Here’s how to make the Zoom Trick Worm-as-a-spinnerbait trailer work for you this month.
- Keep it simple. Don’t over-think it when it comes to colors for the Trick Worm. On a white spinnerbait, go with a Limetruese or similar color worm, and on a chartreuse or chartreuse/white spinnerbait, use the White color.
- Look for light. When the temps are low, any light is a welcome addition for cold-blooded bass. Often they’ll stage near rocks, stumps, laydowns or other such cover, appearing to warm themselves, often in plain sight of anglers on cold days. The Zoom pro was capitalizing on this occurrence by using a reaction bait to coax strikes from bass that weren’t in an eating mood. On numerous occasions, he’d throw jigs, creature baits, spinnerbaits without trailers and sundry other lures into the exact same sunny spots without a bite. Then he’d present the spinnerbait with the Trick Worm trailer and get nailed.
- Ignore what you “know” as true. In cold-weather conditions the fish are going to be sluggish, typically not actively feeding, and they are most often found in deeper water—Not necessarily. Legendary angler Denny Brauer has made a great living finding shallow-water bass year-round. You’d do well to follow his advice: “Shallow to deep in 30 feet…” If there is deep water within 30 feet of a prime shallow water target, bass can be near the bank anytime of the year, he says. With that in mind, instead of getting out the jigging spoons or flipping deep-water docks all day, look for any spots along that bank that have suitable cover and sunlight shining onto them. If you have both, the a spinnerbait with a Trick Worm trailer could be the ticket.
Anglers, by their very nature, are a skeptical bunch. And to be fair, seeing a guy throw a spinnerbait when flurries are wafting about is a little weird. It get a whole lot less weird when you see that spinnerbait/Trick Worm combo pull fish from laydowns, standing timber, riprap and docks, all within an hour. Remember, the fish don’t know they aren’t supposed to eat spinnerbaits this month.