When winter arrives and the water temperature starts to dip into the low 50’s and below many fishermen will grab a traditional bait like a jig or worm and fish at a snail’s pace. But if you think about the forage this time of year bass will often be feeding on small shad and similar small bait fish. A perfect imitator for small bait fish in the late fall and winter is the blade bait. Many fishermen have never heard of this thin hunk of vibrating metal that can cast a mile and cover any depth in the water column. But it slays winter time fish. Notice I didn’t say bass although it slays them too but I have caught striper, yellow perch, sun fish, shad, walleye, and cat fish. You name it will catch it. You can cover water with bomb casts or pitch it to drop offs, cliff walls, dock pilings, rip rap, etc… If you are fishing cover, a tip to reduce snags is to remove the front treble hook or cut the front prong off the front and back treble. If you have electronics look for schools of fish in 8-15 feet of water. Once found yo-yo your blade bait through the school and back to the boat, start off with big 9 to 12 rips and let the bait fall on slack line. If the fish are tight to the bottom give the bait time to fall to the bottom and reduce to a 9 to 10 rip. To fish the blade effectively use a medium crank bait rod with 12-15 lb. Pline CXX or similar stiff line to avoid getting tangled in the front treble hook. A crank bait rod has enough give and a soft tip to keep the hooks buttoned up tight without ripping them out. The fish will generally strike on the fall so when you pull up and feel weight just start reeling fast. No need to set the hook as the trebles will set on the rip up. If you have to set, then do a sweep set. I.e. just an even, slow pull to the side. For a complete discussion by BayBass himself, see The #1 Cold Water Fishing Lure & The Basics of Blade Baits and BayBass blade bait articles.
There are many blade baits to choose from and I have used 90% of them. None of them can beat the quality and low cost (½ that of traditional brands) of the Cincy Fisher. The Cincy Fisher has 3D eyes, Mustad KVD Triple Grip hooks, Duo Lock snaps, and 3 retrieve positions for versatility. The hooks are super sharp and this bait is tough. For the last 3 years I have thrown it into bridge pilings, rocks, retaining walls, and it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Great vibration, excellent flutter on the fall to imitate dying bait, and it straight catches fish! If you are fishing them correctly, you are bound to snag and loose a few so buy a 10-pack. Every winter I buy myself a 10-pack special with free shipping, ½ oz., 5 silver, 5 brass and catch fish all winter long. I took my buddy out 02DEC17 on the Potomac River and he watched me catch 5 fish on a Cincy Fisher blade before he switched over to a Cincy Fisher and hooked a nice #3+ LMB. We finished with ~20 bass in 2.5 hours. The next day he placed an order. This bait is for real.
Peter Arnold, BayBass Staff Writer
We’ve made some changes on our website and I’d like to take a moment to tell you about those.
- Bass Jigs and Spinnerbaits – We’ve decided to remove weedless bass jigs and spinner baits from our store. There are so many people pouring jigs and spinner baits these days that we’ve decided to ease out of that space. Over time we may very well add back a few niche items and we’d certainly listen to any suggestions you may have. And feel free to contact us if you really want us to make some custom baits for you – we’ll do the best we can.
- Cold Water Baits – We’ve decided to focus more on blade baits and other products that work best in cool water. We’ve just added a new Blade Bait to our offering – the Fat Head Blade Bait. Look for this category of baits to expand soon. And again, we’d love to hear your suggestions – tail spins or jerk baits maybe?
- Merry Christmas! – It’s just about Christmas time again folks and we’re offering free shipping on orders of $25 or more. Just enter the coupon code (christmas2017) during checkout and you order will ship for free. It’s just a small way we can say thank you for your support.
Happy Valentines Day! To help you celebrate properly Cincy Fisher Baits is offering free shipping for the remainder of February. Just enter coupon code love17 during checkout to receive free shipping on your order of $25 or more.
Brookville Lake is officially on fire right now. The fishing is the best it’s been since since spring. I fished 3 hours Sunday afternoon in the cold (42 degrees) and wind (15-20 mph) and caught a lot of fish. I caught 2 largemouth bass (4#, 3.5#) and 4 smallmouth bass (2#-2.5#) all on jerk baits on the main lake. The water temps were 58 – 59 degrees. I also caught one small keeper walleye on the jerk bait. Then I switched to the blade bait and proceeded to catch 6 more walleye (biggest was 5#) and a 3# channel cat. I also lost quite a few fish. One was a big bass that I lost right under the boat. I was fishing alone and it was a pain maintaining boat position, handling the fish and the net. So I blame all my lamo fishing buddies chasing white tail deer while I’m trying to fish. Yeah you know who you are. Anyway I also lost several other fish either on the initial hit or on the fight into the boat. So here’s why I think I lost so many fish. I had been throwing a MegaBass Vision 110 and catching lots of fish (on recent trips). But it hangs on everything and I knew I’d lose a $25 bait in the high winds so I opted for a knockoff 110 that I painted myself. I used Mustad KVD #6 Triple Grip hooks which are great hooks – generally. But I noticed the light wire barbarian out barb hooks on the MegaBass and figured I should try different hooks. So I have some VMC outbarb barbarian hooks on order. I’ll let you know if it makes a difference… Tight Lines!
It might be a bit early to begin celebrating Christmas but it’s never too early for a bargain! Use the coupon code christmas2016 for Free Shipping on orders of $25 or more through the remainder of 2016. I hope you are all still fishing. The fish are biting very well in my local lake (Brookville Lake, Indiana). The water temps are down below 60 degrees now and the blade bait bite is very strong locally. Thanks for all the orders and the great response we’ve had from customers. We do love to hear stories especially when they include pictures of fish caught on Cincy Fisher Baits. Tight Lines!
Below is an email I got from a customer today and thought I’d share it (with his prior permission):
11-05-2016 was my first time out using your blade baits and caught this 4.92 pound largemouth bass on a 1/2 oz brass.
My son, daughter & I used different blade baits. I lost my 2 favorites and ordered 10 more 1/2 oz brass blade baits today.
Crappie also like them.
Thanks for making a great blade bait!
Well the annual winter camping trip to Florida was last week – just in time for the big cold front… Oh well Amy and I still had a great time. We visited Highland Hammocks State Park in/near Sebring. It is a beautiful park with lots of interesting trails for hikers and bicyclist alike. This area of Florida is very marshy and is pretty much the norther tip of the Everglades. There are swamps and lakes everywhere. Man made canals connect the bigger ones together it seems. So the ecosystem is quite a bit different here than we’re used to. There were a ton of cypress trees, wild citrus trees, countless varieties of water plants, and some unexpected critters too. The 15 hours drive south took a toll on my knee and it was really causing me some mobility issues. So Amy took it easy on me the first day and we only hiked 15,000 steps according to her Fit Bit.
Monday – On one of the trail heads we saw a black panther! It was about 50 yards down the trail from us and just kind of looked back at us and casually walked down the trail, out of sight from us forever. We also explored the 7 lakes area in Sebring and I caught my first ever Florida bass. Not a big one but still a fish. Caught it on a Zoom Super Fluke. We spooked a big black snake which scared us both a bit. Didn’t see many aligators with the cold temps (fifties during the day) and that was fine with us.
Tuesday – Turns out all that walking was good for the knee because day 2 the pain was all gone. We biked quite a bit on Tuesday and explored Lake Istokpoga and did some fishing.
Wednesday – we headed west to Myakka River State Park which is another great Florida park that you should consider. We spent the whole day poking around there and fishing too (of course). Most of the trails were flooded so that greatly limited our hiking in the park. If you ever get to Myakka bring some night crawlers for the Talapia – very tasty.
Thursday – Got up early for the 1 hour-ish drive south to Lake Okeechobee. My friend Matt Cash had recommended a top Okeechobee guide Bryan Honnerlaw (Facebook: Lake Okeechobee Outdoors) so my wife and I spent the day on the Big O with Bryan. Bryan had warned me that the fishing was extremely tough due to the cold front and he was right but we had a great day on the water anyway. This lake is totally different than the typical Ohio / Indiana lakes I fish. We were flying across the lake in 3 foot of water and weaving in tiny cuts in the reeds. It was a learning experience for sure. Bryan had me chucking giant swim baits, punching mats with 1.5 oz tungsten, and throwing some other baits as well. We caught a few but nothing to brag about. Most everyone we talked to blanked. I’d love to get back on the lake under better conditions. I’d highly recommend Bryan as a guide. He really worked with my wife and myself and tried so hard to put us on fish. I’d definitely look him up if you’re going to be in the area.
We had intended to leave for the 15 hour trip back to Cincinati on Friday but heard the predictions for serious snow accumulations through Tennessee and Kentucky so we headed out Thursday around 6PM. Glad we did too because by the time we got to London KY interstate 75N was a slippery mess. We had to ease pass stranded semis and barely made it through ourselves. Shortly after we got through they closed the highway for 19 hours. So we were exhausted but happy to get home after a 19 hour drive.
Cincy Fisher Baits
As you likely know, underspin jigs are great cold water baits. Yeah Casey Ashley put them in the spotlight by winning the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell in mid February. But they’ve been catching fish for a long time. Cincy Fisher Baits now carries a high quality underspin bait we call the Bait Head. Like all Cincy Fisher baits it is simply built with high quality components. It has a ball bearing swivel made in the USA (Worth) as well as a super sharp Eagle Claw Laser Black Platinum hook in size 5/0. This is not your grandpa’s Eagle Claw. Their new Laser point hooks are awesome.
The technique is pretty basic. Thread on a swim bait, a Zoom Super Fluke Jr, grub or any other plastic you like. Cast it out on a likely spot – steep rocky banks are a good place to begin. Let is sink to the level you think the bass are hanging out. Sometimes that will be on or very near the bottom in which case you’ll just slow roll this across the bottom like you’d do with a spinner bait. This bait works well for suspended fish as well. Just let is sink to just above the depth the fish are holding at and retrieve it back to the boat.
As you may know I like Blade Baits in cold water and they do produce very well especially if the fish are holding on the bottom. The underspin gets the nod when they suspend though.
In any case get them while the water is cold and the bite is hot.
Cincy Fisher Baits
At Cincy Fisher Baits we try really hard to get every single order built right and shipped quickly to the customer. Over the last few weeks we’ve implemented several changes that caused some confusion in our process and we screwed up on a few orders. These customers could have been angry at us for messing up and they’d have a good reason to be upset. But each one understood and we did try hard to make things right. I think things are straightened out now (better order tracking process, corrected website configuration, etc) and we appreciate your understanding. If you ever have a problem with your order feel free to contact us by phone (513-378-6685) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Heck you can contact us even if you don’t have a problem with your order – we’re always happy to hear from you.
Cincy Fisher Baits
Jan 3, 2016
It was a cold Sunday with an anticipated high of 31 degrees with a stiff breeze out of the northwest. Launched at 10AM and met my good friend Kevin at the ramp who was also launching with his buddy Ken (I think that was his name). I launched from the Bonwell ramp near the dam and was mostly testing my boat motor. I had been having trouble with it lately. It would start fine in the morning and run great for several hours of typical stop and go bass fishing. Then it would just not start at all. It will crank just fine but not even try to start. Like it’s not getting spark. Well I replaced the kill switch, the starting battery, and the spark plugs. Time to test it out. I wanted to stay within a couple miles so I could get back to the ramp under trolling motor power if necessary. I’d like to avoid bumming a tow off someone like I had to do last time (Thanks Derek and Rick!). Turns out motor needs to see a professional Mercury technician…
Back to the report. Water temps were 47 to 48 degrees and the water was up maybe 4 feet above winter pool which made it easy to use the now floating docks. We had had a ton of rain so they were drawing over 3000 CFS which is a good amount on this lake. Clarity at the dam was 2 to 3 ft which is also not bad at all. I had only 2 rods on the deck. One was, of course, a 7′ G Loomis 745 crankbait rod paired with a Shimano 200e7 reel with 15# Seaguar Red Label fluorocarbon. This rod had a 1/2 oz Cincy Fisher Blade Bait tied on. The other rod was a Dobyns Champion 734 with same reel paired to it (love those Curados) and had a 3/8oz Underspin and a Keitech 3.8 swimbait. I targeted steep rocky banks. I searched a while and finally marked a ton of baitfish and bigger fish beneath them in 18 to 20 foot of water. I’m not good enough with my basic electronics to distinguish walleye from bass but heck this is fun fishing so I don’t care what I catch. My first fish was a keeper smallmouth bass about 15″. Although I threw the underspin a fair amount, all fish were caught on the blade bait. Second fish in same general area was a 21″ walleye that had dinner plans with my wife and daughter. I fished this first area a bit longer and foul hooked 4 giant gizzard shad. I fished one area that had been a consistent producer and the fish were just not there. Finally found another keeper smallie and finally a nice keeper smallmouth at just under 3#. So all-in-all it was a good day of fishing.
Some reminders about fishing in the cold. Micro guides are not your friend! I love my Duckett Micro Magic rod and usually use that for blade baits (although a crank bait rod is probably a smarter choice for the treble hooks…) but the tiny guides bind up fast with ice buildup making for a lot of “professional overruns”. Also it’s a good idea to let your boat soak a minute on the trailer as mine was lightly frozen to the bunks. After a minute it thawed and floated off the bunks. If you power the boat off the trailer you could rip off carpet and even you bunk boards so be careful there. My non-hydraulic steering cables were pretty stiff all day also making for a good workout. Naturally dress in layers so you stay semi-comfortable on the water. Finally it’s a great idea to touch base with other folks who will be on the water so you can call each other in case of boat problems. That’s the great thing about having a network of good fishing buddies like Kevin, Rick, Derek and countless others.
Tight lines my friends!
Cincy Fisher Baits