3 min to read

What’s a Bass fisherman to do when the water is frozen?

Category : ANGLER’S POV

Some bass tackle organization, customization and maintenance.

Here in Minnesota are lakes and rivers have transformed into motionless sheets of ice, in which many cases are strong enough to support full size vehicles.  Staying busy and occupied during these long winter months is important to help curb cabin fever until I’m able to wet my line again, hopefully in March or early April.

During the these months I may venture out on to the ice with some friends to catch some walleye or panfish, I’m also involved in coaching hockey, so that helps keep me busy as well, but my main focus is preparing for next tournament season.

Some of the things I will do include tackle organization, maintenance…in essence tinkering with tackle.  Not only does this keep me busy and help pass the time, but it also allows me to prepare myself for next fishing season and modify some baits that will help increase my catch.  Just one small minor tweak or touch of creativity can take a normal store-bought lure and turn it into your top-secret fish catching lure.  I also prefer to take care of these tasks now, so when I’m on the water I can focus on fishing and not messing around with tackle.

One of the easiest and most common things an angler to do to tinker with their tackle and increase its effectiveness is to change out the split rings and treble hooks on crankbaits, jerkbaits and topwaters.  By doing this project now, you’ll have an ample supply of fish catching lures ready to go and not have to waste time in the boat making these changes.

Swapping out the standard split rings on a bait, for a heavy-duty split ring will prevent a big fish from pulling the treble hook out of that split ring.  The majority of my baits I put a #3 heavy-duty split ring on and has worked very well for me.  At this time, I also put the new Trokar Treble Hooks on the baits that I know will see action during a tournament.  These treble hooks are extremely sharp and come in a wide gap or round bend model.

On my topwater plugs I like to use a dressed treble as the rear hook on the bait.  These hooks can be purchased with a bucktail or flashabou dressing, or you can set yourself up with a fly tying vise, materials, thread and glue and create your own dress treble hooks.  This is a great way to save some money and experiment with different materials and colors to create a custom dressed treble hook.

The soft plastic frog has morphed from its simple original design that had many flaws, to the now high performance fish catching machines that so many anglers rely on throughout the summer months.  Since these baits are so popular, fish are seeing more and more of the same lure, which is why making modifications to a soft plastic frog, is a good idea.

A few of the things I like to do to my Snag Proof Frog’s include adding additional rattles in them.  I like to use jingle bells, because they are loud, won’t break and they add some additional weight to your frog for increased casting distance.

Using markers I also like to put some red, chartreuse or orange markings on the bottom and sides of my frogs.  These colors will help emulate a bleeding baitfish or a bluegill swimming in the shallows.

Using paints or dyes on your other baits is another area where tinkering pays off.

Glenn has been fishing tournaments for over ten years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos. He keeps busy fishing events across Minnesota and on the Mississippi River. Glenn’s sponsors include: Bass Boat Technologies, Ducky Products, Humminbird, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Plano, Rayjus, Seaguar, Simms, Snag Proof, The Rod Glove, TroKar, War Eagle Custom Lures, Witch Doctor Tackle, Wright & McGill and Zoom Baits. For more information check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/glennwalkerfishing.

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