By Jeff Reynolds
My favorite lure in the winter for big bass is without a doubt the umbrella rig. I think anyone that has thrown it will agree that if the water is not muddy, it’s a hard lure to beat. It’s a bait that can be fished deep or shallow which makes it useful in many situations. For me, in the winter I like to look for fish schooled up in deeper water around bluffs or creek channels. When I find the fish on my Garmin electronics I will try to fish my umbrella rig right above the school.
The depth I want to keep my bait will decide what size swimbait heads I will use. This can range from 1/16th ounce to 3/4 ounce jig heads. For my swimbaits, when I am fishing deeper than 10 feet, I like to use 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 inch baits in a shad color. This bait looks like a school of shad so it is hardfor the fish to resist. I use 65lb. braid, a 7’9″ Cabela’s tournament ZX umbrella rig rod, and a Cabela’s Arachnid reel to fish the umbrella rig. The big rod makes it a lot easier to cast.
Good luck and be sure to post your wintertime catches to the Americana Outdoors Facebook page!