Is Bass Fishing in Winter with Buzzbaits a Good Idea?

Winter Buzzbait Fishing

Any experienced fall bass angler knows how frustrating it can be to catch bass once October has come-and-gone. As the water temperature drops bass tend to get lethargic as their metabolism also slows down. When water temps dip below 50 degrees a bass can survive for an entire month on a single baitfish.   

As bass forage less during winter months and migrate to deeper water, power lures like crankbaits, spinnerbaits or a jigging spoon aren’t going to convince them to burn precious energy. And since most wintering game fish will only move short distances through cold water in search of prey finding good winter fishing lures becomes more challenging. 

If you’re a serious bass angler in the southern US, the good news is that you can still fish a buzzbait lure to land monster fish even during colder times of year. Other than days when you can only go ice fishing, here’s how to catch more bass all winter long with buzzbaits.  

What Are Buzzbait Fishing Lures?

Buzzbaits are specialized topwater baits that are oftentimes used in place of spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or other topwater lures like poppers and stickbaits. A buzzbait has a plated metal blade that churns the water’s surface while producing a “buzzing” action that attracts fish. 

A flexible wire arm attaches the blade to a silicone skirt that also draws attention by fluttering through the water. Because they stay on the surface, buzzbaits are “snag-less” topwater bite lures that can be easily ripped through vegetation patches.  

Although buzzbaits are go-to lures for bass anglers in the late fall or early spring, they are becoming increasingly more popular as winter baits when fishing non-frozen lakes, ponds and reservoirs.  

A buzzbait allows you to cover large areas of shallow water faster than other lures, improving your odds for running the bait through a lethargic bass’ strike zone. As an ideal winter reaction strike lure, the best time to use a buzzbait is in the early morning, late afternoon, or on cloudy, overcast days. 

Buzzbait Winter Bass Fishing Tips 

  • When water temps reach the 50s or 60s, try fishing your buzzbait in areas where the depth ranges from a few feet to less than one foot. At shallower depths bass tend to be more active, so vary your retrieve accordingly. 
  • Even in early winter some of the best spots to fish a buzzbait are near vegetation and timber. If dying grass is floating against logs or limbs, run your buzzbait along the timber line. 
  • Another tried-and-true wintertime buzzbait fishing technique is trailing a plastic frog- like the Castaic Frog– behind it. This tactic is most effective when used in areas with floating or scattered grass as the rig provides a larger target for the bass to focus on. 
  • You can also create a winter rig by attaching a soft plastic swimbait like the Castaic Jerky J or RS Chunky Shad to the buzzbait. Adding the swimbait’s solid body to the buzzbait allows lethargic bass to get more of the rig into their mouths when striking. The rig’s added weight also lets you cast out farther and cover more surface area. 
  • When fishing this hybrid lure keep the softbait submerged so that the bass can suck it into their mouth without breaking the water’s surface. Try skipping your combo rig under boat docks up to 25+ feet back before starting your retrieve. 
  • Even though you won’t be able to see the buzzbait you can still hear it or feel the bass strike. If the bass don’t seem interested in a plastic frog, switch over to your swimbait minnows or other softbaits. 

Best Buzzbaits for Winter Bass Fishing 

Put tournament-worthy bass in your live well all winter long by stocking these buzzbaits in your tackle box: 

Castaic Atlas Buzzbait 

Uniquely designed by the bass fishing pros at Castaic, the Atlas Buzzbait is a must-have winter fishing lure in any serious angler’s arsenal. When moved through their strike zone this buzzbait produces a unique splash-and-flash that no monster fish can resist. This tough freshwater lure is crafted from premium components and features an ultra-sharp Kitana Hook that results in better hook-ups anytime of year.