Winter's lure lineup

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When Elite Series pros dig in their tackleboxes for the perfect cold-water bait, it's not always the usual suspects that get the nod.

Bass anglers are creatures of habit.

When we get to our favorite lakes, we’re drawn to the same baits that we caught them on the last time we were there. 

That’s fine. But what if it’s a totally different time of year? 

Like winter, when the fish can be lethargic and last summer’s baits are less appealing.

Make no mistake about it; the fish still eat the same forage, and several of the summertime bait genres still work. 

You just have to choose those that have more appeal to the mood of wintertime fish and oftentimes fish them differently.

“Everything slows down,” says Georgia pro Drew Benton. “Shad are slowing down and in some cases, even die. I try to have that mindset with each bait I’m fishing.”

So, how do you narrow those choices for wintertime fishing on lakes that remain open year-round? We asked some of our Bassmaster Elite Series pros, and here is how they tweak their presentations that time of year: