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How To Catch Bass When It’s Cold | Dean Rojas: Pro Angler

How To Catch Bass When It’s Cold | Dean Rojas: Pro Angler
December 17, 2020

Catching bass in cold weather requires a different strategy. Dean Rojas, pro bass fisherman, shares his tips for catching big bass in the cold! Dean explains how to catch bass before and after a cold front, what type of lures and what size lures to use, how fast to retrieve your lure in the cold, what baits cover the different columns in the water, the best time to go fishing in cold weather, where the fish go when the cold weather hits, and what spots to hit if your fishing on the bank. This episode of Gearbox Talk is made for beginners and avid anglers. There is a tip for everyone in here.

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Gear Mentioned:

Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye Frog 65

Big Bite Baits Dean Rojas Signature Series 4" Fighting Frogs 7-Pack

Spro Little John 50

St. Croix Mojo Bass Glass Casting Rods

Big Bite Baits Cane Thumper 5" Unrigged Plastic Swimbaits Gamakatsu G-Finesse Hybrid Worm Hook Bassman Compact Series Tandem Blades

Abu Garcia Revo X

Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Line 12 lb

Big Bite Baits Neko Wacky Stick Color Black

Gamakatsu 3 aught extra wide gap

Show Notes:
Steven Taylor’s Bass Fishing show
Facebook Dean Rojas pro angler
Instagram: Dean_rojas
Twitter: Deanrojas5for45

Full Transcription:
Brad: For those who are losing sleep at night because it's been a few weeks without a Gearbox Talk about bass fishing fret not today is all about that bass professional angler Dean Rojas is here to talk about all things cold weather bass fishing we'll hear about what baits never leave dean's boat his recommendations for new bass anglers advanced tips on how to fish a cold front bank fishing advice and he's going to give guidance on slowing down your retrieve and changing lure size when the water is cold now this show is all about cold weather bass fishing but given Dean success on the pro circuits I think it's going to have your blood pumping hot by the time it's over you're going to be ready to get out there and wet some lines but first I have two things two requests for you first please subscribe to the show hit that bell icon subscribe if you're listening to the podcast you don't want to miss out on this kind of advice and it comes in a weekly show every single week we're having people like Dean on to talk about advice on gear tactics all of that good stuff my second request is to have you text this to a buddy who could use the cold weather fishing advice alright that's it let's get after this is Dean Rojas on gearbox talk

alright Dean you know bass fishing's better than anybody you got more than around 100 wins I think like top 20 you've got quite a few racked up there man I think like 60 top tens multiple at the very top slot and you know I'm very excited to get a guy like you on to Gearbox Talk here winter is here it's cold and and the fishing has changed and I really want to dive in to help people understand how to fish these winter months does that sound good to you 


Dean: Yeah sounds great Brad thank you for having me on the show i've been doing this a long time so hopefully I have some experience to pass along to your viewers 


Brad: I think you will for sure man before we dive into the winter stuff I wanted to just ask you you know everybody's got got those favorite baits that are tackled that they kind of carry around with them what are some of the things that never leave your boat 


Dean: Well it's that's a loaded question because geographically wherever that's at being near the midwest you know I always like to carry baits that cover different columns of the water in the top midsection and then that down below so everybody knows you know my frog deal I mean that's something I throw all the time it's my spro bronzer frog for surface type deal now the frog deal well this time of the year is waning because the water is getting colder so you're not going to really get that but depending on the part of the country I'm fishing top water is always a really good deal on that and then second it's it's my my big bite fighting frog which is the four inch model but this time of year I usually go to a three inch because we're about bites we just want to get a bite so the biggest thing I can tell your viewers is to downscale your baits line weight hooks and and lures so anything like a three and a half inch to you know maybe four is about as big as you want to go during the fall and winter months going into the winter and so forth and then at that point it's it's hard to really leave like a a small crankbait and this is the spro little john it's a great little bait that runs about you know five or six seven feet but it's a it's a perfect little bait that you can throw that is going to get a lot of bites and you can fish it you know from 50 degree water temperature all the way to a 90 degree doesn't matter the fish will get to it that the cool thing about it is it's it's narrow and that's what you want you want that real tight shimmy action in the winter time and in the fall they don't want something that's moving a lot of water they want something that's a little shimmy in it so flat side is a better deal when the water starts getting cold in the winter months so for that you know like I said it's all about you know getting bites so I i throw a lot of small stuff during the winter time and the fact that just trying to generate you know a bite or two in the tournament you know or when you're fun fish 


Brad: Are any of those or maybe it's a different bait I'm kind of curious for new anglers is there anything that's a little bit easier to get get some action on you know there's not as much mastery of the tackle is there something you'd recommend for a newbie 


Dean: Well for like for that for a new guy you know most of the people you know that are new they fish a lot of spinning outfits so you know spinning is very popular it's very easy to to use it's probably the thing that majority of your recreational fishermen will do for that especially your weekend anglers and the spinning outfit is more utilized better if it's for light line applications so again we want to go with small baits small line you know a rod action you're about six ten you know six eleven in that range seven foot's a little bit but the small baits you can see there it's a little big bite cane thumper there that's wacky rigged a little gamakatsu like a number two g-finesse hook and then a small little drop shot weight it doesn't have to be tungsten it could be lead or whatever you might have and then basically about an eighteen foot or eight to eighteen inch leader on there now this is something that's gonna generate a lot of bodies okay you're gonna get you know small fish medium fish and occasionally you're gonna catch a big fish on that but this is downscale as you're gonna get for for small you can go smaller this but for for numbers and for for catching both species of spotted bass small mouth you know or large amount of spinning outfits is the way to go 


Brad: Nice alright so so now we'll start to kind of dive into a little bit more cold specific what's your your approach to fishing a cold front what you got any specific lures you tackle if if they're in that cold front changing a little bit of the water temperature and the air temps kind of moving in 


Dean: Yeah that's so you're talking about right during the cold front or after the cold front 


Brad: when it's coming in yeah like when things are kind of changing or well do both let's let's hear both i'd like to hear your approach to both really 

Dean: Well when you have a front coming in that that's the time to go fishing is right before it or when it's happening that's when they're going to buy it and so you're you're able to get a lot more bites if you're if you're moving I throw a bait that has a lot of action you know moving a moving bait because they're they're gonna feed right before the front and the pulse funnel is the hardest time to catch them where you really have to slow down so what I do on a on a pre-frontal when it's happening throwing you know a crankbait shad pattern or crawdad pattern work works well a spinnerbait different sizes for for for different places this is a little three-eighths this is like a three-quarter half ounce five-eighths in that range but you know depending on the pond lake river wherever you're fishing you want to downscale so like you know before the front I would probably throw the bigger one but after the front I would scale down the small one what brands do you have there i'll throw a link to them in the show okay it's an epic spinner bait awesome okay and the thing to remember whenever the front passes it's it's usually the best day it's the best fishing day to go out and fish but it's not a good catching day because you have a lot of high pressure you don't have any clouds you don't have any wind it's that flat calm you know no clouds high skies and the fish are already fed with the water temperature being cold as it is already they've already done that so they're very good for the next you know day or two for it to pass so when it when it gets to that point I tend to look at areas of the lake they like to hang around rocks any kind of where there's a causeway you know or a launch ramp or anything that has rocks or structure coming into the water that's where they're going to be up next to they'll be up underneath the docks too if that's what you have in your in your place of where you're fishing and I think the number one thing that I do is I throw a little crankbait and again this is a little spro little john that I throw and it's it's a it gets a lot of bites and that's what you want and you can you can modify you know your retrieval generally you want to you know depending on how cool the water got after the front will basically tell me what kind of speed I want to use and again you want to let the fish tell you what what they're doing and how they're going after the bait but you want to imply different actions and cadences to where to draw those fish to strike so a big thing is to go to like a five to one gear ratio reel on on your baitcaster 6.3 might just slow down a little bit but that will keep it in the strike zone longer when it when it hits the structure and you pause it it gives that that fish just enough time to grab the bait when it's going by so and then if you don't have rock and you've got a lot of laydowns and you're pitching you know to cover and so forth that's when I that's why I pick up the big bite little fighting frog and that's more of a you know a baitcaster application you can use it on a spinning if you'd like but a small texas rig you know you're probably only fishing you know less than five feet of water six feet of water in that range they're gonna be tight underneath the cover in the shade and that is the key you wanna go and concentrate on the shade because that's where they're gonna be sitting at and so with that you know I like pound test line you can go anywhere from from 12 to 14 pound test line this is sunlight shooter line that i've used for many many years it's a great all-around fluorocarbon that you can use it's best on the market but it's it's very sensitive very strong very abrasion resistant exactly what you need when you're fishing in and around posts docks lay downs any type of structure that's coming into the water and the key there Brad is to slow down slow your presentation down give the fish a chance to get your bait and keeping the strikes a little bit longer 

Brad: Yeah I'm going to ask you about slowing down in just a second I wanted to hit something this you kind of led into a question I was going to ask you about and I think your answer is probably going to be around the same neighborhood but you know a lot of our audience they might be new so they're doing kayaks maybe but a lot of people are still bank fishing for their bass fishing you gave a few ideas on areas to hit by foot but you know how do you approach bank fishing in the winter time you kind of mention a couple of areas but are there anything else that people should focus on 

Dean: Well that's how I guess we all started with bank fishing you know 

Brad: That's right 

Dean: I'm pretty well versed on that but again keeping in the mind that you're you're it's a it's winter time you got to slow down and and probably the most popular bait out there is like a stick bait now this is a big bite stick bait here it's a super salty five inch but it's it's it's a very easy bait for a novice to fish okay it's basically just you know straight worm you could throw it weightless or you can put a little weight on there an eighth ounce or three sixteenths whatever it might be during that time when it's cold I would try to use as less weight as I possibly could because you want that slow action as it's dropping okay that's what you want on there and you can pair it up with it the double boxes the hooks that I use that's that's the deal right there I use a three extra wide gap I know that's you know and sometimes a little bit four out of all the pins but I'm just going to show you real quickly how to rig it up it's just a texas rig where you're going to go in just like that get about a half inch in there I'm gonna take it out of there and slide it up there to the top so you can see what we have here okay so we're gonna turn the bait around on the hook okay so it sits nice and straight and flat we're going to take the hook and we're going to pitch the bait and we're going to drive the hook all the way through so the cool thing about this bait it has a hook slot so the hook is actually hidden inside even though it sits nice and straight but more importantly it's weedless so you can fish it around brush rock you know docks you know whatever lay downs and you're not going to get hung up so this is great for the girlfriend kids whatever or even you if you want to go out you know you're going to get a lot of bites on this again slow presentation i'd probably recommend you know 12 pound line I mean that's that you can cast it a long ways it's super sensitive and it can handle you know catching a big fish so you can throw it on a spinning rod baitcaster really doesn't matter whatever your preference is but as you can see it's it's it's really easy and you'll get a lot of bites 

Brad: Yeah and I'm no advanced angler but there is nothing more frustrated when you're getting started than getting tangled up so that's a great advice for getting started of something that's going to be less frustrating get more cast out of it spend less time trying to to dig your your bait out of the water especially from the bank because you can't move to it

Dean: You want to be a positive experience you know so it's about getting bites and having fun and you know not keeping them out there for 10 hours you know they're miserable when they're ready to go you need to pack it up and go you know because you want them to come back you know that way you leave on a positive note on that sense so the more people are positive more people go fishing 


Brad: Yeah now you kind of talked about with the frog overall you're changing the size up a little bit overall is that your strategy with everything in the winter you're going smaller and can you talk through the rationale behind that a little bit so people can understand why that is 


Dean: For smaller for the baits itself like I said it's it's to get bikes generate bikes there are times on tour when you know you have to throw a little bit bigger bait obviously for bigger fish to try to do better you know the 12 and 13 14 inches aren't going to cut it but if you're just a recreational angler you know the fun is in the catching you know so for me I like throwing a little rattle bait as well this is a small little Spro Aruku shad but you know there's different sizes this is like an eight this is a half ounce here okay a little bit bigger and then you go to a point you can go to a five eight something bigger now you can cast this a long ways again this can be thrown you know on a bentley on a bank or in a pond a river or whatever it might be or even around grass it does have trouble books that are hanging down so you're more apt to get hung up so make sure you're where you're casting at it's it's not in around that stuff you you know you can you can get it up on so a lot of these times too when you're out there and it's difficult sometimes when the water's cold because if the bait fish aren't active but if you can see them dipping or so forth or trying to get an idea on the size that the fish that you're seeing you can match your baits to that size and that will help as well in your lure collection for that day 


Brad: Awesome you know one thing I have a great show with Steven Taylor which we'll drop in the the links to this and and i've had a couple other people on to talk about fishing and the one thing consistent with fishing cold water is is talking about that slow retrieval can you talk about why you slowed down and what that does for the fish and why you need to change your approach in the winter and the impacts of that on catching them 


Dean: Yeah the first thing is understand the biology of the bass I mean so like their metabolism is directly related to the water temperature so obviously in the summer they're they're burning a lot of it off so they got to keep eating eating not so much in the wintertime it's cooling down they don't have to eat as much that window shrinks on when they actually feed so there's there's two ways of doing that is one is timing is the big thing two and it's just having the right presentation when they want to buy it and I know that's a loaded question but if you know an area or a fish a river or a lake you know you've had success in a certain area those fish pretty much live in that area so you know you just gotta change your technique slow down and throw different styles of bait to try and generate you know strikes and I have a process that I go through that I you know obviously I throw something that's I can get a reaction bite first you know if they don't either they're not in a chasing mood then you need to slow down and that way you know you can hop a small you know a aruku shad in the grass or on the bottom you know or slow slow on a crankbait you know in and around the area and it's still no bites after you're slowing it down then you slow way down and then you go ahead and pick up you know the stick you know you know or in the fighting problem either one of them slow your presentation down crawl on the bottom don't be in a hurry to bring it in each cast will probably be a minute minute and a half you know you're working the bait you're feeling it down there so you want to think about you know where the fish will be positioned and how you can entice the fish to bite 


Brad: This time of year we've talked a lot about the beginner advice this is my last question I always like to kind of get everybody's like the one thing and you're probably not going to have a one thing I know you're you know pro anglers you guys work through a lot of tools you kind of just said that what is your one thing that you're going to come to at this time of year first you know the most reliable piece of tackle that you like personally 


Dean: I would have to say a soft plastic bait you know it's going to get you the bites no matter if they're active or inactive it is in a bait that the novice you know can really learn the bottom content too by feeling everything that's on the bottom as they're working it back you know to the boat or on the bank whether it's got grass or rock or a brush pile or whatever it might be out there that line the rod is telling everything you know the sensitivity is showing you and feeling you're feeling everything that's going on down there so that helps you you know to change baits if you need to or what they're hanging on well for all that and so like the biggest thing is to really be aware and open your mind up and just think about things and evaluate it you know you have to think about you know am I is it too flat here I need to go to a windy bank or you know it's a cloudy or sunny there's a lot of things you need to think about on how the fish fit where was he at what were you doing and and you know can you duplicate that somewhere else you know because that is key is really is breaking down every little bite that you get and when you do that you have the right tackle and you're going to be successful on the water 


Brad: Awesome this was great advice man I i always learn a lot from the anglers because I kind of mentioned like I'm an outdoorsman but I I'm more of a very casual angler I love to hunt like that's where I get excited and spend a lot of my time doing this show from talking to guys like you and steven and I had polish pete on you know I love being around you guys i've actually started buying some of the stuff that I'm learning about from you all so I'm excited about this stuff now and I appreciate you coming on to for for my sake selfishly but also helping the newbies out who tune in to to learn so thank you so much man do you want to give a little shout out where people can kind of follow along with your story on social media I know you're on a couple different platforms 


Dean: Yeah Brad thank you for having me on the show for first off it's always cool to introduce new people into fishing and teach them you know how to go out and have enjoyable experience you go to Dean Rojas pro angler on my facebook page instagram is Dean underscore Rojas and then twitter is Dean Rojas 45 2 which is my world record catch that I did back in 2001 so those are the three big big ones that I got and thank you for having me on the show 


Brad: Yeah man we'll drop a link to all that in the show notes Dean thanks so much man 


alright thank you Dean alright that was a great show all the gear that Dean mentioned in the show is in the show notes and just a reminder if you want to buy any gear we make a commission off that and we're going to donate a portion of our proceeds to Raise Em Outdoors Raise Em Outdoors is an awesome camp that I'm involved with they help teach kids to fish and do other activities in the outdoors so by buying through the links you're not only supporting Go Wild you're supporting Gearbox Talk you're also supporting a non-profit that is all about getting people into the activities you already love to do if you enjoyed this show you're definitely going to enjoy my shows with pro angler john hunter tournament angler Steven Taylor industry veteran polish pete and I have other shows that are coming out all about bass fishing make sure you subscribe drop some comments if you have more questions I'm going to be having other professional anglers on the show i'll ask those questions next time I am always looking at the comments my team scours through those to make sure that we're hitting topics that you guys find valuable that's it for me today though thanks for watching I'm out

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