The bait I used was a gold Colorado, Lucky Craft, Stay See, deep running jerk bait. I fished this bait with a 10-pound Fluorocarbon line on a spinning reel. I didn’t know what depth the fish were in or even if they were in this area. I simply was experimenting with the knowledge gleaned from the pros.
I began casting the Stay See towards the bank. The bait was landing in about 10 feet of water. I quickly cranked the bait down to about 8 feet and stopped allowing the bait to suspend and stay in one spot motionless for about 7 seconds. Then I gave the lure a sharp snap on slack line. Always leave slack in your line so when you snap your rod the bait will only move a short distance. Then pause again allowing the bait to suspend without moving. Keep repeating this retrieve back to the boat. Strikes usually come while the bait is motionless.
The first bass I caught was 4 pounds. I only got one strike at this spot at 11:30 a.m. I moved to a small 9-foot hump nearby and caught a 3-pound bass. These bass were in 12 to 14 feet of water. Again I only got one strike, so I moved to the mouth of Cat Creek to fish outside another deep pocket. I fished for about 15 minutes and then got one bite. When I landed this 4-pound bass I knew I was on to a good winter pattern.
For the next hour or so I fished a half dozen other similar spots including three major points and a big flat but only landed one more bass.
The day I fished Lake Jacksonville the surface temperature was 45 degrees F. Big bass can be caught in cold water if you use the right kind of baits. Jigs will also catch big bass, but I prefer using faster moving baits.