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Top plastics for cold water

Canadian angler Jeff Gustafson begins relying on plastics as soon as the ice is melted on his home lakes. Photo by Steve Bowman

In much of North America, bass fishing from late winter into early spring takes place in water under 55 degrees. During this frigid phase, many anglers use soft-plastic baits mainly as dressings for skirted jigs, bladed jigs and underspins. Other than these applications, soft plastics take a backseat to spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jerkbaits until the water warms to 60 degrees or so.