Here is a sure fire tactic for fishing for bass in dead of winter. When fishing extremely cold water that is hovering in the high 30’s and low 40’s select a reel with a 5:3:1 geared ratio spooled with 17 to 20 lb. fluorocarbon line. This will slow down the lure’s action, and allow the crank to sink slower with this line when casted. Having a low stretch line like this will give a quick hook set in response to a slow sluggish bite.
Select a lipless sinking crank, I like to use a Rattlin Rap, Rat L. Trap, or the Lucky Craft LVR. Cast the crankbait as far as you can and let the crank sink with a taught line. Snap the rod quickly once you feel the bottom and let the bait sink again. This will cause a yo-yo action to the bait. Be ready for the strike on the sink! Be patient, the Bass tend not to chase down your bait and thumping it in front of the fishes nose will entice a strike, if not the first cast, the second or third will produce when the crank bumps his sluggish nose!