During the winter and early spring months when the water is colder, we suggest that anglers use blade baits, which imitate dying baitfish to entice bass to bite. A blade bait is made to be worked with a yo-yo retrieve—start by letting your bait fall to the bottom. Your retrieve should be a steady lift and fall to the bottom—work the bait close to the bottom, but fast enough that you do not get hung up. Bass are feeding on shad early in the year. Silver works best on sunny days; gold on cloudy days. Adjust the weight appropriately to your target depth. Look for fish on steep drop-offs and points. Selecting the right rod is essential. You will need a medium-heavy baitcast rod with a fast action, which allows you to work the bait correctly, feel the vibration from the blade bait, and set the hook effectively in deeper water. The ideal rod and reel combination for this scenario is a G. Loomis E6X 853C JWR 7' 1" medium-heavy rod paired with Shimano Curado 70 HG.