"When Water temperatures are in the mid-50s, determining the best way to fish for bass can be challenging – What types of areas? What baits? What depths? How fast/slow? While tuning in to the most effective patterns may take some tweaking under these conditions, your efforts will definitely pay off."
"The type of area I focus on first with water temperature in the mid-50s is deeper water near shallow spawning flats. To prepare for the spawn, bass usually gorge themselves on shad and crawfish, so I like to focus on channel swings and deep water that comes up near spawning flats – where the bass have easy access to schools of shad and crawfish on the rocky channel swings."
"Three of my favorite baits to use when bass set up this way are shallow-running crankbaits like a Strike King Lucky Shad in crawfish pattern, a Strike King ½ ounce Jig or a suspending jerkbait. When the water is fairly cold, bass are feeding but not necessarily chasing bait over long distances. All three of these baits can be fished slowly and kept in the strike zone for a long period of time, giving your bait more time in front of these relatively stationary bass."
"Since determining the depth of suspending bait is an important element under these conditions, one of the first things I do is turn on my Garmin sonar. It’s really pretty simple. Bait can suspend at various depths, but oftentimes, if you really pay attention to the location of most of the bait balls, you can easily decipher the best fishing depth. When fishing these channel swings and deep places near spawning flats, I also like to look for individual fish, which I can usually see on my traditional sonar. The ones that are fairly close to the bottom can sometimes even be very easy to catch."
"Bass fishing when the water temperatures hover in the mid-50s can be challenging, but it’s a challenge worth accepting. It can reap big rewards. Next time you’re in that situation, focus on deep water that comes up near spawning flats using baits that can be fished slowly, look for the depth of suspending bait using your Garmin sonar, and go catch ‘em!"