I'm about to tell you how easy it is to use this lure type and give you a solid winter pattern that you can use now. First, if you've got lots of cold water where you fish, one of my favorite winter patterns involves fishing the warm spells that we get every year. You know the ones I'm talking about — things warm up a little and we get some rain that's a good deal warmer than the lake water. This is the perfect time to take your blade bait and work the points and pockets back in the creeks of your favorite reservoir. You see, the water that came in with the rain is warmer than the lake water, and that will draw the baitfish in. When that happens, you know what's next — the smallmouth follow. The big smallies will go back until the bottom is about 20 feet deep. They don't seem to like water any shallower than that. The smallmouth on your lake may be different. Keep an eye on your electronics and do some fishing to find out. As far as all bass (largemouth included) goes, one technique that works really well in late fall, winter and early spring is working 45 degree banks and offshore high spots with a blade bait. This time of year the shad are stunned by the colder temperatures. As the waters dip into the mid 40s, the shad struggle to survive and as the temperatures continue to drop, they begin to die – often in massive quantities. Capitalize on that stunned shad situation. The bass, and other game fish as well, know they can get a pretty easy meal without having to expend much energy, something they relish in the colder months. They can just ease around and pick off struggling baitfish from the pack. This is the time to use your bladebait!