Pro Angler's Christmas Bait Packs

When we’re making our list and checking it twice, we often find that bass anglers can be some of the most difficult to shop for. That’s usually due to the high level of specificity with which fishing folks assemble their gear.

Oklahoma pro James Elam knows this well, so he breaks down a simple gift plan that leverages LIVETARGET’s superior designs and tactical diversity to offer anglers a starting lineup that’ll handle just about any winter fishery below the freeze line. Depending on conditions, particular baits may shine on particular days, while weather and sun angles play prominent roles.

Experienced anglers can figure out that stuff on their own. To help equip them to do so, follow Elam’s advice for Christmas Bait Picks and you’ll be right on track.

“The No. 1 bait all across the country for wintertime, is the LIVETARGET Rainbow Smelt Jerkbait," Elam said. “For almost all lakes, lowland reservoirs, highland reservoirs, and rivers that will be a really good tool for the wintertime.”

Recommending the 115 size, Elam said the LIVETARGET Rainbow Smelt Jerkbait plays perfectly into the winter feeding routines, as it mimics not only the profile, but also the lethargic action of the meals bass seek.

“The fish really get keyed in on bait schools this time of year,” Elam said. “In the middle of the day — the warmer part of the day — they spend their time chasing bait around. They’re looking up, so you want to keep that jerkbait above them. They see the flash and it’s the same profile as the shad they’re chasing, so it’s just a deadly bait."

“It’s a slow-moving bait that you can pause, so it’s a good natural presentation for that time of year. It’s a good look, based on what they’re used to seeing and how they’re used to seeing it.”
- James Elam

Elam prefers the silver pearl and glow black in brighter conditions and the gold pumpkin on cloudy days.


Elam complements the previous two casting style baits with this strategic vertical presentation. Designed with an ultra-realistic Inner-Core, the LIVETARGET Flutter Shad features a feathered hook that creates drag and maintains ideal positioning for bites during the fall.

“Getting right above those fish and putting a jigging spoon in their face is very important because a lot of times, they don’t want to move,” Elam said. “I’ll fish the LIVETARGET Flutter Shad over creek channel bends, main lake points or secondary points. I’ll let the bait fall to about a foot above the fish, pop it up about 4 feet and let it fall back down. I’ll give them 3-4 seconds to bite and then I’ll repeat"

Elam’s tip: adding a ball bearing snap to the bait minimizes the line twist common to jigging spoons.

LIVETARGET Slow Roll Shiner

Made with Injected Core Technology (ICT), this eye-catching bait swims with a realistically subtle rolling action that fish can’t resist. Favoring the 4-inch LIVETARGET Slow Roll Shiner, Elam fishes this bait on a Mustad Impact Spring Lock Jig Head.

He uses a 1/8-ounce head when fishing the LIVETARGET Slow Roll Shiner on an Alabama Rig or a 3/8-ounce when casting the bait independently.

With these two presentations, along with the LIVETARGET Rainbow Smelt Jerkbait, LIVETARGET Sonic Blade Bait, and LIVETARGET Flutter Shad, Elam’s Christmas Bait Picks will allow anglers to cover the water column and maximize their winter bass fun.


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