As I was fishing several months ago under partly cloudy stones with patchy fog starting to set in, the reality hit this fall weather was upon us. The temperature when I traveled to one of my favorite fishing holes was a beautiful and warm 70 degrees and now I was starting to get a bit refrigerated. The weather had taken on a new identity in the past hour or so. The fishing had started to slow down as well. The visitors were plentiful and constant when the sun was glowing down upon the dam and the bass were stacked around the rocks adjacent to the weed beds just pestering to be caught. I had already landed around 15 wonderful keepers when the sun disappeared behind a cloud in addition to failed to show its face again. I began to rummage through my tackle bag trying desperately to find the perfect bass wrangling lure that would take my catch rate in to an acceptable level. I threw a spinnerbait for a while and switched to a Rat-L-Trap. I then threw a few in-line best spinner software followed by some crawfish imitation plastics and followed up together with the Junebug colored stick worm I had caught all of the preceding fish on. Still, I could not find a bite.
When i sat on the bank of the pond I started to assume very hard about my present situation. I looked all around and noticed that the trees were just beginning to reduce their dark green colors and change to shades of crimson, orange and yellow. I reached into my tote and pulled out my box of Bass Jigs and determined a 1/4oz model with a brown and orange cloth. I then put a chartreuse plastic craw as a trailer home, which made the jig match my surroundings beautifully and flipped the jig towards the rock ledge. Often the jig was allowed to sit for about 60 seconds and then often the slow retrieval process began. A very slow upward movements of the rod tip with a few slight jerks thrown in intermediately was exactly what the bass wanted. After a handful of retrieves were made and I was waiting for the jig traverse back downward so I could begin the process again, which is when she hit! Once I landed the fish she was weighted and released. It was the largest largemouth bass of the day weighting in at 5lbs 4oz.
Fishing along with a jig or the jig-and-pig is an extremely effective method for catching people stubborn fall bass. I rely on this method during the spring and coil as well as certain times throughout the year, but sometimes forget how useful the bait really is until I throw it more than once usually out of desperation. Lets first talk about the equipment meant for effective jig fishing. A baitcast reel with a flicking switch built in the reel is my number one decision. Pair this reel with a medium-heavy 7 ½ base pitching or flipping stick and as far as the devices goes, your ready to go. I prefer to use a heavier line including 50lb Power Pro with about 48″ of Berkley Vanish or Transition fluorocarbon line tied on to the braid as a leader. This will assure that you have the strength needed to moose those big bass out of heavy cover when necessary. I realize that some of you might not be baitcast users so feel comfortable that a spinning reel works also as long as you have a longer spinning rod about 7 to 71/2 feet. You intend to be able to flip the jig into place without producing a big wake and disrupting what you hope lies down below. Accuracy is a big key when flippin’ jigs.
I recognize many anglers who are of the opinion that jig fishing is rather complicated and they don’t really understand how to do it. Permits take a little time and discuss the important facts surrounding jig angling. First and foremost, I want to stress to you that confidence is the most critical key regardless of what you are throwing. I have been in the situation when I are fishing with a partner and he ties something rather weird on his line and I think, “What is this guy doing”? My partner and i watch as he fishes the lure with full confidence and concentration and before you know, the seafood are coming in the boat. I might not have tried that particular lure, but through commitment and confidence it’s surprising what / things happen, if you will maintain an open mind. Whether you actually fish the jig as is, or with some type of cheap chunk, craw or worm as a trailer, the choice is yours. I fish the jig both with and not having and they will produce both ways. I usually put on a large ripped plastic chunk if I want to slow the fall of the attract a bit.
Color is very important, and to some people overly technical, although I tend to simplify if a bit. How many of you have a beloved lure, that you have all 26 colors available in your take on box? Do you use each and every color? Most anglers have all of the colors and out of all of those colors, they might include 4 or 5 colors they are stuck on that really produce. I just now take the 4 or 5 colors that work on the other lures and add a number of colors and end up with 7 or 8 jig hues. Don’t forget to look around you and “match the hatch” so to speak. I fish black & blue, black & retraite, blue & chartreuse, brown (or copper) & red and watermelon w/black flake jigs most of the time. Some designs have rattles and some do not. I love to fish lipless cranks because of the noisy rattle; therefore I choose models with rattles. Once again, it all revolves around what you have the most confidence within. Jigs come in a vast array of sizes as well. I prefer 1/4oz and 1/2oz the most, unless I have to punch down by heavy structure like heavy brush or submerged hydrilla. When everything is still and the wind is not blowing, Which i go with the lighter jig.