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Old 10-28-2012, 05:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unlocking Bass: 3 keys to better jig fishing

Unlocking Bass: 3 keys to better jig fishing
There may be no "wrong" way to fish a jig, but some ways are better than others.

By Gerald Brown
Oct 23, 2012

Everyone knows that jigs catch bass. In fact, they were probably the very first artificial lure type that was ever used to catch a bass. They catch big fish, too. There have probably been more big bass awards won on a jig than any other lure type. Those are just a couple of reasons why the jig is my favorite lure.

Here are three ways I like to fish a jig that I'm sure will work for you.

1. Knock on wood
Jigs and wood just go together. Bass love heavy cover, and a jig gets in and gets out with a minimum of hang ups.

When I'm fishing wood with a jig whether I'm flipping, pitching or casting I like to start with the outside branches and work my way to the heart of the cover. The biggest bass may live in the very center of a laydown, but I like to pick off any fish around the edges first, before I disturb the cover by going right to the middle. You also have a better chance of landing a fish you hook around the edges where the cover isn't quite as thick.

Be sure to make multiple presentations with your jig. One cast, flip or pitch usually isn't enough. And try to make your bait contact as many limbs as possible. That'll help you get the attention of any bass in the bush.

For wood, my go-to jig is the Brush Jig from Elk River Jigs. Whatever jig you choose, though, make sure it has a good fiber weed guard and a head shape that allows it to come through branches without getting hung up too much.

2. Dock talk
Another of my favorite places to fish a jig is around boat docks. I'll usually work the front (deep) corners first and work my way to the back (shallow) corners. On floating docks, I like to swim a jig parallel to the side of the dock both inside and outside the boat slips. I try to keep the jig at whatever depth I'm marking fish on my electronics. If they're mostly showing up at 10 feet, then I try to swim the jig back at about 10 feet.

My favorite jig for dock fishing is the 1/2-ounce Elk River Brush Jig, though I'll use the Elk River Flippin'/Swim Jig if I'm getting more bites by swimming the bait.

3. Bass in the grass
If bass have a choice of cover, grass is always going to be high on the list. I love to fish a jig in holes in hydrilla and other heavy vegetation or to swim a jig over vegetation that's just under the surface. Either way, my favorite trailer is the 3.5-inch Gene Larew Biffle Bug Jr. It has a great action and lots of vibration.

For flipping and pitching to holes in the grass, I use a 1/2-ounce Elk River Brush Jig. For working over the top of the grass, I like the Elk River Swim Jig. For swimming, I choose a jig weight based on the depth of the water I'm fishing and the speed I need to retrieve the bait to get strikes. The higher in the water column I need to keep the jig, the lighter the jig I'll use.

I haven't said anything about jig color so far because I do most of my jig fishing with just one color that Elk River Jigs makes up special for me. It's called HeBeGB (get it?), and it works everywhere I've ever tried it. HeBeGB has a green pumpkin base with four strands of orange rubber. I don't believe in unnecessarily complicating things, and whether bass are feeding on crawfish or bluegill, they'll eat that color.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re: Unlocking Bass: 3 keys to better jig fishing

Great article. The 3 keys is what I have been doing most of the year as I focused on being more proficient with a jig. I pretty much stick to green pumpkin and blue black for m jig colors and just change up my trailer color as I need to. One thing I do for real heavy cover is if I notice my weedguard getting weaker over time which they all do, is i use a trailer with a longer thinner body and texas rig it on my jig so the hook point isn't exposed. It allows me to get thru the heavy branches without getting hung up but still allows me to hook the fish good when they bite. I haven't lost a fish yet on hookset, only lost them on breakoffs.

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Old 10-28-2012, 09:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unlocking Bass: 3 keys to better jig fishing

Ditto our blue-bellied Yankee friend, Mark. Good info here.

The idea of starting with the outside edges of cover and working inward seems especially important. I read about that concept many years ago when first starting to bass fish a lot. When I joined a club as a non-boater, I was shocked at how many of the members went right to the thickest part of laydowns immediately. If they caught a bass, it pretty much ruined the cover for any more fish. There have been several times since then that I've been able to pull multiple fish off those same laydowns in my own boat. The concept is real and it works.

Thanks for posting, bro.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unlocking Bass: 3 keys to better jig fishing

i have read through all of this thread, and now i will pose a question. remember it was stated that the biggest bass usually stays in the middle heaviest section of the cover, right??

ok, so if you are targeting the biggest bass, but yet you fish the outer branches first, do you really think that a big bass is going to stay put?? i really do not think so. a BIG bass is going to be gone at the first disturbance. maybe not all the time, but most of the time. even if you are tournament fishing, which bass is going to do you the most good, the two pounder on the outer reaches, or the six pounder right in the middle of the mess.

guess this why there are always more than one way to look at things. i catch well over 100 bass over 5lbs. every year, and i can tell you that i do not waste a prime target where a big bass might be fishing the perimeter first taking a chance to spook away the biggest bass. so, i guess it comes down to if you are more of a numbers fisherman, or like catching big bass. big bass are different critters than small ones. to consistently catch big bass, you have develop a big bass mentality.

there you have my two cents. now we have the controversial side of the coin. everyone jump in and really get a good discussion going.

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Old 11-06-2012, 10:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Unlocking Bass: 3 keys to better jig fishing

Thanks Mark.

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