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Jig fishing made simple

I remember my early days of bass fishing small farm ponds that were near enough to my home that I could ride my bike. I only carried two baits, a "Baby Lucky 13" and a "Jig and Pig". I would fish the the 13 as long as the topwater bite held up and then switch to the jig. Most days I caught enough to be satisfied but a few times I would pedal home with nothing. I guess thats why we call our sport "fishing" instead of "catching".

When I began to fish tournaments several years later, I put away the jig in favor of 4 and 6 inch worms and spinnerbaits. Was this a mistake on my part? You bet it was. This is not to say you can't be successful with those baits because I have, but in my opinion, the jig is undoubtedly the best lure ever invented.

In the last two years I have made the jig a mainstay in my TX fishing and as a result I'm winning more money and thats a pretty good combination, don't you think! Early on in my TX fishing I always seemed to have a limit and sometimes I would win or place high in the money but most of the time I always seemed to come up just short. With many team tournaments now going to 5 or 6 fish limits instead of 10, it is in the anglers best interest to focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY. I used to think you had to catch 30 fish a day to win a tournament and I'm here to tell you, nothing is further from the truth. All an angler needs is 5 QUALITY BITES, and let me tell you one thing I know for sure, 5 jig bites will outweigh 5 worm bites 9 times out of 10.

Now, lets get down to the basics. I try to keep my jig fishing simple stupid. I usually only focus on three things.

There are also two other key elements that we will look at later but for now lets focus on these three.

PRESENTATION

In my opinion presentation is the most critical factor in jig fishing. On days when fish are very aggressive all you have to do is present the jig close to where you believe the fish are holding and he will move to eat it. Other times however, your presentation must be surgically precise. A slighty errant cast on the anglers part may lead to an empty livewell come weigh in time. How many times have you made 10 casts to the same target and come up em- pty only to catch a 5lber. on the11th cast. Was your success the result of persistence, or was your 11th cast presented in a slightly different manner than the previous 10. I'm sure both reasons have merit but before you lay the jig down for the day, try to focus on being as precise as you can. Don't just aim for the stump, aim for a tiny part of the stump such as a twig or a dark spot. Remember, "AIM SMALL MISS SMALL'

RATE OF FALL

I'm convinced a slow fall will yield more strikes but there are times however that a jig rocketing to the bottom will get hit when nothing else will. Several factors affect the fall rate of a jig, such as, the weight of the jig, the size and bulk of the trailer you use, and the size of the line on your reel. I predominantly use 1/2 3/8 and 1/4 ounce jigs, and then adjust line and trailer size to achieve the sink rate that I think the fish prefer for that day. I usually want a slow fall in cold water and a quicker fall as the water warms. In all jig fishing, bottom contact or bait awareness is ctitical if you can't feel your bait you probably wont feel a fish either.

COLOR

Presentation in my opinion is the most critical factor in jig fishing, but color also plays a significant role as well. My Bass Stalker Jig box is stocked with only 5 or 6 different color combinations and 5 or 6 trailer colors. Stick with the basic color combinations such as, Blacks, Blues and Browns with contrasting skirt strands of chartreuse, red or blue for dirty water and translucent colors of Watermelon and Pumpkinseed for clear. Some of the jig colors that are designed to imitate crawfish patterns can be very effective as well. I think the most important to keep in mind in your color choices is to have some kind of contrast, more in muddy water less in clear. Remember keep it simple but don't be afraid to experiment either. If you hear that a particular color is working well where you are fishing, by all means try it, but keep the basics in mind as well.

In closing keep these simple thoughts in mind during the fishing day.

LOCATION

I would rather throw the wrong bait in the right place than the right bait in the wrong place. That sentence simply means, if there aren't any fish where your fishing then none of the above means anything. First and foremost you must locate the fish. Focus all your efforts on finding an area that you are confident the fish are holding in and con- trate your efforts there.

CONFIDENCE

I can not stress how critical confidence is to the fisherman. If you do not believe the area your fishing contains a population of fish or you do not have confidence in the bait or technique you are using, I can just about guarantee your efforts will yield a poor showing at weigh-in. Convince yourself that you have made and will continue to make the right decisions throughout the day.

I hope this article will help you to become a better jig fisherman now and in the future. I would be remiss if I didn't mention those who do so much for me.

Kevin Best is sponsored by:

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Go to www.bassStalker.com and you will see a quality jig at a fair price. Jigs are available in rubber or silicone in an assortment of different colors.

Kevin Best
by Kevin Best, Angler's Choice Bass Boats Superstore Pro Staff

     

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