Thursday, October 9, 2014

Five Fabulous Fall Baits for Bass: Jigs

The power of the jig. 
By Luigi De Rose

Largemouth and smallmouth will eat
the jig equally well. Keep the jig on bottom close to
the bass will help you score. 
Football jigs, a close cousin to flipping jigs, were designed specifically for bouncing along deep, rocky bottoms. The major difference is its chubby football shaped head with the line tie at 90 to 60 degrees. This designed won’t wedge between boulders and is surprising good in thin vegetation. Most football jigs are heavy, 1/2oz to 1oz, ideal for staying on bottom. Strikes typically occur at the end of long casts so solid hooksets can be a challenge. Make sure it has an ultra sharp hook and thinned weed guard, if it has one at all.  

Football jigs are best worked around deep grasslines, bluff banks, bars, points or saddle areas between islands. Surprisingly, this technique is a quick and easy way to check expansive areas. It vacuuming up aggressive biters yet enticing fickle ones too. Work  footballs more like a crankbait or Carolina rig than a traditional jig. Dragging it with sweeping rod pulls or crawl it under a leisurely retrieve. Stick to a twin tail grub or frog chuck trailer. Olive, melon, pumpkin, peanut butter and jam, or craw colours are best.
Finesse & mini jigs
Finesse or mini jigs are a junior version of a flipping jig. These bite sized jigs are ideal in a multitude of fishing conditions. Ultra shallow, clear water, heavy fishing pressure, cold fronts or cold water are all ideal mini jig situations.
In high stakes tournaments in Ontario, the success of mini jigs have secretly flowed through the ranks of the elite. Big weights and top finishes speak volumes. Many anglers have literally turned their tournament career around solely on the success of mini jigs. Once an after though, these jigs are much underestimated. Much of it does have roots in scientific research. Immature crayfish evacuate the shallows to escape scores of predators. Bass living along deeper structure are accustom to feeding on smaller crayfish making a tinier jig an ideal snack. 

Compact sizes don’t always translate to dainty weights. A few companies pour finesse jigs up to 1/2oz and with strong hooks, but they’re a rare find. Skilled manufacturers shrewdly manipulated the lead head to remain minuscule yet heavy. Others have switched to tungsten, a pricy non-toxic lead alternative. Regardless, mini jigs can transform a day from hoe-hum to amazing.
Jigs are core bass tackle. Throw them more often and fine tune which type of jig will suit the fishing conditions your in will almost guarantee success. 

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