Structure Fishing

Elite Series pro Grant Goldbeck shows you how to structure fish with jigs!

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Hi, my name is Grant Goldbeck. I'm a Elite Series pro from the state of Maryland. One thing I'm always asked is what my favorite technique and application I like to bring to the table when I'm catching bass. I'm a structure fisher; I love offshore structure fishing. The one thing I found that's really important with structure fishing is giving the fish something different, not only giving them something different but trying to figure out what's going to get those fish to bite day by day. Some days they want it really slow, sometimes they want it popped off the bottom.

One of the techniques that I found that a lot of people don't do is actually taking a jig, staying off the structure a good ways and reeling it uphill, keeping contact with the bottom. I like to go to a one ounce jig for that most of the time, sometimes a 3/4 ounce. But I feel a one ounce usually maintains contact on the bottom really good.

Once that bait gets down to the bottom I like to keep that rod tip high and keep a steady wind on it. And what that does is it keeps that jig bouncing on the bottom, keeping contact. And it actually acts like a crankbait, but a weedless crankbait. I can go through brush, just about anything, rock down on the bottom. I'm not going to get hung up.

What it does for me, I feel, is it takes those bass that are inactive down there in the school, and it makes them active. A lot of times cranking that jig real slowly on the bottom will take that inactive school and make them active. It makes them decide whether they're going to eat something right this minute or maybe wait the whole entire day before an opportunity comes in front of them. Bass are opportunists and making them make that split decision a lot of times makes them make a decision they wouldn't normally make when they get a longer time to look at a bait.

When I'm offshore structure fishing, I like to put my bait together with twin tails a lot of time. Because the twin tails, what they do, is they'll actually get flapping. When you get them going like this, it looks like a crawfish in defense. When a crawfish is scooting backwards in an active, faster pace like that, generally it's when somethings chasing them.

It pretty much takes that predator and that prey, it takes that bass and puts him in a feeding situation, this is a crawfish trying to get away from me and I need to make that decision right now. I'm I going to eat it or not? And that steady cranks really, really makes it looks like a crawfish scooting away backwards.

I find this technique puts more fish in the boat for me when fish are inactive. To me, putting more fish in the boat, whether it's at a competitive level or just fun fishing, hey, that's what we're all out here for, to enjoy the day of fishing. And when your rod's bent, you're enjoying a day of fishing.


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