Swim Jigs Are Not Just For Largemouth
By Scott M. Petersen
The last time I wrote about the Outkast Swim Jigs largemouth were the target, but in the last few years I have found a few more uses for my swim jig. In today's article we are going to look at targeting springtime smallmouth. You will be as amazed as I have been at the catching power of the swim jig.
After spending the long winter in the depths, smallies cannot wait to get into the shallows to put on the feed bag, while looking for spawning areas along the way. One of the main baits to target springtime smallies is a tube bait, but a few years ago, while on a smallie outing to Chequamegon Bay, a tube was the last thing that a smallmouth wanted. We had to dig into the tackle bags for a new bait that would possibly get us some bites. I tried a Texas rigged Stick Worm rigged on a weighted hook and I had a few smallies take the bait, but I was not setting the world on fire. There had to be a better option. Having been largemouth fishing the weekend before, I had a Swim Jig already rigged and ready to go on one of my rods. Grabbing the rod, I fired a cast to the edge of the shoreline, letting the bait sink to about a two count. I started to slowly reel the jig back to the boat. After a few turns of the reel the line tightened. I set the hook and after a short run, the smallie was air bound and the fight was on.
As the day went on, the Swim Jig fast became the bait to be fishing. The smallies wanted a bait that was moving, but breaking it down further, they wanted a jig/grub combo. This swim jig/grub combination was the ticket the first day. With the smallies just seeming to start their search of the shallows they had roaming on their minds. Having seen the weather forecast for the next day, we decided to spend one more day and try our swim jig tactic. However, when we got back to our fishing area we noticed a change had taken place overnight.
Moving into the back of the bay, we noticed smallies starting to hold next to cover, selecting places to spawn in few days. Casting the swim jig in the area close to the smallies did not get any attention from them. Today's fishing was going to be about getting the jig next to cover. When we would see the smallies sitting next to cover, we had to drop the jig next to the cover to get a bite. As for the in between stops we could still catch the roaming smallies in the shallows with the swim jig.
When the two day smallie catch-fest was over, my partner and I had landed almost one hundred smallies. The majority of these fish were taken on an Outkast Swim Jig.
When it comes to rod and reel set up for this smallmouth tactic I generally fish a 1/4 ounce to 3/8 ounce Outkast Swim Jig on a baitcaster setup. For this I use a seven foot medium action baitcaster rod, teamed with a matching reel, spooled with twelve to fifteen pound P-Line Halo line. This is a fluorocarbon line that gives me more sensitivity than mono. Also, the lower line stretch helps get a good hook set at the end of the cast. Some of you may opt to use a spinning setup for this type of fishing. If that is the case, I would recommend the use of a seven medium action rod, teamed with a matched reel, spooled with either ten pound P-Line Halo or twenty pound Fire Line Crystal. If the smallies are a little line shy use a fluorocarbon leader with the Fire Line.
I feel the key to this bite is the jig and grub combo. When you are using this tactic experiment with your grub offering to see how the smallies react and make changes from there.
Create some memories. Please remember to practice CPR (Catch, Photo and Release). The future of fishing is in your hands. For more timely tips and tactics for bass please log onto fishinginsider.com