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BigAngus752

This is it!!! Top lure of the year!!!

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Okay, so it's MY top lure of the year and I am probably the only one that cares but please keep reading as I could use some expert advice.  Looking back at my 2018 fishing logs I was surprised to find that this was the lure that produced the most numbers.  And not by a little either.  Not the biggest fish, but the most by far.  I sat down to figure out why and this is what I came up with:

 

When 2018 opened I set down one ground rule; no spinnerbait fishing.  This was important because it has always been my favorite way to fish and I use it as a crutch.  So, I decided to set them aside for the entire year so I could focus on other (any other) presentations.  The result was that I fished a whole bunch of techniques that I had little experience with and some I had never tried.  I very much enjoyed it but it turns out that, in an effort to be successful in finding fish with these new techniques, I would almost usually start with this lipless crank as a "search bait".  It was perfect for that role because it only cost me $1.96 at Walmart and I was willing to throw it ANYWHERE.  I mean into any location that was sure to snag, and I hung it up a million times but always managed to get it back and, apparently, I also caught a whole lot of fish with it.  As you can see some mean, old bass plucked his eye out and he's been roughed up quite a bit for one season of fishing.  I'm not complaining about catching all those fish, but I think I can do better.  

 

Here is where the advice comes in.  I have a new plan for 2019.  I'm not choosing to set aside one technique, instead I am going to try to focus almost exclusively on jig fishing and plastics.  Is it viable for me to expect success through all the seasons if I limit myself to just jigs and plastics?  I feel like the jig is such a productive lure that I could have a successful year with just that.  I'm sure I will break down and throw the occasionally hollow-body frog ('cause it's the most fun you can have on the water) but I'm a very inexperienced jig fisherman and I want to get good at it.  Do you envision me getting frustrated with this rule I have made for myself?  Any tips for jigs by season?  

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Sounds like a good plan.

 

You need to go online and view and read all about the different types of jigs and where and when to use them. This study will include the types of and test strength of your lines. Your rod rating (medium/heavy) and if you want a fast tip or not comes into the formula. Plus the rod's length plays a role in your jig and plastics fishing.

 

View the different plastics you can use as pigs. Rage Tail pigs have a fast movement while Zoom pigs are slower. There is a place and time for each and you want to either match the jig's color or have a conflicting color in addition to its weight.

 

Color mix is important, too, when jig fishing. So learn which color threads work the best and under what types of conditions.

 

As for plastics, you have a lot of techniques to chose among from Texas rigs to shaky heads, drop shots, Carolina rigs, on jig heads or with tungsten or lead weights, the Ned Rig, the Tokyo rig, wacky rigs, the Biffle rig, etc.  And the line type and test is important, too. You may want to have three rods set up for each presentation based on line test.

 

There are hundreds of types of plastics you can consider throwing. For a list of what Zoom has to offer check out this site: http://virginiaguidebaitco.com/ Look at all catalogs and postings to see what Zoom has to offer. Then go online and see what else is out there from the other manufacturers.

 

What you learn for your baitcasters you need to duplicate for your spinning setups. Learn how to pitch and flip like Denny Brauer. You need to learn how to skip your bait on both a spinning rig and a baitcaster to get under docks and overhanging branches.

 

Check out the various plastics out there, including Berkley's new "The General."

 

Getting back to jigs, are you going to practice throwing a swim jig? It is a great search bait like your lipless crank bait. It is not a spinnerbait but it comes close.

 

Have fun experimenting.

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The Jig is one of the most productive lures for fishing heavy cover of any type known to anglers.

 

The Jig is one of the most productive lures for catching larger than average bass.

 

But despite its pure awesomeness the angler must keep in mind there will be days when the bass simply do not want a jig.

 

So to all the young anglers (not chronological but experientially) struggling when casting, flipping, pitching, or punching with the Awesome Jig keep in mind there will be times when the Jig aint gonna be that AWESOME.

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1 hour ago, Sam said:

Sounds like a good plan.

 

You need to go online and view and read all about the different types of jigs and where and when to use them. This study will include the types of and test strength of your lines. Your rod rating (medium/heavy) and if you want a fast tip or not comes into the formula. Plus the rod's length plays a role in your jig and plastics fishing.

 

View the different plastics you can use as pigs. Rage Tail pigs have a fast movement while Zoom pigs are slower. There is a place and time for each and you want to either match the jig's color or have a conflicting color in addition to its weight.

 

Color mix is important, too, when jig fishing. So learn which color threads work the best and under what types of conditions.

 

As for plastics, you have a lot of techniques to chose among from Texas rigs to shaky heads, drop shots, Carolina rigs, on jig heads or with tungsten or lead weights, the Ned Rig, the Tokyo rig, wacky rigs, the Biffle rig, etc.  And the line type and test is important, too. You may want to have three rods set up for each presentation based on line test.

 

There are hundreds of types of plastics you can consider throwing. For a list of what Zoom has to offer check out this site: http://virginiaguidebaitco.com/ Look at all catalogs and postings to see what Zoom has to offer. Then go online and see what else is out there from the other manufacturers.

 

What you learn for your baitcasters you need to duplicate for your spinning setups. Learn how to pitch and flip like Denny Brauer. You need to learn how to skip your bait on both a spinning rig and a baitcaster to get under docks and overhanging branches.

 

Check out the various plastics out there, including Berkley's new "The General."

 

Getting back to jigs, are you going to practice throwing a swim jig? It is a great search bait like your lipless crank bait. It is not a spinnerbait but it comes close.

 

Have fun experimenting.

Yes, I've been all over this for a couple months now.  I've got my various jig styles/weights and I've got set-ups for them.  I got to practice a little at the end of the year.  The only thing I'm really not sure about is the rate of fall and how trailers relate but that will come with time on the water.  I appreciate the tips.  I've got some experience with plastics and Zoom Trick Worms have been by fall back for catching fish for the last couple of years.  I recently found I love the Ned Rig with Z-Man ElaZtech stuff.  I'll be going through a lot of those this year.  

17 minutes ago, Catt said:

The Jig is one of the most productive lures for fishing heavy cover of any type known to anglers.

 

The Jig is one of the most productive lures for catching larger than average bass.

 

But despite its pure awesomeness the angler must keep in mind there will be days when the bass simply do not want a jig.

 

So to all the young anglers (not chronological but experientially) struggling when casting, flipping, pitching, or punching with the Awesome Jig keep in mind there will be times when the Jig aint gonna be that AWESOME.

Thanks for this.  I get pretty stubborn.  This will help. 

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I applaud your dedication. What you're contemplating is a great way to master a technique, but a very difficult plan to stick with for an entire season. Heck, I'd venture to say a majority of anglers couldn't do it for one day, let alone an entire season.

My only recommendation is to limit your choice of trailers and soft plastics to a couple of styles and colors. For trailers, pick an action and a subtle one, say a RageTail and a chunk. For soft plastics,do the same. An action tail worm and a stick worm as an example. Pick a couple of colors based on water clarity and go for it.

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I had a plan similar to yours last year.............I vowed to have a jig tied on at all times and use it.........I was not good with jigs going into the year.  It paid off big time............several bass over 20 inches all but one on a jig. 

 

But...........I did not limit myself to just using jigs, I still used other lures as the situation called for, but used jigs 99% of the times I went fishing. 

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This is pretty much how I learned to fish a jig, I picked it up and refused to put it down even when it wasn't working. I had some bad days, but the more I used it the fewer bad days I had with it. Don't make it too complicated. Pick a few tried and true colors and sizes, a couple trailers and trailer colors and just fish them. 

 

I found on a lot of those days they wouldn't eat a jig off the bottom, I could tie on a black and blue or white jig and swim it and catch fish like I was fishing a spinnerbait. Still technically catching them on a jig, but giving myself a break from the slow jig fishing routine. Also good around vegetation and muck that makes a jig less effective. 

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Jigs are great lures, with a proven track record of catching good size bass. Jig fisherman are usually some of the more skilled anglers on any lake. It will take some time and practice. Jigs can also be some of the hardest baits to learn. 

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I think you will fall off the wagon . LOL .  I could not stick to limitations like that ,  not even for one outing .

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6 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

This is pretty much how I learned to fish a jig, I picked it up and refused to put it down even when it wasn't working. I had some bad days, but the more I used it the fewer bad days I had with it. Don't make it too complicated. Pick a few tried and true colors and sizes, a couple trailers and trailer colors and just fish them. 

 

I found on a lot of those days they wouldn't eat a jig off the bottom, I could tie on a black and blue or white jig and swim it and catch fish like I was fishing a spinnerbait. Still technically catching them on a jig, but giving myself a break from the slow jig fishing routine. Also good around vegetation and muck that makes a jig less effective. 

This is so true..........

I use two types of jig,,,,,,,swim jig and a hybrid jig........

Black/Blue

Natural browns

White/Chartreuse with a hint of red or orange

 

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8 hours ago, papajoe222 said:

but a very difficult plan to stick with for an entire season

That's just my personality.  My life pretty much revolves around testing my self-discipline, LOL. 

8 hours ago, Dens228 said:

I had a plan similar to yours last year.............I vowed to have a jig tied on at all times and use it.........I was not good with jigs going into the year.  It paid off big time............several bass over 20 inches all but one on a jig. 

 

But...........I did not limit myself to just using jigs, I still used other lures as the situation called for, but used jigs 99% of the times I went fishing. 

 

This is what I have in mind, I just don't want to fall back to something else unless absolutely necessary.  Thanks for the input.  This is encouraging.  

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1 hour ago, scaleface said:

I think you will fall off the wagon . LOL .  I could not stick to limitations like that ,  not even for one outing .

I'm almost 50yrs old, I am an avid bodybuilder, and I maintain a consistent body fat percentage of about 10% year round.  I work out five or six days a week and I eat an extremely strict diet which typically results in me eating the same foods every single day.  My co-workers call me "The Food Police" because I encourage them to eat clean and I never give in to temptation, even when our workplace is stacked full of holiday treats.  Sticking with a single technique 99% of the time isn't going to be a problem.  It's my personality to suffer.  What I don't want to do, though, is be so stubborn (or inexperienced) that I don't recognize that a specific set of circumstances makes a jig or plastics an inappropriate choice.  Pre-spawn for example.  Other than a bladed jig, I'm not sure pre-spawn and the need for moving baits is going to work out well if I just stick to jigs and plastics.  I feel like the bladed jig is cheating a little but I'm going to have to have a bunch of @Siebert Outdoors Fogys standing buy when I need a mover.  

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Can’t go wrong with a Rat-L-Trap. Nice pattern. Keep fishing it and keep your eyes open for more at that price. Have 2 or 3 of that pattern. 

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12 hours ago, BigAngus752 said:

Is it viable for me to expect success through all the seasons if I limit myself to just jigs and plastics?  

I should think so.  In fact, one season probably isnt enough.   'Jigs and plastics' covers a huge spectrum of lures.  If you include swim and bladed jigs, even more so.   Hard to imagine many types of bites that you can't cover aside from maybe dead-stick topwater or a very cold (slow) jerk bait bite. 

While working on jigs, dont sleep on finesse jigs.  It can open a wider world of jig fishing presentations.

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Don't miss the tree for the forest, sticking to one or few lures and throwing them with abandon with no regard for their safety is the lesson here. Jigs are great, but when they don't want them, they really don't want them, of course when they do, It's game on. Good lesson learned so far, go get 'em.

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You are going to need a searchbait...

 

How much cover is in the waters you fish? The traditional style of jig fishing is perfect for fishing cover. To search large areas of water you need to fish it as a swimjig. A swimjig can work well in weedy water that treble-hooked lures get caught in but my guess is if you had so much success on a lipless crank your going to be disappointed with a swimjig unless you fish it in different areas. 

 

Soft-plastics also lend themselves more to target-casting than search-casting. You can search large areas quickly with paddle-tail swimbaits or flukes, but it lends itself more to areas that treble-hooked lures can’t fish, just like the swimjig. 

 

I’m sure you would get better with jigs and soft plastics, but it seems to me it would be more productive to fish them a lot but also fish other baits to figure out how best to incorporate jigs and plastics into your system of fishing. Fishing isn’t just a matter of getting good with each lure, but knowing when to fish what lure to always be using the most productive lure for the situation. 

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I was not at all confident in jigs and last year my goal was to fish a jig until I knew I could catch fish on it. Well, it went from one of my least favorite lures to my second favorite (sorry frog always wins). I now will throw it more than any other lure I own. So my advice is go somewhere where there are fish (even if they are small) and stick with it until you grow confidence on these smaller fish.  I guarantee you if you put time and patience into it, jigs will become a vital lure in your arsenal. Good luck!

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I used a jig instead of soft plastics all of 2018 because I wanted to get better at it and I did. My best jig fish of 2018 was a 6.92 lb. If I may give a little advice, don't overthink it. I bought several different styles and colors, but I ended up using one jig pretty much exclusively. It's a 3/16 oz. black/blue custom jig made from a grass style head. I don't suggest you need to order custom jigs or use the style, color or weight I use, but wire tied jigs made with premium hooks will last a long time. Detecting strikes, especially of bigger bass, takes a lot of practice. You might notice the bait move more than you'll feel it. Set that hook really hard as soon as you can and don't let up. Don't try to play the fish and tire it out. Yank them all the way in the boat. That means a good, stout MH rod, tight drag and good line. I use 30 lb braid with a leader of 15# mono. Line is whatever you feel comfy with, but it should be able to take a beating in cover. Trailers are more a matter of preference than anything else. My favorite right now is the Chigger Craw. Just make it match the jig size.

 

I've had the most success fishing the bait right up on wood structure and cover next to the bank, but near deeper water. Cast it right up in the cover. Here's another little tip I learned. If you want to get more bites, you can use a smaller weedless jighead with a Hula Grub or plain twin tail grub. These will entice more bites from smaller fish, but the big mamas will still eat it. It will give you more practice that way. You can overthink the jigheads or you can just start with an Arky style. It will cover most bases. Then you can branch out as you see a need.

 

Most bites will come on the drop as it enters the water or right as you start to move it. No need to get in a hurry. I'm guilty of this all the time. Work it slowly. Big bass can't tolerate it in their living room. You can still cover a lot of bank in a day if you're casting directly to targets. Let us know how it went for you. No need to wait unless the water is hard. They'll bite the jig in cold water.

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Of course I take 6 or 7 other rods with me. You need to have other avenues if you plan to catch bass every trip.

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1 hour ago, ratherbfishin1 said:

I was not at all confident in jigs and last year my goal was to fish a jig until I knew I could catch fish on it. Well, it went from one of my least favorite lures to my second favorite (sorry frog always wins). I now will throw it more than any other lure I own. So my advice is go somewhere where there are fish (even if they are small) and stick with it until you grow confidence on these smaller fish.  I guarantee you if you put time and patience into it, jigs will become a vital lure in your arsenal. Good luck!

That's definitely something I will continue to throw!  Love those frogs!  

2 hours ago, FCPhil said:

You are going to need a searchbait...

I used to think so, but I have to disagree now.  What I learned this year from trying to use that lipless as a "search bait" is that I was missing fish.  I started experimenting by drifting shorelines and dropoffs with the wind using the lipless.  I found that I could consistently catch a couple fish with the lipless and then troll back against the wind going slower with a Trick Worm and catch at least one or two more.  Not a huge believer in the "search bait" anymore.  I think it's important to study and pick an area (based on all factors) where the fish SHOULD be and then figure out what they want.  

1 hour ago, the reel ess said:

I used a jig instead of soft plastics all of 2018 because I wanted to get better at it and I did. My best jig fish of 2018 was a 6.92 lb. If I may give a little advice, don't overthink it. I bought several different styles and colors, but I ended up using one jig pretty much exclusively. It's a 3/16 oz. black/blue custom jig made from a grass style head. I don't suggest you need to order custom jigs or use the style, color or weight I use, but wire tied jigs made with premium hooks will last a long time. Detecting strikes, especially of bigger bass, takes a lot of practice. You might notice the bait move more than you'll feel it. Set that hook really hard as soon as you can and don't let up. Don't try to play the fish and tire it out. Yank them all the way in the boat. That means a good, stout MH rod, tight drag and good line. I use 30 lb braid with a leader of 15# mono. Line is whatever you feel comfy with, but it should be able to take a beating in cover. Trailers are more a matter of preference than anything else. My favorite right now is the Chigger Craw. Just make it match the jig size.

 

I've had the most success fishing the bait right up on wood structure and cover next to the bank, but near deeper water. Cast it right up in the cover. Here's another little tip I learned. If you want to get more bites, you can use a smaller weedless jighead with a Hula Grub or plain twin tail grub. These will entice more bites from smaller fish, but the big mamas will still eat it. It will give you more practice that way. You can overthink the jigheads or you can just start with an Arky style. It will cover most bases. Then you can branch out as you see a need.

 

Most bites will come on the drop as it enters the water or right as you start to move it. No need to get in a hurry. I'm guilty of this all the time. Work it slowly. Big bass can't tolerate it in their living room. You can still cover a lot of bank in a day if you're casting directly to targets. Let us know how it went for you. No need to wait unless the water is hard. They'll bite the jig in cold water.

That's awesome stuff right there.  Thanks.  Unfortunately it's 12 degrees here right now.  I could park my truck on most of our water.  

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funny. prespawn is my favorite time to throw a jig. the only times i seem to struggle with a jig is in rapidly falling water. fish seem to pull away from the shallow cover and, for me, jig fishing gets tougher when i'm not throwing to visible cover. if i'm having to "blind cast" to a ledge or something i do better dragging a texas rig. unless you can count a swing head for those situations, i lose confidence in the jig.

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This is a long thread that I don’t have the time to read now. 

My initail response is the op likes fast moving lures and fishes along the bank target casting.

Jigs and soft plastics are slower more precise presentations, so my advice is start with lures you enjoy using. Locate active before before you try something new, it’s hard to slow down when you are not catching bass.

Tom

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17 hours ago, BigAngus752 said:

Yes, I've been all over this for a couple months now.  I've got my various jig styles/weights and I've got set-ups for them.  I got to practice a little at the end of the year.  The only thing I'm really not sure about is the rate of fall and how trailers relate but that will come with time on the water.  I appreciate the tips.  I've got some experience with plastics and Zoom Trick Worms have been by fall back for catching fish for the last couple of years.  I recently found I love the Ned Rig with Z-Man ElaZtech stuff.  I'll be going through a lot of those this year.  

Thanks for this.  I get pretty stubborn.  This will help. 

With trick worms and Ned in the rotation on the plastics side, along with the jigs, as long as you keep your presentation options open (variety), you'll have no problem sticking with it and catching fish year round. If it's what you want to do, then go for it. Some days will be slower than others, but there probably won't be many days you don't at least stick a few.

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2 hours ago, bagofdonuts said:

funny. prespawn is my favorite time to throw a jig.

Same here or Texas rig craw(my favorite). Best time for me to catch the most and biggest fish of the year is PreSpawn.

@BigAngus752My favorite way to fish is soft plastics but sometimes they just don't want a slow moving bait. That Cotton Cordell Glitter Shad you got there has also caught me a lot of fish when the jig/trig isn't working😉

 

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8 hours ago, BigAngus752 said:

That's definitely something I will continue to throw!  Love those frogs!  

I used to think so, but I have to disagree now.  What I learned this year from trying to use that lipless as a "search bait" is that I was missing fish.  I started experimenting by drifting shorelines and dropoffs with the wind using the lipless.  I found that I could consistently catch a couple fish with the lipless and then troll back against the wind going slower with a Trick Worm and catch at least one or two more.  Not a huge believer in the "search bait" anymore.  I think it's important to study and pick an area (based on all factors) where the fish SHOULD be and then figure out what they want.  

That's awesome stuff right there.  Thanks.  Unfortunately it's 12 degrees here right now.  I could park my truck on most of our water.  

How fast would you retrieve your lipless crankbait? I guess I don’t necessarily mean just covering water until you cross fish, I mean more just a horizontal retrieve that let’s you fish a bigger area for a reaction strike. 

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