Jig Fishing Tips To Catch Bigger Bass This Winter

Winter Bass Fishing Videos
Cliff Pirch dives deep into winter jig fishing, focusing on maximizing your catches during the chillier months. Whether you're in Arizona or the Ozarks, here's your guide to winter jig fishing success.

Gear and Tackle

7’ 7” Phenix Super Flipper rod: https://bit.ly/3tMOAaw 

Big Bite Baits Scentsation Ramtail -- https://bit.ly/472B9kX

Big Bite Baits Scentsation Quarantine Craw -- https://bit.ly/3BXUl6r 


Hey, guys, Cliff Pirch here. Today we're talking about Wintertime Fishing and, specifically Wintertime Fishing with a Jig. I'm from Arizona, so wintertime is still pretty good fishing for us. We get to fish 12 months out of the year and wintertime really doesn't get all that down for us. You know, our fish tend to continue to feed through the winter. A lot of the places in the country, it gets pretty cold and regardless of where you're at, their metabolism is a little bit slower in the wintertime and one of the more preferred foods that they eat is going to be crawdads. Usually, you're coming into that pre-spawn period, those females, a lot of times they're eating crawdads to kind of bulk up and it's just something solid that they get on that time of year.

So, I'm targeting rocks. One of the best ways to fish rocks is a football head, and sometimes a pea head, and sometimes a finesse jig. Right here I've got a football head down where I'm at. A lot of times I really like a 3/4 ounce or 1 ounce football head. It just tends to get them to bite, tends to trigger bites, and it's just a really good way to catch a nice bag of bass. Now, if I was fishing in the Ozarks, you know, they're still fishing rocks that time of year, but they're fishing kind of bends, and creek channel bends, the ends of bluff ends, and they're looking for where that chunk rock happens and a lot of times they're targeting more with a small football head, like, we're going down to, like, a 1/2 ounce to 3/8 to a 1/4 ounce or maybe even a finesse jig that might even be down to 1/8 ounce. So, sometimes I've got a set of jigs lined up here, you know, this one's about a 1/4. It's still the football jig shape. If you're going with a spinning rod, you know, you've got to get down into that 1/8 ounce or 3/16 ounce range. I'm going to use a spinning rod and go with lighter line. Obviously, it's a really slow presentation, but that's something they do in the Ozarks part of the country is go to the real light, real finesse-type jigs.

Some of the differences, now if I'm fishing in Arizona with my 1/4 ounce, I like that kicking tails, something like the Ramtail from Big Bite Baits is going to fit well with a 1ounce, a 3/4 ounce. Now, if I'm fishing in the Ozarks, I've got a little bitty jig kind of paired. This is about a 3/8 ounce jig. I've paired it with the Quarantine Craw and what I've done is just clipped off the bottom end of this. I want a nice crawdad shape there, not too big. You know, I'm going a little bit finessier, especially, in that part of the country. So, that Quarantine Craw doesn't have quite the wild action. It's a little more narrow and a little bit more compact, and you're not going to get that same kind of action when you go that light with your weight. So, they're getting a really good look at it. So, I'm going more craw than I am more with the kicking legs. 

So, this again, this is the Quarantine Craw and I'm using lighter line. You know, I'm probably going on a spinning rod. I'm going, you know, my 20-pound small diameter braid to a 10-pound liter, 12-pound liter, possibly even an 8-pound liter fluorocarbon. But in any case, they're going to get a whole lot better look at it than they are with my 3/4-ounce football jig going by. 

So, when I'm fishing my wintertime light jig, I really like to make it look nice. This is a hand tied jig that I've done. I've got a little bit of my silicone green on here to give some good accents and then I've got some brown and orange living rubber. And you can see that I've really trimmed this one up because, you know, when you go down to 3/8, 1/4, you know, down to 1/8 ounce, that jig's falling really slow. So, they're going to get a really good look at it. It tends to be really clear water. So I want it to look really nice. I've taken and I've trimmed off the back end where I've got kind of that little craw flare that's like the crawdad tail. You know, I've trimmed the sides where my jig just kind of stands out a little bit. And I've even left some long tentacles on there to look like the, you know, the crawdad antenna. So, again, they get such a good look at it that I want it to be really nice.

If you're swimming this big 3/4 ounce or 1 ounce, not quite as important because it's moving a little bit faster. I still like to make it look real nice, real crawdaddy. But when it comes to my little light finesse jigs, you know, I'm going real natural. Green pumpkins, browns, I'm matching those crawdad colors. Sometimes, you know, a favorite one is like a PB&J. That's another good popular one in the Ozarks and even in the Southwest, that brown and purple. But natural colors, they get a good look. And, again, it just mimics those little bitty crawdads that they're feeding on that time of year. 

Again, they get on those rocks not only for food, but it's the right position for where they're at that time of year. They're out a little bit. They're just outside of the creek mouths or on those bluff ends. Gives them quick access to deep water. And the jig is a really good way to target those rocks. So, there's a couple of reasons why those bass are there. One, the food, two, the location, and, also, gives them that deep access, that deep access to good deep water.

So, those are some of my winter jig techniques or just some details about winter jig fishing. Again, if you're fishing a big football head, you're talking about crawling the rocks, and long casts, and just kind of contouring down those points, just kind of counting down. It might get heavy. You might feel a tick. Either way, you've got to set the hook really fast. Now, if I'm going with my lighter stuff, my little finesse jigs, probably spinning gear and it's still going to be a hard hook set, but you're using light line and it's a little wire hook. 

So, those are some differences, but bass really like crawdads that time of year, and they really get on the type of cover that holds crawdads and sometimes they say it's more for that warmth that those rocks hold in, sometimes it's just because it's a harder bottom and a lot of times that rock happens where it breaks off to deep water. So, there's a number of reasons that hold the bass there and a jig is a good way to go after them. So, winter jig fishing tips, hopefully, that helps you out depending on what part of the country you're in, and hope you catch a big bag and win the tournament.

BassResource may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using a link above.