Jig Fishing Tips To Catch Bigger Bass This Spring!

Spring Bass Fishing
Pro Cliff Pirch breaks his silence and reveals all about jig fishing in the spring. Discover the importance of the spawn phase, the ideal jig setup, including the flipping jig, optimal line weight, and color choices. Learn how to select the perfect jig weight, skirt materials, and trailers for different conditions. Get tips on finding prime bass locations in spring and perfecting your presentation for maximum bites. Boost your confidence and fishing game with these insightful tips. Happy flipping!

Gear and Tackle

7’ 11” Phenix Super Flipper rod: https://bit.ly/3tMOAaw 

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


Hey, guys, Cliff Pirch here today with bassresource.com and I want to tell you a little bit about Jig Fishing in the Spring. So, the spring fishing, a lot of times that means the spawn, for bass it's going to be sometime pre-spawn, little spawn or post-spawn, but it all is going to revolve around the spawn. So, that means they're going to be going shallow, spending most of their time in the shallower part of the water column. So, I'm going to opt for a flipping jig.

Flipping jig, what it does for me, it allows me to fish heavy cover, all kinds of bank structure, whether it be a laydown, whether it be a dock, Tullies, grass, whatever shallow cover you've got, a flipping jig is going to allow me to fish that water column real efficiently. So, some of the basic things go into my flipping jig, basically, I've got a heavier wire hook. I'm using heavy line. This is spooled up with 65-pound braid. I've got a 25-pound fluorocarbon leader. I really don't want them getting a good look at the line. The flipping jig is not moving real fast, so I like to use that fluorocarbon leader if I've got some visibility. If it's muddy or really tannic, you can just go straight braid if you don't have much visibility. 

You can see I've gone to the black-blue jig here. That's probably one of the most common colors. I use a crawdad color and sometimes just a dark black-blue color. Black blue is common because it just catches them everywhere in the country. When it comes to water clarity, black-blue is good in dirty water, muddy water, tannic water, things that are a little bit more off.

Now, if I'm going to be fishing some clear water, a lot of times I'm going to want to gear more naturally. I'm going to go towards those green pumpkins, watermelons, browns. I want to match those crawdads and I want to be kind of close. 

A little trick you can use, turn over a few rocks, get in those shallows, turn over a few rocks, look to see what color those crawdads are. That gives me confidence and it helps me to match my jig to what they're used to eating and what they're used to seeing. So, it looks a little more natural and it probably more than anything helps with my confidence. I know, that I'm throwing what's important. I know, that I'm close to that color combination, so it really helps with my confidence. Anytime your confidence is high, you're going to catch more. You're going to fish better, you're going to fish cleaner, you're going to fish more focused. So, I want my confidence to be real strong. So, again, that's why I go with kind of knowing what color to throw.

But more about the flipping jig itself, I'm going with a heavy wire hook. I've got all this heavy line on here. It's going to be a little bit more bulky hook, kind of a heavy wire because when you crack them, your short line, I'm using a flipping stick. This is a Phenix Super Flipper. It's a 7'11", so a lot of length, a lot of power. And on a short line, no stretch with the braid, you need a hook that's not going to give when you set the hook. So, that's another part that makes it up.

I've got a pretty good weed guard on there. Again, I'm going right in the heart of the cover, whether it's skipping way back under docks, back inside dock poles, or back in the middle of a lay-down tree, underneath a willow. I've got that weed guard. Basically, that's going to allow me to fish it through that cover without getting hung up. You get hung up, you've messed up the spot. So, anytime you can maximize your opportunities by making perfect shots and getting through the cover, you're going to catch that fish. 

Every time you flip somewhere, you believe that you're going to catch a fish there. So, I'm not making any flips that I don't already think there's a good chance of catching one. So, I want every one of those opportunities to maximize the chances of catching one. I want to make sure it comes through the cover well. That big heavy weed guard allows me to get through those limbs and whatever it may be before I get hung up, I get that bite. So, that's how that works.

As far as the head style on my flipping jig, a lot of times, I like a real archy style head. I don't get real tricky with weights. I really like a 1/2 ounce if I can get away with it. Occasionally, I might go 5/8 to get a little deeper, a little faster, and I might go 3/8 if it's really, really shallow. But, ideally, I want to be flipping a 1/2-ounce flipping jig. That's my favorite. It's most confident, most comfortable. It gives me good efficiency with how it falls, and the speed, the efficiency of how I can cover the most water. So, I really like 1/2 ounce. It's really a good size for me as long as I can get away with it.

Now, if it's real shallow, you're talking about a foot or less or maybe 2 feet, sometimes going with a 3/8 might be better. Or if you're trying to use some current that might be up against the bank trying to float the current, I might use a little lighter jig, like a 3/8 ounce, and try to get it in a real natural fall. But that 1/2 ounce really does it for me most of the time. I'm going to get your reactive strike. I'm going to be really efficient in covering the country. And it works well on my rod. I feel like a 1/2 ounce is good for skipping. It's good for long, comfortable, accurate, precise flips. And every time I pitch it around, it's going where I want it to go. So, 1/2 ounce is what I want to use most of the time. I vary it with conditions. So, if you need to get a little deeper, that 5/8 ounce sometimes will help you. If you've got some good clarity, you're flipping a deep sea wall, deeper docks, brush piles, stuff like that, I might go to the 5/8. But that's kind of the things that I think are important, size-wise, weight-wise.

Far as my skirt goes, a lot of times I'll hand tie my skirts. If I'm going natural, the browns, green pumpkins, watermelons, I like to use a little bit of living rubber. So, I tie some brown living rubber on there. I might use some color accents with a little bit of watermelon silicone, maybe a couple of orange strands to get some pop. A lot of crawfish have orange claws, orange tips, orange tips of their feet, or they might just be real orange. There are some places you go in the country where they're really orange, or the bottom half of them is orange. So, again, that's something that comes from looking at what crawdads look like where you're fishing. So, my natural colors, I'm going to go with a little bit of silicone for color accents. A lot of times I'm going to use some living rubber. I feel like it just gives a little better action. And black and blue, usually, I'm just using silicone. Sometimes I'll put some black living rubber in there to get that spring, a little bit more spring. Black blue, because of the water conditions I'm, usually, fishing it in, I don't feel like it's quite as critical because it's muddy water, it's tannic water, the visibility is less. I'm throwing that black so that they can see it best. So, the natural colors, they're going to get the best look at it, so I want it to be the prettiest as possible. So silicone, a lot of times when I'm black blue, living rubber when I'm going for those natural colors.

As far as the jig trailers I use, I really like to use the Ramtail Craw from Big Bite Baits. It's a new one. It's made out of the Scentsation soft plastics. It's got a lot of strong scent. That way, that doesn't necessarily attract a lot of fish to your bait. They're really sight feeders, but what it does is, if the bite is light where you don't feel it right away, they might hang on to it longer. So, I like that scent. It's going to give me a little better chance for them to hold on to that bait longer, you know, recognize that bite when it happens. So, it's the Scentsation soft plastics. 

aAgain, this is the Ramtail Craw. It's kind of a short compact. I want compact. I want that crawdad shape, you know what I mean? When I was a kid, live bait fishing, we would catch crawdads and live bait fish. The best crawdads to use were the little ones. You would wait a long time to get a bite on a big crawdad. So, when I was a kid, I learned that those small, medium-sized crawdads were the ones they really liked to eat the most. I don't know if it's because of the claws, because the shell gets so hard, but that's why I like the compact. So, I'll trim my jig skirt a little bit and the ramtail craw is pretty compact.

Another thing it does, it's got really good vibration. Super important when I'm in muddy water, dirty water, I can get them to feel that bait. Bass have a lateral line, they're going to feel that a lot of times. So, with that vibration, when those legs start to kick, this is designed to have that good kick and vibration. So, It's just something else that the bass can hone in on the bait with. It's got good vibration and I think that's, basically, the gist of my flipping jigs.

As far as where I'm going to fish in the spring, I'm looking for the places where the fish are going to go spawn. So, if I've had really warm weather, I'm going to look towards the backs, I'm going to look towards those flats, places where they spawn. If it's a little bit cold and they're just starting to move in, I might look around the mouths of creeks, mouths of coves cuts for that cover that's on its way in, maybe on a secondary point. Maybe on its way in somewhere. Like I said, if it's been warm a long time, they're probably going to be further along, so I might go a little further back. Same goes with kind of the post, the last end of the spawn. I might start looking out a little bit, but you get those bites as you're practicing, as you're fishing, each bite gives you a little bit of evidence. So, you know, hey, I'm getting bit in the back of everyone, or two-thirds of the way back, or all of them are coming near the mouth. Well, once you get a little bit of that evidence, then you can kind of keep patterning those fish, going from spot to spot, fishing the right cover, maximizing your time. Again, that's just the best way to fish is to use that evidence to maximize your time, put the jig the places that are most likely to get bit. That's a couple of my flipping jig tips.

As far as my presentation, a lot of times I'm going to use a hop or a slow lift. They might bite it on the fall. Anytime you feel them, I just go in and crack them. I don't wait long on the jig. Once they get it in their mouth, they've got it. That's the beauty about fishing a jig, really good hook up ratio and really good landing ratio. Once they get it, you feel that tick, I'm just going to go ahead and blast them. On my flipping stick, that means a full on hook set. That's the historic haul back-and-whack-them type of hook set. Flipping jig, I'm going to use a strong hook set.

I feel, like, that covers it for the flipping jig. You know, there's a lot of other little intricacies about it, but again, spring fishing, I'm going to look shallow. Flipping jig is going to target those bass that are eating crawdads, eating bluegills. A lot of that stuff that they're starting to feed up for the spawn and stuff that they eat around that shallow cover that they get around. That's going to be the way I'm going to go. I hope you catch them and good luck flipping.