Boy, he came out, smacked it hard. Come here you. Caught you on a jig, buddy. This is a good one. Got a face full of jig right there. Pretty good fish. He wanted it. Boy, he wanted it. That worked. Let's go little buddy. There we go.
Hey, folks. Glenn May here with BassResource.com, and today I want to talk to you about fishing jigs in the summertime. Now jigs can be fished year around, don't get me wrong. They're very productive, but there are especially productive during the summer because you can fish them in so many different types of cover and different depths. You can fish it anywhere from six inches of water down to 60 feet of water if you want to, but it's really designed for a lot of heavy, thick cover.
Now something I want to talk to you a little about, finding summer bass. Just because it's summertime, you know, in the spring the majority of the fish are up shallow, they're concentrated up shallow. In the summertime, they tend to scatter and that leads a lot of people that believe that the fish abandon the shallows. They're gone. They all go deep, all of them. You know, that's not true.
Now what is true is sure, there's a lot of fish that do go out to the deeper structure. They go onto points. They go to offshore structure such as ledges, humps, ridges, channels, submerged bridges, roadbeds, anything that you can find offshore anywhere, say, you know, 15 feet or deeper, they do go there. And they'll stay there all summer long. And those are very productive areas to catch fish, don't get me wrong, go there fish them, catch them there. And I'm going to show you how to use the jig here in a minute to catch them in those types of structure. But I want you to understand that fish are also shallow during the summertime.
While it's true at 80 degrees and above, water tends to lose its ability or it starts to lose its ability to dissolve oxygen. It has less and less oxygen the higher the temperature gets. Don't get stuck into that and a lot of bass anglers do it. They look at one key component and they go, "Okay, that's how the fish are going to be today. That's what's going to dictate what they do and where they're going to be positioned." Don't get stuck in that because you can be fooled. So, for example, if you have a lot of weeds such as hydrilla, milfoil, lily pads, you know, going around the lake, those produce oxygen and you're going to have oxygen-rich water even when the temperatures in the upper 80s soaring into the 90s because there's a lot of oxygen there.
Also, if that vegetation during the middle of the into summer, it starts to mat over and causes thick canopies, well, that creates shade underneath the canopy and that can cool the water five degrees or more. So even though your temperature gauge is reading one thing, it's cooler underneath that canopy of vegetation and it can hold more oxygen.
In addition, that canopy, because it creates shade, it creates little hideouts so the bass can hide and ambush its prey. It also attracts insects and invertebrates, which in turn attract bait fish. And that's where the baitfish are, that's where the bass are. And that's really what dictates where the bass go, is where the baitfish are more than anything else during the summertime.
So pay close attention to that don't get fooled into thinking that, gee, water temperature or Ph level or whatever you have, isn't right. It's too sunny, too this, too that, so they won't be shallow. Don't believe that. You don't get hung up on that. You can catch them shallow. So a jig is very, very effective during the summertime, fishing shallow and deeper waters.
He probably was going. Here we go. All right. Come here you. Little buck bass. We'll take it, on a little jig. They're fun. They're fun. I'll take it. Boom.
Let's talk a little bit about the equipment here for fishing jigs. This one here is what I'm using for fish in shallow water like fishing today up in that structure, in that cover, that flooded bushes that I have here, flooded timber, a lot of thick weeds. So here I'm heavying up. I've got a heavy power, medium fast action rod. This is a seven-foot and with it I'm using a strong reel here. This has got a, I think, it's 16 or 18-pound drag, which is what you want because when you set up on the hook... I crank the drag all the way down. So when I set the hook, I make sure I got that fish. Once I have them hooked, then I back off on the drag and fight them back to the boat. That drag to me is something you use after you have the fish hooked. Until then, it doesn't come into play. So I crank it all the way down for that reason. So I want a strong drag for that purpose.
I'm using 50 pound Seaguar Smackdown Line, braided line, you've got to use that when you're fishing around vegetation and fishing around heavy cover. And then I've got on it here, this is a Siebert's jig and this is a three eighth-ounce jig with a Rage Craw as a trailer. Perfect little jig. You can see where the line tie is. That's what I like about that. It doesn't get hung up on a lot of stuff because the line tie is actually part of the head, so it doesn't stick out. So this is a really good bait to use when you fish in heavy cover.
There's a lot of different other types of jig heads and I've got a video that goes into jigs more specifically about the different types of jig heads to use, but this is what is a universal jig it and I use this a lot and the football head jig.
That was really my two go-to jig heads that I use for fishing in the summertime. Now if I wasn't fishing in the heavy cover and fishing in a little bit open water, I'm going to lighten up a little bit. I'll use a Seven-foot Medium Heavy Action rod with a fast action tip or Medium Heavy Power Rod with a fast action tip. I'll use 15-pound Seaguar InvizX for that. That's usually because I'm fishing in deeper water and it's usually more rocky than anything else. Braid is not very good around rocks. Rocks tend to fray braid and you can have break offs as a result. So braid is not as universal lines you might think, but 15-pound InvizX is. It's abrasion resistant. It's got low visibility, high sensitivity, perfect for fishing jigs, especially out in open water, around docks, that kind of stuff. So I use that when I'm fishing in a little bit deeper water. So those are the two different rigs are efficient. So let's get into the different techniques for fishing the jig during the summertime.
Smallmouth like ‘em too!
Okay. So the primary way I fished the jig during the summertime, it's all about the fall. So what I do is I pitch that lure out there and let it fall straight down on slack line. And I cock that reel handle, but what I'm doing is I'm watching that line all the way down as it falls. A lot of time in the summer the bass come, they bite it as it's falling, so you're not going to feel it on slack line. You gotta watch your line. You're looking for that line to pop, twitch or even swim off to one side, that's usually a fish...that's when a fish has it. Now sometimes what happens is...this is what I like to do is when I cast it out there, I do a countdown method. It takes one, two, three, okay, bottom. And then I cast again, one, two, three, bottom.
Now if I cast again and it goes one, okay, fish probably swam out there and grabbed it, or, say, I throw it out there and it goes, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, right? The next thing you know, there's fish grabbing it swimming off of it, so set the hook. Anytime it does something that you didn't impart, any kind of action, set the hook. It's usually a fish. It's hard to detect that bite. And that's the key thing with the jig is you gotta be a line watcher in order to do that. So let's say it's fallen all the way down, you let it hit the bottom, reel back up, and now you just want to let the backup and then fall right on back down again. This time I reel down a little bit as I dropped the rod tip. Now, the key with doing that is you're actually given it a little bit of slack line, but you are feeling it as it goes down. You get a little bit better chance now of actually feeling the bite because you're lifting up and you're dropping it down and you're reeling it tight as it goes to the bottom.
So there's a little bit better chance of you feeling... you still want to drop straight down though. Don't let it swim back to you. Let it drop back down. Now that most of the time is what I do when I'm fishing the jig and I catch a lot of fish doing that. I do that a couple of times. Once you get it away from the cover, just reel it back in. The fish isn't going to bite it once it's out in open water. They stay pretty close to cover. So you can cover a lot of water doing it that way, but let's just say, for example, the fish aren't as active.
There's another way to do this, when you throw it out here just again, cast it out. Let it hit the bottom like I just told you. Watch for the bite. Reel up once it hits the bottom. Reel up a little bit and get some tension in there to feel if there's a fish there. Sometimes you still can't see the bite and you'll feel it when you reel up.
You can't feel the bite? Great. Let it sit. You've got a little bit of tension in there, the line is tight, but let it sit and don't let it move. Now it may seem like that jig is sitting there, lying motionless on the bottom. Not true. Not true at all. What's happening is a couple things. First of all, the skirt is slowly flaring open and moving and if there's any kind of current or movement in the water, it's kind of breathing and undulating. In addition, you've got boat movement if you're on a boat and you've got wind that's causing the waves to lap up against your line and hit your line, that's causing that jig to kind of undulate and move and twitch and quiver.
Plus, I dare you to try to take your hand and hold it in one place for two minutes straight and not have it move at all. Okay. That's impossible. So between all of that stuff, you're giving that jig a little bit of movement here and there and that's causing it to look alive under the water. And a lot of times you just let it sit there for one minute, two minutes, and then all of a sudden, your line just start swimming off. Okay. That bass looked it for as long as it could stand it and it finally sucked it in and took off. I had a buddy of mine win a tournament that way. He, literally, cast out and seemed like he would sit there and eat a sandwich. He waited so long, two to five minutes and then a bass would finally swim off with it, and he won handily almost by 20 pounds next to the second-place winner by doing that.
So a great way to catch bass. The opposite is true during the summertime, a lot of times the fish are very, very active. So what I'll do them a little bit shallow here, but I'm going to try to show you without hitting myself. But when you throw it out here, you let it fall away to the bottom line. I want to show you before as they lift up and let it fall back down, lift up fast, kind of give it a pop and let it fall back down. Let it hit the bottom reel up, pop it, and let it fall back down. Okay. What you want to do is you want that bait to dart off the bottom really fast. A lot of times that will cause a reaction strike in the warmer months. This is perfect for summer. The bass might be swimming along being covered they may not have seen it when it fell down. All of sudden they see something just dart up from the bottom and, pow, they'll smack it right away, so that that's a great way to fish it during the summertime.
Yeah. Ooh, come on. Okay. You want to come over here. Look at this. Give me your face. The longer you do this…. There we go. Whoa. Boy, he came all the way on the other side of the boat but there you go. A jig right in the roof of the mouth. Look at that right at the top. Hold on one side of the braid. The braid there on the top of the mouth. That was a good fight. The fish, that was, you know, that bite there was what I was describing before that line just swam off. I never felt the bite. It just swam right off. I'm like, "Well, I didn't do that," so I set the hook. That's what you get.
Now a couple of other ways to fish the jig. You know, it looks kind of like a crawdad underwater, so you want to emulate that. If you look at YouTube videos and look at crawfish underwater and how they move, that's what these next two retrieves are.
So, the first one, throw it out there. Now once it hits the bottom, let it hit, reel up to it. And you want your rod tip to the side a little bit forward here. And what I'm going to do is just pull the rod like that and then reel back up and then pull the rod. I'm pulling through weeds so you can see my rod tip move a little bit and then reel back up as quick as I can. I always want to be in the hook set position, so don't want bring it way back too far, maybe just about even with the boat a little bit and then reel back up.
So what I'm doing there, if you look at crawdads when they move underwater, they scurry along and then they stop. And then they scurry along some more, and then they stop. So that's what you're emulating just drag along the bottom. You want to use your rod tip to do it, not your reel, because you can really control the speed of it by looking at your rod in your rod tip and moving it with your rod tip. You move with your reel, you really don't know how fast it's moving. You have different gear ratios for different reels. It depends on how much line you have on it. It's just very difficult to tell how fast you're moving that jig. So just use your rod tip. Plus, you'll feel bites better if you've got that rod tip to the side. So that's a great way to catch fish doing it in the summertime.
One other one is you want to emulate a crawdad that's trying to get away, trying to escape. And when they do that, they've got these little tails kind of like a lobster is what they look like and they kick those tails to get away and they do it like series of three or four pops. So once it's on the bottom, just give it a pop, pop, pop, pop and let it sink reel back up to it. Pop, pop, pop, pop, let it sink. Give it a pop, pop and let it sink. Pop, pop, pop, pop. And that looks like a fleeing crawdad and bass can't stand that. Bass are like cats, you know, you throw a string at them and that the whole length of the string, the cat kind of goes, yeah, whatever. And then it gets towards the end of that string and it just starts getting away from them. They'll pounce on it. They don't want it to get away from them. So here you're making it look like you're fleeing crawdad and they don't want it to get away from you. So that is an excellent way to fish a jig during the summertime to catch a lot of bass.
So those are the main ways you can fish a jig in the summertime. I hope those tips help. For more tips and tricks like this, visit BassResource.com.