Spring Jig Fishing: What You Need To Know | Bass Fishing

Glenn: Here we go. Keri: Whoa, hello. Doorbell. Good fish. Glenn: Come here, you. Come here, come here, come here, baby. Come here, baby, come here, baby, come here,
baby. Keri: That’s a nice fish. Glenn: Come here. There we go. Keri: Big fatty. Glenn: Got some grass on his face. Beautiful fish. Gonna let you go over on this side. There we go. Hey folks, Glenn May here with BassResource. com,
and today, I wanna talk to you about fishingjigs in the springtime and how to be successful
with jigs. Now, jigs, they are so universal, they are
extremely flexible, and they’re versatile. You can use them in a variety of conditions,
in a variety of depths, under, basically,any kind of lake or river system anywhere
in the United States. And they work year-round. So, they’re one of the best lures to use during
the spring, especially during the spring,because during the wintertime, crawdads typically
hibernate or they burry into the mud and they’renot very active. When the weather warms up and the water begins
to warm up, that’s when they start to comeout and get active. And these are just little protein snacks and
it’s a main staple of the bass’s diet. So, in the springtime, they’re finally available
and the bass just start to gorge on them. So, it’s a great time to fish a jig, because
a jig resembles a crawdad. So, I wanna talk to you a little bit about
how I fish a jig throughout the spring, startingin the early spring. What I mean by that is when the water temperatures
have just peaked into the mid to upper 40s. So, real early. . . late winter, early spring,
the bass are beginning to just begin the migrationto the shallow areas where they’re gonna spawn. So, in this time of year, I’m looking at still
main lake or deeper water. Places I like to look at main lake points,
some of them secondary points, ledges, drop-offs,humps, water that’s around the 25, 20-foot
zone on average. Now, my neck of the woods where the fish sit
and they set up camp in the wintertime isaround 45 to 55 feet deep. So, it’s relative, get an idea of what I’m
looking at, it’s in the 20-foot zone areaduring this time of year. Maybe a little bit shallower in your lake. What I’ll do is I’d like to find points that
have steep drops, or humps, or ridges thathave steep drops on them. And I find those by looking at a lake map
at home, break out a paper map, and I’m lookingfor those contour lines when they’re really
close together. That’s what indicates a real sharp drop, those
are the areas I want. I mark those and I find out what the GPS coordinates
are on those and I put those into my GPS uniton my boat. Then what I’ll do is, when I’m on the lake,
I go to those spots and I graph over the topof them, and I’m looking for any kind of cover
that might hold fish. In this instance, it’s usually, you know,
rocks, like, chunk rock or boulders, lookingfor maybe some stumps down deep, some kind
of woody structure, maybe some logs that arelaying on the bottom or perhaps some deep
weeds, something that the fish can relateto on that structure. If I don’t find any of that cover then I usually
move on till I find a point or a hump or somethingthat has that on it. That’s a good starting point. Then what I do is fish the jig starting out
deep and work shallow. So, I’ll throw it out there, let it fall all
the way to the bottom. Typically, what I’m doing is I’m using a heavier
jig this time of year like a 3/4-ounce jig,not because of. . . you know, I’m not gonna be. . . I
don’t want fast action on it, not becauseI want a fast drop, but I’m gonna get it on
the bottom, I want it to stay on the bottom. I wanna work these jigs just crawling it on
the bottom, maybe a little bit down the incline,give it a little it of a hop here and there,
small movements, mostly on the bottom. So, I’ll use a heavier jig to get it down
there and let it stay down there. A football-head jig is typically what I use,
because it’s not. . . usually too weedy downthat deep. Also, in the early part of the season, I’m
using larger profile jigs. Yeah, it’s a 3/4-ounce jig, but I want larger. . . maybe
a 60-strand jig skirt, something that’s gotsome bulk to it. The reason behind that is, a lot of the baitfish
in the available forage is from last year’sspawn, last year, last summer’s growth and
they’ve been growing this entire season. There hasn’t been any recent spawns in the
early part of the spring. So, all the forage that’s available to the
bass right now is at the largest they’re gonnabe all year long. So, I wanna match that size, so I size up
and I’m using for something big, plus thebass are looking for a protein-rich meal. Instead of using a Rage Craw trailer on it,
I’ll size up to something a little bit biggerlike a Space Monkey, something to give it
a larger profile. That’s what I want, and I want it moving slowly
on the bottom so it looks like an easy targetfor those bass to snack on as they’re feeding
up, getting ready for that spawn. But I’ll throw it down there, let it sit,
and crisscross that point in different anglesand cover different water depths. And I’ll gradually work myself shallower until
I finally connect with the fish. When I do, I make note of where that is. Say, for example, the fish bit at 20 feet,
then I know, “Okay, that’s probably aboutthe depth that the fish are holding at. “So, I’ll narrow my focus now plus or minus
5 feet, 15 to 25 feet in this instance. And I’ll work that area and probably pick
up a few more fish. Then I look at that paper graph that I brought
with me now that I marked at home, and I lookfor those areas. Look for those points that have that 15 to
25-foot band on them, points, humps, ridges,whatever kind of structure I can find, and
go find those. And again, cross over with the graph, I look
for that cover in that zone, if it’s there,then I fish it. That can be productive, I can hit point, boom,
boom, boom, boom, boom. Throughout the whole lake, I can hit all these
areas that I’ve marked and I can be reallyproductive that day rather than spending my
time just going along the shoreline hopingI get bit. So, it’s a lot quicker and easier way, especially,
when it’s colder out, you wanna catch fish. Keri: There we go. Glenn: Nice. All right. Get them, Keri, get them. Keri: There’s one particular spot out there
and you have to be spot on it to do it. One spot. Glenn: That’s how you use deeper jigs for
deeper fishing. That’s a good healthy fish. Keri: That’s a healthy fish. Oh, wait, I had you that time, you weren’t
going nowhere. Look at that. Glenn: Nicely done. Keri: Jig fishing. Woo-hoo. Glenn: So, that’s how I approach it with early
spring. Now, as spring progresses and the water temperature
gets in the low to mid-50s, then I start movingout shallower. Now, I’m moving towards the 5 to 15-foot range,
and I’m moving back closer towards those spawningareas where the fish are gonna end up later
on the spring. They’re gonna start migrating up there and
I find those areas by looking at places wherethe bass are. . . basically what I call bus stops,
structure, places where the bass are gonnastop on their way as they progress shallower
to the spawning flats. So here, I’m looking for creek channels and
river channels, especially, where it swingsup close to the bank as it works its way back
into the back of coves and bays. I’m looking for secondary points, drop-offs,
I’m looking for weeds that are in deeper water,looking for those outside weed lines. That’s the kind of stuff you wanna hit and,
basically, hit all of it as you’re movingup back into the coves. They usually don’t go super shallow, because
the water temperature, again, isn’t reallyabove 55. I don’t catch too many fish that are less
than 10 feet deep during that time. Every once in a while, well, you know, there’s
exceptions, but as a general rule, they’rein that, you know, 10 to 15, 10 to 20-foot
range, somewhere in there. And I’m looking for anything. . . any kind of
cover that they can relate to. Sometimes, here you’re looking at submerged
bushes and submerged trees. And the jig I’ll work a little bit faster. I’ll cast it out there. Now, I’m using, like, a 1/2-ounce to a 3/8-ounce
jig, want a little bit slower fall. I’ll put on a Rage Craw trailer on it that’s
got some more action to it that slows downthe fall, because it has those ridges on it
on the craws, so it falls a bit slower, hasmore action. Let it drop next to the cover, and let it
sit for a couple of seconds, I lift it upabout a foot and let it drop back down again. And work it a couple times then I reel back
in and I throw again. Typically, if you’ve had stable weather or
a general warming pattern, you’re gonna getbit on that initial fall or that secondary
fall when you lifted and dropped it again. Glenn: Ahh, a little bit better. That’s right. Here we go. Come here. There we go. Look at that. Do you think he wanted it?Look at that. He wanted it. Glenn: Now, as we get to the spawn, and, really,
you know, pre-spawn, spawn area, 55 degreesto low 60s. Now, the fish are up shallow, they’re up on
the flats, and they’re. . . any kind of cover,you know, docks, skipping a jig under a dock,
throwing it on, you know, bridge pilings,throwing it anywhere you can find weeds, little
pockets of weeds, something that you submergein weeds, lily pad fields, I’m looking for
maybe a rock pile in the middle of cover. Like, you got a big flat with weeds on it
and hydrilla or milfoil and then there’s arock pile in the middle of it or a stump,
those are the target areas that I really focuswith the jig. And, now, I’m flipping and pitching. And I’m hitting all the targets with flipping
and pitching. I’m using a 3/8-ounce jig and, again, with
that Rage Craw, and throwing it out thereand just letting it fall. And almost always it’s on the first drop. Occasionally, I’ll pick it up again and try
to get a secondary drop, but it’s pretty fastfishing. Just flipping and pitching to every cover. . . you
know, target I can find and it’s a heck ofa lot of fun to catch fish. The key thing here is, during that fall, a
lot of the time, that’s when you get bit andit’s on slack line, so you’re not gonna feel
it. So, this is not the time to be looking around,
talking to your buddy, or looking on the shoreline,you got to be watching that line and seeing
if it jumps, twitches, does any kind of movement,because that usually indicates if there’s
a fish on the other end. So, pay close attention to that line as it’s
dropping on slack line. A lot of times, you’ll see that bump and just
reel up and set the hook. And you’ve got yourself a good fish. Then, during the spawn, what I do, I tend
to downsize, oftentimes I’ll use a finessejig. I’m using a round head jig, finesse, and I’ll
take the trailer off and I cut the skirt,so it’s right even with the back of the hook. Bass have an uncanny ability, when you put
something on their bed, that they’ll pickit up by the tail, and not get the hook in
their mouth. And they’ll carry it off the nest and drop
it. It’s maddening, because you can set the hook
and you just pull it away from them, theydon’t actually have it. So, that’s why I cut it so short, in the hopes
that they will. . . and it’s a small compactbait, so it’s a lot more difficult for them
to do that. But they still manage to do it sometimes,
but often, I will do it that way and catcha lot of fish. I just drag it across. . . I cast on the other
side of the. . . opposite side of the bed fromme and I just slowly drag it across there. And let it sit and get that fish’s attention
and when he looks down on it then I just giveit a little twitch and sometimes I just pick
it up just like that. A lot of times you have to make multiple casts
in order to catch them, but that’s an effectiveway to catch fish on beds. Then, during the post-spawn, what I’ll do
is I’ll go back to that 3/8-ounce jig witha Rage Claw trailer on it, and what I’m looking
now, is for balls of fry. Because, often, there’s a male guarding them. Sometimes you can’t see him, a lot of times
you can’t see him. They’re down in the depths or in a bush somewhere
or under a dock, but you can see the fry. And so, I like to cast right into the fry
or right next to them and a lot of times,that bass comes out from hiding and whacks
it. It’s a real fun and exciting way to catch
fish that way. And it works for about the next, you know,
couple three weeks after the spawn. It’s a great way to go out there and you can
find fish by finding those fry and castingout to them and watching those bass just dive
bomb the jig. The only thing I ask is, if you’re fishing
beds or if you’re fishing fry, when you catchthe fish, please, let them go right after
you catch him so he can finish doing his jobin ensuring a successful spawn for that year. Boy, he came out and smacked it hard. Come here, you. Got you on a jig, buddy, that’s a good one. Got a face full of jig right there. A good fish. You wanted it. Boy, you wanted it. That works. Well, let’s go, little buddy. Here we go. One other important thing to use a jig for
during the spring is when those dreaded coldfronts come through. It always happens in the spring, there’s lots
of fronts and what that tends to do is slowthe bite down. And that’s when the jig really shines. What will happen, the bass. . . if you’ve had,
you know, a warming trend or stable weatherfor a while, the fish will be up shallow,
actively chasing baitfish, and feeding upon the flats. And when that front comes through. . . most fronts,
now, I’m not talking severe fronts, but, typically,when a front comes through, what the bass
do is one of two things. They’ll either bury up in available cover
right on that flat. If there’s bushes, and weeds, and that sort
of thing, they’ll just bury right down intoit, and, kind of, wait till conditions improve
before they start feeding again, or they’llease off a little bit to the next. . . you know,
a little bit deeper right next to the flatsto the next available piece of cover, whatever
that may be. But they’re not gonna go far, they’ve been
feeding, guys, they have been eating reallywell, they’re successful, their food source
is right there, they’re not gonna abandonit. So, don’t think they have suddenly disappeared
and gone way down deep. They’re right nearby, probably within 40,
50 yards from where you were catching thembefore. But you got to slow down and let the jig do
its job. And here’s when I’m using a rubber skirted
jig. And I use that because if. . . do this, find
a jig that you’ve got with a rubber skirt,put it in a sink or your bathtub, don’t let
your wife know. And let it sit on the bottom and what you’ll
see is that skirt just slowly open like that,all by itself. And that’s perfect, that’s what you want. During this time, the fish are kind of reluctant
to bite, they’re not gonna move far, so whatI do, is I throw it out there, let it fall
right next to that cover that they may bein, like a deeper weed line and let it sit
on a tight line. And just stand there and not move, and what
will happen is that jig slowly opens up, andin the meantime, if you’re in a boat, your
boat’s moving a little bit because of thebreeze. Even if you’re on the shoreline, you’ve got
a little bit of waves on the water, it’s lappingup and hitting your line. And you’re holding the rod in your hand and
you can try to hold it as still as possible,but you’re not gonna be able to be. . . you’re
not a mannequin. So, there’s little bit of movements that are
being transmitted down the line. All that just, kind of, makes it quiver in
place while it’s opening up. It’s something that looks alive and it’s not
moving and it looks. . . it’s a beefy because,usually, the rubber skirts make the jig look
a larger profile. So, it’s a big protein snack that’s not moving
very fast, it’s really hard for the bass toresist even during cold front conditions. So, I just let it sit there and then move
it a couple of inches and then rinse, lather,repeat, wait again. It’s a real slow, sometimes boring way to
fish, but it’s very effective. You can catch a lot of fish even during tough
cold front conditions. As for colors, I keep it pretty simple. If it’s dark outside, cloudy, or if the water
is dingy to really muddy, I use black andblue straight up, or black and purple. I might put a little chartreuse dye on my
trailer, but other than that, that’s aboutall I use when it’s dark. And then when the water’s clear, that stained
to real clear, and if it’s sunny out, thenI’ll use natural colors like greens and browns
and stick to that, those hues, green pumpkinand that kind of thing. Very simple, I don’t get, like, all colors
of the rainbow on my jig box. If you look at it, it’s basically all browns
and greens with a little bit of black andblue, because the lakes I fish in are mostly
clear. But that’s essentially it, and that’s a great
way to use a jig during the springtime. I hope those tips help. For more tips and tricks like that, visit
BassResource. com.

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