When early Spring arrives a lot of attention turns to a jig-n-pig combination for bass fish. This has long been a favorite, and rightfully so, as it is a great producer for lunker bass. However, during the last two seasons I’ve found a smaller and slimmer jig combination. The combination, which I found to be very productive, is the black/purple, Gripper Hair Rubber Bass Jig with a 4-inch, black Mann’s Jelly Worm. For added attraction, Kodiak Crawfish Paste is applied to the blackberry scented worm trailer.
One of the secrets to being able to change the productivity of the combination is the way the worm is rigged. The Jelly Worm has a paddle on the end. Thread the worm so that the paddle is either vertical or horizontal to the jig. If one direction doesn’t work, try it the other way. When it is put in the water observe the difference in the motion from one tail position to the other. In the vertical position the tail resembles a minnow swimming action, while in the horizontal position it waves up and down, creating more of a crawfish or leech movement.
Sizes of 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 ounces are used for the jig. The nice thing about the Gripper Hair Rubber design is that only the weight of the jig changes, and not the overall size. In most cases, try to get by with the smallest weight possible. This permits a slower fall, as well as being able to be worked slower, when used with a swimming motion off the bottom or midway down.
Techniques for using this jig combination are extremely simple. With the tail’s paddle in the vertical position, swim the jig with a straight slow retrieve at different depths; pump it along, while retrieving at a constant speed; and pause-and-lift, allowing it to fall on the pause, and retrieve the line on the lift. Retrieves for the tail’s paddle in the horizontal position would be bouncing and crawling it through brush and on the bottom; swimming it with pumps over and through any weed growth; and hopping it along the bottom, especially in a rocky area (this can be slow or fast - vary it to find the best).
This season try my early Spring jig combo, and see how it works in your favorite body of water. By the way, it isn’t just for early Spring, so keep it close at hand for the entire season, and try it whenever the bass get a little finicky.
Stop by the Dan’s Fish ‘N’ Tales web site at www.dansfishntales.com, or the Dan’s Links site at www.dansfishntales.net, and browse through the pages. You can connect to Bassin' USA through these sites. If you want to share your success with the techniques described in this article, or have any other questions, just drop me an email from the link on these sites.
Until next time, get out on the water, and enjoy a great day of fishing.