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  Sep 27, 2016

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Scott M. Petersen
Jig Tactics for Bass by Scott Petersen

Jig Tactics for Bass

By: Scott M. Petersen

Scott Petersen
Scott Petersen

Looking through my tackle box when I got to the lake I was trying to decide what I should start with, after a few minutes I decided to tie on and throw a jig. I do not care what conditions you are faced with you cannot go wrong when you are fishing a jig for bass. Let’s talk about 5 ways to fish a jig for bass throughout the season.

Swim Jigs
Swim Jigs have been one of the top choices the last few years when it comes to jigs and bass fishing. What started as an accident has now turned out to be a great tactic to give bass a different look at jigs and how they are fished. How many times has this happened to you? You make a cast that falls short of your target so instead of fishing the jig back to the boat you start to reel the jig right back to the boat. As the jig gets closer to the boat you see a bass follow the jig your first instinct is to stop the jig and when you do that the bass stops, turns and swims away. After seeing this a few times some pros got the idea to fish the jig all the way back to the boat this way and to their surprise they started to trigger strikes and catch bass. Thus the swim jig tactic was born. What started out as a regular bass jig has now changed to a specialty swim jigs that are on the market, my choice for this tactic is to use an Outkast Swim Jig.

Simply put if you can fish a spinnerbait you can fish a swim jig in fact I many times will give new fishermen a swim jig instead of a spinnerbait now because the swim jig at times is more fishable than a spinnerbait. To fish a swim jig is simple you make your cast and start to reel the jig back to the boat. When reeling do not try to impart any action into the jig just let the jig do it’s thing, I have seen bass get turned off by a jig that has too much action you just simply want to cast and reel.

Jig Tactics for BassHow fast you reel will have to do with the jig size you are using and how deep you need to get your swim jig down to. For the majority of my swim jig fishing I use either 1/4oz or 3/8oz jigs. One of the keys to getting more bass to strike your swim jig is the trailer that you use, the majority of the time I use a 5” Outkast Fat Tail Grub but keep your options open and experiment. Plastic chunks, Naughty Bugs and even double tail grubs are all great options to try from time to time. Play with different trailers and see how they affect your jig and the bass; you will soon learn what trailer to use for the conditions you are fishing.

For fishing purposes with the swim jig I use a 7ft medium action baitcaster, teamed with a matching baitcaster spooled with 12lb to 17lb fluorocarbon line. The lower stretch factor of fluorocarbon line helps me get a better hook set when bass are on the move and hitting light. When you set the hook you need to use a sweep set, if you try to set the hook by raising your rod over your head you will miss more bass than you will catch.

Jig Worm
As the summer months go on bass will start to take up residence in deeper water on the outside weedline edges or may move even deeper to off shore humps. When this happens you cannot beat a jig worm presentation when the bite is tough. You will find there will be times when you have to go to the finesse side of the coin to get bites and when this happens you cannot beat a jig worm presentation.

OutKast Money Jig4” and 6” worms will be the choice when it comes to plastics for a start and when you are talking jig I use an Outkast Money Jig. The sizes I use and carry are mainly 1/16oz, 1/8oz and 3/16oz. When faced with cold front conditions bass will slow down and you have to follow by going to smaller baits to get bites.

To fish the Money Jig presentation I use a 7ft spinning medium action rod teamed up with a spinning reel, spooled with either 6lb or 8lb mono or fluorocarbon line. Special note here the lighter the line the more bites you will get; my rule of thumb is if I am fishing on the weed edge I use 8lb test line. This allows me a few extra pounds in line size in case the bass get into the weeds. If I am fishing in the open water I will opt for 6lb line. I feel I get more bites using the smaller line and bass do not have anything to get hung up on.

Touchdown Jig
If you are looking for bass that are located on off shore rocks you cannot beat using an Outkast Touchdown Jig. The 1/2oz and 3/4oz Touchdown Jigs allow you to explore the bottom as you fish making sure you are spending key time on the prime structure that will hold the biggest bass of the spot. When fishing the Touchdown Jig I have two main ways that I rig the bait. For one I rig the jig in a traditional way with an Outkast Spider Grub, but when I want a different look I will add a Hitch Hiker and thread on a craw. When rigging the jig this way I get a great craw imitation that gets bites when the regular spider grub rigged Touchdown will not.

Jig Tactics for Bass The key to fishing a Touchdown Jig is the retrieve you do not hop the jig along the bottom like you would when fishing a traditional jig you drag the jig along the bottom. That is what translates to you the bottom makeup. When you get your Touchdown Jig next to a rock try to rock it back and forth a few times before you move the jig onto the next rock, this action is what will get you more strikes by the end of your day of fishing.

When it comes to fishing the Touchdown Jig I use either a 7ft heavy action baitcaster rod or a 7 1/2ft flipping stick. Either rod is teamed with a matching reel that is spooled with 15lb to 20lb fluorocarbon line.

Snap and Pop
When bass move out onto the flats during post spawn they will start to take up summer residence. Some bass will stay shallow while others will make movements towards the deeper weedline and clumps located outside of the weedline edge. When these bass get active they will station themselves on the tops of the weed edges and feed as food passes by but when they get in a mood they will bury up in the weeds and get down to the bottom edge of the weeds and wait for food to pass by. If it is close enough you may get a reaction but if it is not, you will play like heck to get their attention and a bite. To appeal to this reaction mood you need something that will get a reaction from the bass; for that I turn to the Outkast RT Jig and fish a little snap and pop tactic.

This is not fishing for the faint hearted this is power bass fishing all the way. I use either 1/2oz or 3/4oz jigs for this tactic. Make your casts short and let the RT Jig fall to the bottom. Once the jig hits the bottom give the rod a good snap this will pop the jig off of the bottom and out of the weeds. Let the jig settle back to the bottom and try again.

With the jig hopping out of the weeds this is generally when you will get the reaction bite out of the bass, so pay special attention when you go to move the jig again. When it comes to equipment this is power fishing all the way. 7ft heavy action to 7 1/2ft flipping sticks teamed with high retrieve reels to take up slack line quickly to set the hook and spooled with 20lb to 30lb fluorocarbon line.

OutKast RT JigFlippin and Pitching
During the summer month’s bass will react to cold fronts by burying up in cover and when that happens from time to time you may have to go in and get them, during these conditions you cannot beat flippin and pitching. When it comes to flipping I match the jig to the cover that I have to fish. Here you have to cover all your bases I carry all sizes of the Outkast RT Jig in my box. There will be days when you have to finesse flip jigs to get critical bites then there will be days when you have to power your jig through the cover to even get your bait into the bass zone.

For flipping and pitching I use a 7 1/2ft flippin stick, matched with a baitcasting reel and spooled with 20lb to 30lb fluorocarbon line. The reason for the use of fluorocarbon instead of braid is water clarity factors. If I am fishing in clear water conditions I opt to use fluorocarbon line if the water clarity is low I will use braid if conditions call for it.

So as you can see anytime is jig time for bass, in fact you can say there is not a bad time to throw a jig for bass. When fishing for bass my motto is grab and fish a jig, you cannot go wrong. Give these jig tactics a try this season you will see what I mean; you cannot go wrong with a jig.

Create some memories please remember to practice CPR (Catch, Photo and Release). The future of fishing is in your hands. For more timely bass tips and tactics please log onto

If you would like to read more from Scott Petersen, visit his web site Fishing Insider



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