Winter JiG Fishing 101 by Preston Henson

Winter Jig fishing 101

 As we move into February and the lakes still are cold and have not hit that magic 53-degree mark and fish either suspend or lock themselves to the bottom. In this article I will talk about those fished glued to the bottom and how to attack them with a jig.

 First will start off by looking at the different jigs I use to attack this scenario. First is a good old fashion rubber jig with a twin tail grub or some kind of plastic trailer. My go to is the River2Sea Papa Mur. I wont get in to specific colors because every lake has its colors, I will say this browns always seem to be a good start with some king of other color mixed in. Remember to match your hatch. When fishing these jigs I prefer a football style head since I will be most likely be crawling and dragging this jig keeping constant bottom contact. For weight I start with a ½oz or 5/8oz in the Papa Mur for 25 feet or less and move to a 3/4oz or 7/8oz in the Papa Mur when fishing deeper. The biggest key is to keep bottom contact and drag your jig along the bottom.

 The second Jig is an over looked but my favorite style for cold water fishing, THE HULA GRUB or also called a spider jig or grub. Colors I prefer are your cinnamon and green pumpkin colors. I attach them to a 1/2oz football head for 25 feet or less and 3/4oz for deeper. Same retrieve as the standard jig just a crawl and drag.  I use an open hook setup witch means no weed guard.

 

 Lets look at the equipment I use for these baits. The rod I use is a Phenix Ultra MBX 707MH paired with a Lews Team Lews Custom in a 7.5:1 gear ratio. I use the higher gear ratio to pick up more line since we generally are fishing deeper. Line size varies, I prefer 10lb Fluorocarbon when I can get away with it but will go up to 12lb if I have to if there are more rocks or if the water is dirty.

 Areas of the lake that I target are main lake humps, river channel and creek swings and point near the main river channel. Allot of times these fish will be so tight to the bottom they will not show up on your graph. Look for clues such as bait near by or bottom type change like sand to rock or small to big rock etc. etc.

 The retrieve is very simple. Like I mentioned earlier it’s a slow crawl and drag. I sometimes use my trolling motor to just inch the bait along.  One key I have success is dragging my bait up hill, allot of amateur anglers make the mistake of always fishing shallow to deep. I get allot of my bigger bites with this technique dragging up hill, what I mean by this is casting out deeper and bringing the bait shallower.

 The bite can be very light and can just feel like the slightest change of pressure and other times they will knock slack in your line. If you find yourself missing allot of fish try reel setting on the fish what I mean by this is just reel into the fish and when the rod loads just lean into them.

 I will use both styles of jigs and listen to what the fish prefer that day. I hope this helps you on your next outing during these cold winter days and remember to be slow and patient this time of year and listen to the fish.

“YEAH”

 

Christmas Gift Suggestions with Ron Howe

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Ron Howe talks about great Gift ideas for Bass Fishermen ,IMA baits are available at www.Monsterfishingtackle.com

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merrychristmasRB BAss

Tackle Management with Ron Howe ICast 2016

I Cast Cal Coast Fishing

Ron Howe talks about tackle management and a new product the Cali Clip from Cal Coast Fishing that will be on display at ICAST 2016. Make sure to go bye Booth #2011 and check out all the Cal Coast Fishing products!

 

IMA-Skimmer Grande

IMA-SKMRGR-2T

Ima Lures Skimmer Grande

The Ima Lures Skimmer Grande is a topwater walking bait that subtly glides across the surface replicating the action of small shad that are often found roaming the surface. The Grande size Ima Skimmer retains the design of the original, but increases the size from 4.5″ to 5″ in order to mimic lager species of forage that predatory fish feed upon. The Ima Skimmer Grande possesses a slim profile that has proven to be one of the most appealing bass lure shapes ever. As a result of this subtle shape, the lure will glide across the surface softly much like the wake of a lone shad as it seeks refuge from the predators below. There’s a whole lot to be said simply for this slender profile and silhouette, and the Ima Skimmer Grande is really the only topwater hardbait that has perfected it.

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WILD BOILING ACTION…

A large part of the Skimmer Grande’s action is caused on the ending movement of each zig or zag as the tail-weighted back end of the Ima Skimmer Grande stirs the water slightly causing a natural boil. So every time that the Skimmer zigs or zags left or right, the final movement of the weighted tail interrupts the consistency of the slick surface and the lure slips out barely ahead of the boil, just like a desperate baitfish narrowly escaping a bass’s lunge.The Skimmer Grande’s action then becomes a non-stop series of ever-widening boils emanating behind it. It’s like having a school of surface-feeding bass on the scene, all boiling the surface behind the Ima Skimmer’s tail. If there’s ever anything that gets a non-committal bass to bite, it is other bass feeding in front of it – and that’s the competitive feeding cue that the Skimmer’s tail-stirring movement sends out to all bass within range of sensing the surface-feeding boils trailing out behind the Skimmer.

The IMA Skimmer Grande measures 5″ in length and weighs 5/8oz.

IMA-SKMRGR-4745-T

IMA Skimmer Grande Specs

  • Length: 125mm, 5in
  • Weight: 17g, 5/8oz
  • Classification: Top Water
  • Hooks: Owner ST-36 #4

Preston Henson and James Matsuoka Win Bass Pro Shops Top 100 event

Bass Pro Shops Top 100

Preston Henson and James Matsuoka Win Bass Pro Shops Top 100 event

The First ever Bass Pro Shops Northern California Open was held at Folsom Lake last weekend. This was a event where 100 Teams fished for 2 days and only the top 10 Teams moved on to weigh in at Bass Pro Shops is Rocklin Ca on Sunday. Two RB BASS Anglers made the top 10 Randy Walker and Preston Henson, both Anglers Teams had a shot at the title.

The Team of Preston Henson and James Matsuoka squeaked out the win as they edged out Corey Fenske’s Team by a very narrow margin. Preston Henson stated that the bite changed each and every day, the fish were transitioning from eating bait to eating craws. The team used the River2Sea Rover for key topwater bites and then changed to dartheads and the River2Sea Papa Mur Jig for most of their bites that they weighed in over 3 days to take the win with a total weight of over 40lbs.

Preston Ninja

Preston Hensons Sponsors are: Phenix Rods,Lews Reels,RBBASS,River2Sea,D&M Custom Baits

James Matsuoka’s Sponsors are: River2Sea and Phenix Rods

Soft Jerkbaits by Josh Parris

Zoom Fluke
You could write a book on the various rigging options and techniques of soft jerk baits, but for time sake I’ll stick to shallow weightless tips for now. I have always stuck by Zooms super salty Fluke, it’s soft, durable, and has enough weight to be cast a mile weightless. I throw my flukes on a medium heavy rod paired with 10lb fluorocarbon line
Berkley-Floiurocarbon line
on most lakes and 12lb on the Delta and Clear lake. I like to use the fluke Texas rigged with a 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG hook in both light and heavy wires. Many will say a round bend hooks helps increase hook up ratio, but I haven’t noticed a significant difference between the two and prefer the EWG. The light wire hook will give a great soft jerk bait presentation, working just under the surface. I use that presentation in winter and when the bite is tuff and I’m going more finesse.
Tullcoh Josh
Just like a hard jerk bait the fluke will pull fish from a long way, but because of its soft bait action it tends to draw more bites than a traditional hard jerk bait. I use the heavy wire hook during most of the year. Despite it being a heavier hook it actually makes the bait want to jump out of the water. The majority if the hooks weight is in the back of the bait and points the head at the surface. It creates a blend between soft jerk bait and top water. It will jump out of the water if given a hard twitch during the retrieve. Its possible to do a top water presentation with out a heavy wire hook. It just takes much more work on the anglers part and isn’t typically as controlled. When fishing heavy cover I like to skip the bait in to it and immediately start retrieving it breaking the surface. After a few pops I kill it and let it set for a few second. Ninety percent of the time as soon as it stops is when it’s going to get bit. In open water or on rock bluffs and spars cover I make a long casts past my target. I don’t want the fish to see or hear the baits entry. If my target is close to the bank, I cast on to the bank and pull the bait in silently. I work the bait to my target with the typical twitch twitch pause. When I get to my target I start jumping it out of the water followed by a brief pause. I try to mimic the conditions if bass are chasing bait I try to be erratic, on calm days or if it’s slow I use a more slower retrieve throwing in little busts of breaking the surface. With colors I throw two, albino white and baby bass. Most of the time I throw white because I can easily track it and most bait fish have some white on them. During post spawn or if the water is really clear and the sun is bright sometimes I’ll switch to baby bass. Like all jerk baits the fish are most times just instinctively swiping at it. Sometime they are completely missing it or just grabbing the tail. To combat missing and losing fish, I always try to wait to feel the fish before setting the hook. Most times if they don’t get it and you don’t rip it out of there with a hook set they will immediately come back for it on the next pause. Easier said than done when they violently exploded on it, but loosing or missing fish will quickly reinforce it. I almost always have a soft jerk bait on my deck, it’s a great search bait for covering water as well as follow up bait for a fish that missed top water baits such as Spooks, Frogs or Whopper Ploppers. I hope this helps, and good luck out there!
Josh Parris

Wanta Get Bit? Get Flit! Ima Flit 120 jerkbait

Design

-3 Hooks: Made with three hooks.  This design helps increase catch ratio when fish are in a reactive mood and not willing to aggressively feed.  Most commonly an asset in colder water early and late in the year and in post frontal situations.

-High Pitch (small bb’s):  Most Commonly resembling to baitfish in the Herring family (flat sided, as opposed to a round sided smelt), which includes Gizzard and Threadfin Shad, to imitate sound in colder water conditions and in post frontal situations.

-Triangular Internal Chamber system:  This unique system maximizes sound by ricocheting bb’s at constant angles.  With this design it allows for a controlled sound among all jerkbaits that come out of production, allows the jerkbait to be consistent in sound, and keeps the bb’s from getting stuck in crevices.  This design emits a controlled sound and maximizes consistency, maximizing it’s realistic and unique sound.

-6 to 8ft dive depth:  Most common depth, within visible sight, of suspending baitfish and predatory fish aimed to catch in colder months and post frontal situations.

-Flat sided, wider back:  A common shape of baitfish resembling in the Herring family.  If taken a cross section of, both will appear triangular in shape, as oppose to oval in shape, more resembling of a smelt or minnow, which is less commonly fed on by Bass.

-Forward pointed, skinnier bill:  This lure has its action built into it’s design.  Many competitors make a lure and adjust the bill width and size to give the lure its action.  This will only create more resistance wearing the user out much quicker.  The bill angle, length and width is designed for strictly the depth, where the body is designed for the action by resembling the shape of Herring, which includes Gizzard and Threadfin Shad, and giving a similar cadence, resulting in a much user friendly, less tiring lure.

-Flash:  With how the sides of the jerkbait are designed, they reflect light slightly downward, naturally the direction from which a strike will most likely come from, as oppose to outward and in any which direction like most competitors.

Techniques

-Jerk Pause:  Starting each jerk with a slack and ending with a slack after single to multiple jerks.  Increase frequency between jerks and pauses as fish activity level increases and as water temperature increases.  Work the lure with your rod top close to the water to maximize depth, bringing the rod tip up as you would like to work it shallower or through or over shallow cover.

-Deadsticking:  Working the lure with very little contact with the lure itself and inching the lure forward by bringing up the slack and using the weight of the line to move the lure forward.  Start out with a couple cranks and with the Jerk Pause technique to get the lure to depth before working the deadsticking technique.

Recommended Tackle

-6’0″ to 7’0″ depending on height:  You want the rod as long as possible, but just short enough to where your rod tip is not dragging in the water on the Jerk Pause technique when your rod is pointed downward.

-8lb-14lb line:  The lighter the line the better, when you can get away with it.  This will maximize the natural action of the lure.  As there is more cover and debris to wear line easier, increase the weight of the line.

-Reel:  Most reels can be used, but suggest using a 6.3:1 ratio or greater for easy use.

Flit 120 – Available in 18 colors

Flit 120 – 114 Table Rock Shad

 

Flit 120 – 171 Boned Shad

199 – Clear *NEW*

100 – Silver Flash

101 – Gold Flash

102 – Clown

104 – Chartruese Shad

105 – American Shad

107 – Olive Herring

108 – Misty Shad

109 – Ghost Minnow

113 – Brown Flash

115 – Blue Shad

116 – Tennessee Shad

125 – Matte Bluegill

150 – Ghost Tennessee Shad NEW COLOR

151 – Pro Blue NEW COLOR

152 – Phantom Craw NEW COLOR

Tournament Bass Tips Improve your success

Howe Hog

Tournament Bass Fishing Tips by “Ron Howe”

 

     I am by no means any super Pro Bass Angler, but Ive had a lot of Tournament success in recent years and I want to share what has made me better and hope it can help you be a better Tournament Bass Angler.

     We all start out as Beginners or Rookies or Future pro’s. We develop a love for fishing and a love to compete. Throw a high horse powered bass boat in the mix with a cool looking gel coat and were hooked! Blasting off against 60,70-230 boats is a serious endorphin rush! You against the world the weather the water and oh ya the fish! Once a Angler fishes a few events they get addicted to Tournament Bass fishing. I did!

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     Very few Anglers ever make it to the top level of Bass fishing and fish as a “Pro” for a living. Many of us can live the dream regionally near home and are happy to do so. With kids a full time job and few sponsor dollars available for a weekend warrior we are limited in our opportunities.

Delta BHQ Ron Howe_Steve Adams - 16

      I have been tournament fishing for over 20 years now. I love it! I love meeting new people and love to compete. Along this journey I started at a club level. We caught fish, but rarely got in the money or won a Trophy or some Wood! The same guys always did well. We new we were good anglers, but couldn’t get to the top of the club event level. Then you meet new people and learn about events with a higher winning potential. So you say sign me up im in! And much like the club level you fish well, but never end up in the top level of the circuit. The same guys always do well??

Second Placeweb

      When we fish at the club level or regional semi-pro level it is the last time we will ever get info on how these Anglers did better than us. You must stay to the end of every event you fish to learn and get better. In time you will find out what won the events or what the top 5 teams did to out fish the rest. If you leave the event early because you didn’t place well you are loosing the chance to get better! Stay, ask questions, hang out with those willing to talk, many Anglers love to brag! Heck I do! That’s how you learn!

Ron Howe Delta 9.60

 

      Take what you learn and go practice it, get better at it. When you tackle your weakness find another tournament tactic and get better at it. The more versatile you are the better you will become at Tournament Bass fishing at any level! Don’t get mad when a team does well, try to find out what they are doing that you are not! Now go get good at it. Many years ago I forced myself to practice Punching or heavy flipping. Its not that I couldn’t do it, I love to flip just not in the junk. If I can open water fish I would rather do so. By forcing myself to practice this and get better at it I Punched 25lbs in 15 minutes. That’s all I needed to do 1 time to get me to get over what I want to do and what I need to do at the right times. Drop shotting was an other one, Its not hard, I just didn’t like to do it. I would rather drag a jig or a 10” worm, but quickly I forced myself to improve at this tactic and believe me it has paid off! Get better at what you don’t like to do, it will make you a better Tournament Bass Angler.  

clear lake 2 bass

     One big bit of advice I can give you is to take control of as many things as you can. This is one of the most important steps to becoming a better Tournament Angler. Make sure your line is new or in great condition. Always tie new knots. Always use new hooks. Make sure your boat is fully ready before you leave your house. Know the weather, the tide, the water level, the seasonal pattern you will fish and know the primary food source at that time of year where you are fishing! And as I have asked my partners on a few very sad occasions when the big fish gets off, did you have a trailer hook on? Being pre-paired is the best thing you can do that will improve your Tournament results as a weekend warrior.

2013 March 27 Bullards Bar - 012

 

      This one is tough, but invest in good quality products. Make sure you buy products that are proven tournament products. Have the right rod and reel for what you’re doing! A red crank bait just aint a red crank bait if it doesn’t work correctly. If a spinner bait doesn’t work properly it just wont catch as many fish. Bite the bullet and buy good stuff. Make sure you bring enough product that you do well with, do not run out! I have multiples of my favorite baits; I don’t want to run out.

b howe 9er

        Time management. This is critical to your success in tournaments. This does not mean fish too fast. This means fish every second of the day effectively. Each time you start and stop do it quickly. This will add 1-25 more casts per day in every event. If you made 25 more casts in 5 events that is 125 more chances to catch a big one! It is a percentage game and you are improving your chances. If you are the non boater, are you getting ready to go quickly? When the boater puts his pole down and grabs the trolling motor rope that’s a big clue you need to be on the move. Timing is everything!! Think how many times in practice you pull up and first or second cast BANG you get a big one! If you manage your time in tournaments you will increase these odds in your favor. I do a lot of Salmon fishing and I get asked a lot “how come you hook so many fish?” I always answer because im a tournament Bass Angler! And then respond by saying I make more casts than the average angler. Make the most of your time and you will become a better Tournament Bass Angler and a better fisherman.

Berryessa BASS

Berryessa BASS

 

    I hope you can use some of these valuable tips to improve your time on the water and your success in your next Tournament.

 

Good Luck

“Ron Howe”

Ron and Dan Win Snag Proof Open

 

Winter Bass Fishing Tips by Ron Howe

Ron-Howe-Oroville-May2012-04

 

A few Winter Bass Fishing tips and presentations by Ron Howe

Once fall passes and winter comes on in full force it is down right cold outside. I know that the 100mph Goretex suit is coming off the hanger and going in the truck with me. My beanie will be on when I leave home and my whool gloves will be in my truck warming up for when I arrive at the lake. A warm cup of coffee and Im good to go!

The fish are much like we are in winter slow! So when you are approaching winter time bass fishing you must think the same way. SLOW! Slow down your fishing presentation. You can still catch many fish on reaction type baits just slow down!

One of my winter time favorites that I recommend is to use rip baits or minnow type baits.  If fishing in shallow water say 8-10 feet deep I use a rip bait that dives 4-5feet deep Like the IMA Flit 120. 8-10lb Berkley Trilene flourocarbon fishing line is recomended and will help to get the bait down a little deeper since flourocarbon line has a better sink rate. Cast the bait out reel it down to the desired depth and stop! Let the bait sit for 15,20,30 seconds then twitch the bait once! And stop! Let the bait sit for 15,20,30 seconds then twitch the bait twice really slow twitches and repeat. Be patient you are trying to get a slow lazy cold Bass to rise up and grab the bait! If fishing in water that’s a little deeper try using a Rip Bait that dives say 8-10 feet deep once again light Flourocarbon line will help the bait get a little deeper. I add suspend dots to the IMA Flit 120 to get it down deeper and help make longer casts. Use the same application as above slow twitches with long pauses. You will catch some good size bass doing this in winter.This is effective on all species of Bass. In clear water use shad or white colors. If the water is slightly stained use a little bit brighter color like chartuese. 

IMA flit120 jerkbait

imaboneflit
    

IMA FLit 120 Ron Ripper

 

 Another great winter time bait is a jig. There are many to choose from and they all work. A jig imitates a crawfish and a bass cant resist! If fishing in a lake I recommend a football head type jig or casting jig around rocks and mud or clay banks. If fishing around heavy cover I will use a arky head jig or a flipping style jig since they come thru the snags and cover much better. For colors in winter I will stick to brown and purple jigs or black and blue. For jigs I attach a little trailer to make the bait better resemble a crawfish such as a jig chunk trailer,a small beaver or a pork trailer. I use a color that matches the jig best in browns,black,or blue. Largemouth Bass will be from 20-40 ft most of winter 3/8 to 1/2 oz jigs will work fine here. Spotted Bass will be from 2ft to 70ft deep they just dont play by the rules 1/4oz for shallow fish to 3/4 oz jigs for the deep fish will be what you need.

Lake Berryessa Bass caught by Ron Howe

When fishing deeper in lakes I will use 8-12lb fluorocarbon fishing line. I do this to detect light bites in winter. Fish points,ledges and guts or deep v creek arms. I will drag the jig on the bottom as slow as I can. Do this in real short drags. Crawfish dont move very fast in cold water! Look for clay banks with small rocks these are prime areas to fish jigs!

A good example of many points and a deep V gut thats empty here at Lake Oroville CA.

When fishing shallow I recomend using the flipping type jig around heavy cover. Do this on 15-20 lb test line. Fish this bait really slow and get ready to set the hook hard as the bass will hit the bait on the fall many times. If they are not willing to take the bait on the fall let the jig sit still for long periods of time and wait for the bass to come find it!

Below is a good example of heavy cover in the California Delta.

 Persuader Baits Casting jig “Lakes jig”

Our hand crafted casting jig baits are made with the finest components.Powder painted custom head design to minimize chipping, with recessed line tie Mustad Ultra Point Hooks. Custom “Bio-Flex” thin cut skirts .Cork screw plastic holder for attaching plastic trailers.Eight super colors to chose from.

Ron Howe Rogue


Persuader-echip-jigs-2T

Persuader ‘E-Chip’ Flipping Jigs
  • Features an electronic ‘E-Chip’ mounted on the shank of the hook that emits an electrical discharge identical to what bait fish give off when being chased by larger fish.
  • Mustad Ultra Point Hooks.
  • Powder printed heads to minimize chipping.

 

Features
The EChip is a small tube that encases a ball and proprietary microchip crystal. The rocking of the ball agitates the microchip and it gives off a tiny electrical pulse. The EChip duplicates the electrical nerve discharge of a wounded baitfish. This discharge is detected by predator fish and they will attack. The Echip never needs charging or batteries and it doesn’t wear out.

 

Stay tuned for more winter tips from RB Bassfishing!

 

  

 

Dan Wells on Frog Fishing

Dan Wells Professional Bass Angler explains the ins and out of frog fishing, listen close and learn how to improve your frog fishing tactics and catch more bass. Dan will cover the right Dobyns rod, Spider wire line,and ABU Garcia reel to use as well as how to pre pare a frog for catching more and bigger bass, In this case the Snag Proof open is coming up in august and Dan will show you how to prep your Snag Proof frog and help you increase your catch rate.

 

Dan Wells and Ron Howe holding there Snag Proof champions trophy’s from using the tips in these videos for there success!

Dan Wells