Fishing a Jig in the Cold of winter by Dan Wells

Fishing the Jig in the cold of winter by Dan Wells.



Jigs will catch fish 12 months out of the year however the cold water period is when a jig can really shine! When the water temps are at their lowest during the winter many bass only eat once every few days and they prefer a meal they don’t have to work hard for and provides a large amount of protein, what better then a slow moving crawdad. A jig mimics a crawdad better than any other lure!

Winter fishing with jigs will take place from 5’ to 50’ of water so you need to be prepared with a few different weights. 3/8, ½, and 1 oz will do fine. As a rule and to keep it simple use the 3/8oz jig from 1’ to 20’, 1/2 oz 20’ to 40’, and the 1oz from 40’ and deeper. Having the right tools for the job are critical. In clear lakes I use 12lb fluorocarbon line and in extremely clear water I will go to 10lb fluoro. When fishing Clear Lake I use 15lb fluoro because the water is usually more off colored and there is heavy cover present. A high speed 7;1 gear ratio reel is critical so you can pick up slack line fast and keep pressure on big fish that are hooked in deep water. The right rod is just as important as the line and reel. For my 3/8oz jigs fished to 20’ of water I use a Dobyns 734C Champion casting rod and for the 1/2oz and larger jigs fished in deep water I use a Dobyns DX 784C ML casting rod. The DX 784C ML rod is 5” longer then the 734C rod and this will help move more line on a deep water hook set, both rods have a fast action which allows the rod to react very quickly for hook sets and working the jig.

There are a million different colored jigs out there and they all catch fish but again I try to keep it simple with my colors. Brown, Brown/Purple, Green Pumpkin and Black Blue are about the only colors I use and they cover almost every situation you will come across. My number one go to jig is a 1/2oz Brown/Purple football jig, this jig is very versatile and will catch fish on every body of water there is!

There are 3 types of retrieves I will use in the winter. Dragging (slow movements with the rod tip in a downward angle, or using the trolling motor to drag the jig in a certain depth), small hops or shaking (using the rod tip in short popping movements and letting the jig rest back on the bottom) and stroking ( fast sharp hops similar to a hook set then letting the jig rest back to the bottom). You will have to experiment with all three retrieves daily to find what the fish have keyed in on or what mood they are in. There will often be a certain cadence that fish will key on and respond to better then another.

Use your electronics to find what depth the bass are holding at best and concentrate on that depth. Once you have a determined depth then try different types of banks and cover( mud, small rock, boulders, 45 degree banks, etc) soon you will have a pattern developed to start targeting larger bass.

In winter I really focus my search for bass on deep main lake features such as points, ledges, humps and creek channels. Start fishing your jig shallow and work your way deeper till you begin to get bit. When a little warming trend moves in and settles for a few days I will start fishing creek channels that go from main lake areas into pockets and deeper flats that the fish will move on to and feed.

Jig Tips. Use scent! I have been using the BIOEDGE crawdad potion and I have noticed my number of bites go up. In Cold water apply scent often to help attract sluggish bass. If you are fishing a lake with little cover in it you can thin a few strands out of the weed guard and spread it with your fingers to help with hook ups and if your jig ever feels funny or a little heavier than normal, SET THE HOOK! Colors can be confusing and if you are not sure exactly sure what the fish are keyed on and what the crayfish look like, just match the bottom color the best you can, this will give a good starting point. One more thing to remember when fishing a jig in the winter is to experiment with different trailers on your jig and if the water gets real cold, say in the 48 degree and lower range try a pork trailer. You can’t fish a jig to slow and often large bass are caught on jigs while barely moving them or even dead sticking them.

Good Luck out there and stay warm!

Dan Wells


how to Texas rig a Berkley Havoc Devil Spear

Abu Garcia® pro Mike Iaconelli speaks about his favorite ways to Texas rig a Berkley® Havoc™ Devil Spear™.

Looking for Big Summer Bass? Try Deep-Diving Crankbaits.

For Kelly Jordon, the hot months of summer have come to mean only one thing, that it’s time to fish deep-diving crankbaits, not only for numbers of bass but also for big bass,as well. The veteran Yamaha Pro has caught more bass in the nine to 12-pound range with big crankbaits than he can count, and had plenty of days where the lures have produced 50 or more fish in the four to six-pound class.

“Deep cranking, typically in the 10 to 20-foot depth range, is absolutely at its best during the heat of the summer because fish tend to gather in large schools close to baitfish, and a crankbait imitates that baitfish better than any other lure,” notes Jordon, a multiple tournament winner in Bassmaster® Elite competition and former Lake Fork guide.

“The deep-cranking season generally begins in mid to late May and continues through August, and it works on lakes everywhere, so there are ample opportunities to enjoy the technique.”
During the summer, continues the Yamaha Pro, bass often gather on the ends of deep points; on top of humps, ridges, and other high spots; over submerged roadbeds; and along channel bends. Jordon’s favorite place to look for these schools is off the ends of main lake points. Even though the bass themselves may be relatively shallow, deep water will usually be nearby.

“Very often you can see the bass on your electronics as you idle over the end of a point, or you might see the baitfish,” he continues, “and sometimes you may need to look at a particular place several times during the day. Schools of bass will use the very same places year after year, but because the bait- fish move, they may not be on a certain point the entire day, and sometimes they may not even arrive until later in the afternoon.

“The presence of baitfish is important, and the more you see on your electronics, the more you can be assured that bass aren’t far away.”

Several manufacturers produce crankbaits that will dive into the 18 to 20-foot range, and these are the ones Jordon recommends using. Using a light fluorocarbon line, such as 10-pound test, will help a crankbait not only dive deeper but also faster and with more action, and he also suggests using a casting rod with a very soft action that allows for longer casts so the lure stays in the strike zone longer.

“The most common way to fish a point is to keep your boat in deeper water and cast shallow so your retrieve brings the crankbait down the slope of the point,” adds the Yamaha Pro, “but this certainly isn’t the only way to fish. You may have better results actually casting completely across the point so your lure comes up, across the top, and then down the other side. Just make a long cast, hold your rod tip down, and start reeling steadily.

“You may have to try several different angles until you find one that produces the best. A crankbait will always be more effective if it’s digging into the bottom during your retrieve, so that means you’re probably going to lose a few on stumps and snags, but you’re also going to catch more bass.”

On Lake Fork, Jordon has experienced many days during which he and a client boated as many as 75 bass in the four to six-pound range in a single afternoon from the same point. Included among them were usually several in the nine to 12-pound range.

“One day I had a fisherman who had never experienced this type of fishing before, and he was just amazed at the number of big bass we were catching. Then he hooked one he brought all the way to boat before it jumped and threw the crank- bait. I saw the bass clearly and I’m sure it probably weighed at least 14 pounds, one of the biggest bass I’ve ever seen.

“It lay on the water right beside the Yamaha outboard for a second and I almost got it with the net before it dived out of reach, but that’s just a clear example of how effective a deep-diving crankbait can be during the summer.”

TackleTour Video – Pro Angler Bub Tosh goes Punching with the new iRod

Pro Angler Bub Tosh talks about the new iRod and what to look for in a punching rod. Bub demonstrates punching for bass in thick vegitation.

BPS Bass in the Grass Tips on Fishing Aquatic Vegetation (Kevin Van Dam)

BPS Bass in the Grass Tips on Fishing Aquatic Vegetation (Kevin Van Dam)

Swimming Bass Jigs with Kevin VanDam – Bass pro shop

Swimming Bass Jigs with Kevin VanDam

Future Pro Tour Tv Show

Anglers participating in the 2010 Future Pro Tour Classic, to be held Nov 6th-7th, will get some help with their pre-fishing this weekend, as a special show designed to help them “break down” one of the bodies the Classic will be held on will air this weekend on Comcast Sports Net California.

Lake Camanche, where the two-day Classic championship competition will begin, is the lake that will be the focus of the show, due in no small part to the fact that it is perhaps one of the least most frequented lakes visited by tournament organization, and many anglers know absolutely nothing about it.

Joining us to provide instruction and valuable tips on how to “break down” the lake for FPT Classic qualifiers will be Ish Monroe, 2-time B.A.S.S Elite Series champion, and 2-time FLW Champion, who is well-versed in a multitude of techniques, and even more at ease with  finding productive patterns on lakes that he is not familiar with. Ish gets into a pretty good topwater bite, so you don’t want to miss out on this show!

The show will be broadcast this Saturday, October 30th at 1:00pm on Comcast Sports Net California, (right after Raiders Report and before Pro Football Weekly) and will repeat on Sunday, October 31st at 8:00am.  

So for those of you that are participating in the FPT Classic championship event, this show may help you save a bit of gas and time on your pre-fishing as the “Big Show” draws near. And for you folks that have never been to Lake Camanche…this presents a great opportunity for you to learn about one of the best and most fertile lakes the foothill/mother lode area.

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Skeet Reese Videos


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Pointer 128

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Punchin the Delta Under Water with Miller Punch weights