Fall Jig Fishing
The days are getting shorter, nights longer and the deer woods are calling, it must Fall.
This is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only for the cooler weather, the hunting seasons and the comfort food that’s on it’s way but for the fishing. One of my favorite types of fishing is Jig fishing, this time of year is when it really starts to shine. All types of lakes turn on in the fall for the jig bite, this mostly happens because the fish are really trying to feed up for the winter hold over. The smaller fish have a tendency to hang out and around the bait balls and gorge themselves on the bait fish. Bigger fish will of coarse eat bait fish as well but if they get the chance for one good meal, they are taking it.
The crayfish that a jig represents, is a more nutritious meal and helps put more weight on. As the winter months near the bass are trying to stack on as much weight as possible. While the lakes are full of free swimming bait fish at this time of year, bigger fish are still more territorial and have the tendency to stay closer to structure and wait for the bait to come to them. The structure they tend to stack up on is rock piles and vertical wood. the rock piles will hold more temperature and crayfish are often found in the vicinity. The standing timber also attracts the bigger bass but in this instance it gives them a vertical feeding alternative as well.
Now that we have some areas to search for these bigger fish lets talk about the jig itself. My favorite jigs are the LBS Tackle 1/2 ounce football. The 1/2 ounce size is probably the most used jig on the market. I like to stay with very natural colors. Brown, orange, black, blue, green and purple to name a few. Any combination of these colors can really make for a great jig. My best advice is to try and match your jig to the surrounding cover. So, if you find a lot of clay banks I stay with brown and orange or just brown, so on for grass, rocks etc. I like silicone skirts with band collars. They are very versatile, I can keep my head tied on and change the skirt as needed.
Fishing the jig,
once I find the structure I’m going to fish I like to position my boat a full cast away so that when I cast the bait actually lands a few feet on the other side of the structure. I like to start by hopping the jig kind of quickly along the bottom pulling and raising the rod to give the fish more of a reaction bite approach. I can always slow down and drag it but in the fall I like to go fast first, then slow down. Make sure you fish from several angles before you move on to another area. If I have a spot that has produced before, I like to hit six to ten different angles just to see if the bass are positioned in a certain way, on the structure. When you catch fish remember to pay attention to the angle and speed of your retrieve, this will probably be the way all the fish are set on this structure. Now you’ve caught several fish off this structure, I always like to throw a different color jig back in there, just to see if I can pick up that extra fish. A lot of times the big fish has watched the same color come through, time and time again then a different color comes through and that’s the trigger.
Jig fishing in the fall is about hitting your good spots and making multiple casts to the same
areas. You might not catch the numbers that the bait fish guys are but the fish you catch will be of better quality.
My favorite LBS Tackle jigs are the Scarecrow, Molting Craw, Deep Purple, Mud Candy and the Brown and Orange.
See you on the water.