I recently posted an article on the Pig n Jig. It seems that it was a very popular article and a lot of people ended up here at "Kenny's Great Outdoors" interested in reading and/or learning about this old standby lure. As I stated in that article I would post a more detailed article later on. Well here we go again!
Yes, it is that time of the year that is, without a doubt, my favorite time of the year to chase those big football size bass. Yes, its football season again and for some fisherman, time to sit on the couch and become a couch potato. For some , it is the time to prowl the lakes and streams for the elusive " Lunker Large mouth Bass!" Some are bow hunting and some are quail and pheasant hunting , because fall brings on the hunting seasons.
If more anglers would put down their bows and guns , just for a few days , they would probably find that bass fishing is at its best and may even catch that lunker of a life time!
Fall can be a great time to catch large numbers of bass. It is the time of year bass gorge on food getting ready for winter. It's time to go fishing! Finally, a break from a long, hot and dry summer has arrived. We humans are certainly glad to see the temperatures fall and receive a little bit of much needed rainfall. During this time of the season, bass from all parts of the lake will start to take up residence in the shallow flats of the lakes to get ready for the upcoming winter.
It has been said many times that the fall season is big bass time and simply put I would have to agree. Fall is the first time since the spring spawn that you will see big bass in the shallows as they move in from their summer deep water homes. The reason they are here is also a simple fact and that is to feed and get ready for the winter.
If I were forced to pick just one bait that shines during the fall months year after year it would have to be the jig and pig! Not to say I don't use other lures. I usually start of with crank baits or a rattle trap to locate the fish first! Then I tie on the old stand by the "Jig n Pig"
Perhaps the least fished, last fished bass bait, the jig 'n' pig deserves a higher regards- not only as the unchallenged choice for catching big bass, but also as the bait of choice under the toughest bass fishing conditions! The funny thing is a lot of my fishing buddies don't even have one in there tackle boxes! ;-)) If you don"t have any pigs n jigs in your tackle box or you simply don't use them , THEN START! The Pig n Jig is damn near the only lure my dad uses! He never comes home skunked , spring, summer, fall , and winter .
There are literally hundreds of varieties of jigs, and trailers, so you decide what works best for you. There are also many techniques for using this combo.
Here are a few;
1 short slow hops
2 raising rod tip 2-6 inches and then let it set
3 fast swimming while twitching or jigging it for shallow or suspended bass
4 the yo-yo method
The yo-yo method is what I use when I am fishing in structures , such as brushpiles, lets say when you are hung in a brush pile , yo yo the jig n pig and hang on.
Because it sinks slowly, is presented repeatedly at pinpoint locations, and hangs in the strike zone for a longer period of time, bass are far more likely to perceive the bait as a food item or as an intruder that must be eliminated. Even when the jig 'n' pig is not immediately taken, the other sensory qualities of this bait can often entice fish into more closely inspecting, then accepting it as food. The sensory appeal of pork chunks is unequalled by other trailers - they "swim" naturally, smell good, have the feel of live bait and apparently taste good too. Fished on a rattling jig, the appeal of this lure is enhanced further. Available in a wide range of colours and sizes, the jig 'n' pig combo is everything that a bass bait should be!
The best advice I can give you when it comes to trailers is experiment and let the bass tell you what they want. Change trailers until you get the bites, let the bass be the judge. I don't know why it is, but bass seem to have a preference for pork in the cold months and plastic in the warmer months. Spring-use pork trailers Summer-use plastic Fall-use pork, as a general rule of course. Pork trailers can be next to impossible to put on or remove from a hook, but at the right time they are well worth the hassle. In my opinion, "Uncle Josh" is the one and only brand of pork trailer you need to buy.
Detecting pickups, especially on slack line, is the art of jiggin' and piggin'. Line watching is a must and hi-visibility lines are preferred. At times, when a bass picks up the bait, the line will fairly "jump". More often, however, only a slight twitch, a slow sideways movement or a circular "stirring" motion signals a take.
"Feel" is also essential in detecting pickups. A single "tap" on the line, a feeling of weightless, a spongy sensation detected as the rod tip is lifted and / or the scrubbing of line across weeds or branches signal that a bass has the bait. No matter what is seen or felt, set the hook - fast and forcefully to compensate for the hook guard feature on the jig and to get bass moving up and out of cover.
I have said this time and time again," DON'T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT!"
The game plan is to follow either a creek or contour line from shallower to deeper water until I find the holding depth of bass for that particular day. Once this has been achieved, you can begin to find matching areas on the lake and they will also produce.
September through November on MOST lakes and other impoundments with good shad populations consistently produce some of the fastest action of the year.
I typically focus on the shallows early and late each day and stay shallow all day if the weather is breezy and/or cloudy. Bass key on shad in the fall and they'll follow these baitfish all the way to the very backs of creeks. Typically, if you find areas with a lot of baitfish, the bass will be nearby. Bass move daily following the concentrations of shad and fish, so your best fishing areas will change regularly throughout the fall.
Many of these summertime lunkers that live in the depths will be make their first appearances in the shallows since the spawn, do not let this big bass opportunity pass, football season is here!
Another tip: Watch for birds. If bass are pushing baitfish to the surface, our feathered friends will find them -- fast! Get ready for some awesome bass action! I'll say it again: Just one day this fall, put down the shotgun and grab the fiberglass for fall bass. They've got a whole growing season behind them, and they're super hungry and more than eager to cooperate during these days of plenty. Fish 'em! You'll be glad you did!
So until next time , Keep your hooks wet, and boat safely. Practice catch and release, and enjoy the "Great Outdoors!"