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Deep Water Jig Fishing
By Gregg Kizewski

 

I have never been totally happy with my performance when using a Carolina rig. I have tried an immense variety of lines on both the main line as well as the leader. I experimented with leader lengths, sinker weights, a multitude of different plastics and even hooks. In the end I always was left with the impression that there was many more fish down there than I was catching, or even feeling! Hence if a person were to ask me if the Carolina rig was one of my confidence baits, the answer would be a resounding no.

Although a rod or 2 with Carolina rigs can always be found in my rod locker, I will throw a jig at off shore structure 9 times out of 10.

The Jig Alternative:
When fishing deep inside or outside turns, a creek channel, deep wood, or tight contour lines adjacent to an expansive flat, more often than not my weapon of choice is a 7/8 ounce Brovarney swim jig in either “Gil” or “Blue Devil” colors. Typically I will start the presentation using a 5” Yamamoto grub in color # 157, which is smoke/black/purple fleck. I always super glue the grub to the jig and dip the last 3/8” or so of the tail in chartreuse “Spike-it”. If I am marking suspended fish I will rig the grub tail down, where as if the fish are tight to the bottom I will rig the grub tail up – the latter is the only time I EVER rig a grub tail up.

Suspended Fish:
If you are fishing for bass suspended within 3 feet of the bottom, use long casts and let the jig fall on a tight line (always be prepared for a hit on the fall) – when the line develops slack, you are on the bottom. At this point sweep the rod tip up at a 45-degree angle rather sharply to “twitch” the jig off the bottom, then immediately begin a steady retrieve and position your rod parallel to the water. This will keep the in the water column within a few feet of the bottom. You are in essence swimming the jig in deep water. 

When you are marking fish suspended more than 3 feet off the bottom, simply make a long cast and count the jig down upon its water entry. A 7/8-ounce jig with a 5” grub will fall at a rate of approximately 18” per second. When you count the jig down to the depth that the fish you are marking on your depth finder are at, begin your retrieve. You will bring your jig right through the strike zone.

Bottom Dwelling Fish:
For fish that are clinging tight to the bottom, once again make a long cast and when the jig hits the bottom pick up your slack with the reel. When the line is once again tight, move the jig only with your rod tip. This method is basically dragging the jig – pause, pick up slack with the reel and repeat the process. It always amazes me how many people will only fish a jig by “hopping” it. How many creatures in the natural environment of a lake or river will swim up then straight back down. If you watch a crawfish or any baitfish they swim or scoot horizontally. The dragging presentation is much more convincing to the fish.

If you feel anything “different”, set the hook! Often though, it will feel like the bass is pecking at it, similar to a bluegill bite.


Jig's and Jig Heads often
produce larger fish

 Deep Rock or Sand Points:
When I fish these types of points I use the same tactics as noted above if the fish are suspended. If the fish are tight to the bottom however, my choice of jig changes. I like to use a ¾ ounce to 1-ounce football head jig from Red Cedar Lures or a Moynagh rock jig from All Terrain Tackle. The trailer I use will typically be a 5” twin tail grub, Chomper’s grub, or a spider grub. A good choice of color would be green pumpkin, craw shades, or purple goby. This jig is also dragged along the bottom by using the rod tip.

Another good choice of jigs if the bottom is sand is the “Title Shot” jig by Fin-tech Tackle Company. It is another jig that has a premium hook and is weedless when rigged.

Summary:
If you feel there is more fish on deep-water structure than you are catching with a Carolina rig or a crankbait, try a jig. You can quickly and easily adjust depths, trailer colors and retrieves. It may become your new way to pluck more fish off the structure you have been fishing.