Jig Modification | Secrets to Catching More Bass

Jig Modification | Secrets to Catching More Bass


The jig is a lure known to target big bass, and is a staple in just about every angler's tackle box. But did you know that making a few key modifications will help you get even more out of this versatile lure? Mikey Balzz shares a few of his secret jig modification techniques, and breaks down why you should keep an eye on water temperature when dressing your jig.

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Video transcript:

Mikey Balzz:
As anglers, we probably don't agree on much but there's one thing I think across the board, every angler will agree on: jigs catch big bass. There's no doubt about it. They get some big bites, 365 days out of the year. But one thing that I've done to tweak and make my jig fishing a little more efficient is, I've segmented or picked out a variety of categories of jig trailers that address various and specific needs that I have when I'm on the water, whether it's spring, winter, fall, because a jig is one of those great baits that works any time of the year. So what we're going to do in this video is, I'm going to run you through a very simple way to identify what trailer you need for when and what kind of action that provides for that jig, because the different trailers that you use really create a different profile and a different swimming or gliding action for any kind of jig.

Mikey Balzz:
So one of the first categories that I look at, is your traditional craw style bait, basically baits that have kicker style paddles on it. These appendages tend to move and create drag on the jig. So basically water's warming, fish are a little more active, maybe you're spring, summer, even fall with a bunch of bait running around, you want a little bit bigger profile and you want something to displace some water. Maybe your water's a little bit dirty, maybe you're flipping, so I look at these guys as more of your reactive style trailer. What they do with the jig is, they actually make it swim a bit more. They'll create that water displacement and create that little bit of kick, that little bit of extra action in the jig to, I don't know, just make it a little more of an active presentation.

Mikey Balzz:
So really we're going to frame these up from most aggressive, your appendages, your kicking paddles, all the way down to the most subtle and right in the middle of those is these guys right here: your creature, or maybe a paddle tail style beaver bait. Really what sets these apart is, it still has your appendage style, let's call it the dangler right there, but really it doesn't kick. It doesn't have that water displacement, that extra action you get from some of those kicking appendages and the way I like to describe the action that you get out of the jig with this, is a gliding style action. So instead of the bait swimming through the water when you pitch it to that tree, or you're dragging it over that shell bar, this really causes that jig to slide and glide, just fall straight, not so much water displacement, but you're still getting some kind of action, a little bit of movement, from that appendage but really it's adding some bulk to that jig to make it a little easier to cast and pitch. It's also adding some action, because it's causing that jig to dart and glide as you're fishing.

Mikey Balzz:
You know, we've talked about putting things on the back end of the jig: trailers, picking your right trailer for your right water situation. Another little mod that you can do is, you can actually put something on the front end and this is actually a Viking switchblade. Basically it's a chatterbait blade, but what's super cool about it is, it can actually be placed on any jig using this clipping mechanism just like that. So you can take your flipper jig, say you're flipping along a bank, bunch of wood on there and you actually reel your jig up and a fish chases it out and you're like, "Hmm, these fish are chasing. They want more of a moving presentation." Well, you can immediately turn around, take that flipping jig in that super heavy cover, put a blade on it and turn it into a four wheel drive chatterbait just to give you a different look.

Mikey Balzz:
So the most nuanced or the most finessed end of the spectrum is actually kind of a sneaky trick and I'm going to tell you this. You guys are probably going to laugh at me a little bit, but this is tried, true and tested. I guarantee you I've caught some monster fish doing this and I think part of the reason is, they don't see this presentation as much. Basically what I do is, I take a stick style bait. There's a Cut R worm, just your regular style stick style bait and one of the best techniques for finicky fish and hard to catch fish is the wacky rig, right? And oftentimes we'll just wacky rig with a circle hook.

Mikey Balzz:
Well, what I actually like to do is take that stick bait and put it on the back of the jig, just like that, with a wacky rig setup. And I know it looks funky. It looks clunky, but what it does is it adds some bulk to the jig, makes it really easy and castable, and when we're talking about a more finessed or nuanced presentation, the movement of this jig underwater is very slow because what happens is, you get some resistance of the water as you drag it against that stick bait, also causing the stick bait to flare ever so slightly, just that subtle action of the stick bait that we look for. And it's a very subtle presentation, but the coolest part about it is, no matter stick bait you use, they're pretty bulky, right? So you still get that bulky, big fish presentation when it comes to rigging up the jig. Super easy to cast, but definitely something they have not seen.

Mikey Balzz:
The other thing that you can do, and it's also kind of sneaky but a little more streamlined approach to the finesse deal, it's something I like to do maybe when I'm stroking a jig is, I'll bite the stick bait, whoop. That was really attractive, right? And I'll actually take that stick bait ... Ned fishing is super popular right now and all Ned fishing is, is basically taking a stick bait or a stick style bait, putting it on a jig head. Well, I'll actually thread this thing on just like you would a Ned, just like that, up the keeper. And it will be a stick style bait right on the back of your jig just like that. What's really cool with this is, it gives a very subtle action. And when you're jerking it, stroking that jig, it causes it to dart, almost like when you're fluke fishing, gives it a very erratic, jumpy action. Very cool, but at the same time, very subtle and I guarantee you something they have not seen.

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