Whitesburg KY
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Gabby’s fishing fever

Jig fishing for early season bass

The signs of early spring are everywhere from trees budding out to flowers blooming. A lot of the old-timers will tell you this is the time to start fishing. They are right, for fish like the largemouth bass are starting to move up more shallow to feed and to look for spawning areas soon.

In the early spring when the water temps climb into the 50-degree range, bass start to move toward the warming shallows. This is what is known as the pre-spawn period or the time bass will look for suitable spawning areas. During this time bass will feed more in the shallow water.

When I talk of shallow water, I mean an area of the lake that has a bank that has deep water and has drop-offs coming off the bank into different depths. Bass will move around these banks in a up-anddown movement.

Bass will move up more shallow to feed and when the weather is stable. They will move back down when they feel threatened or a cold front moves in. But whatever the situation, there is a bass bait suited to catch bass holding on this type of cover. This lure is the bass jig.

The bass jig is one of the simplest and deadliest bass catchers in the right hands. The jig is one of only a couple of bass baits that is known as a big fish bait.

Jigs come in two basic styles, rubber and hair. The hair jig is most used in water with temperatures below 50 degrees and the rubber-skirted jigs are used in water temperatures above 50. A lot of fisherman will use one or the other most all of the year.

I prefer to use the hair jig myself almost all year. I have had good success with the hair jig in all water temperatures.

Look for a bank that has several depth changes till it drops off into a channel. If you find cover like brush piles, stumps, rocks or bushes on this bank, it is even better.

Use small, dark-colored jigs on light line and make your cast from deep into shallow water and work the jig slowly back with a slow, pulling, hopping action . Watch your line for a small twitch or, if you feel a dead weight on your line, set the hook hard. Anytime during the retrieve you feel your bait drop off a ledge, watch your line or try to feel your bait as it falls. On the fall is where most of the strikes will occur.

If you feel the jig go through cover, stop and work your jig before pulling it loose. Working the jig will increase your chance of a strike.

So get out and give early season bass jig fishing a try. In a recent bass tournament on Carr Fork Lake, a five-bass limit with a weight of over 17 pounds and a big fish of around 4 1/2 pounds won the tournament. From what I was told all of them were caught on a jig.

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