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May 2001

"Patience Rewarded"
Chris Roberts


There is nothing better in the world than flipping a jig into a tree that is about seven or eight feet away from the boat.  Then when you feel that familiar thump come through your rod and you set the hook.  When you catch a six pound plus fish with only about ten foot of line out, you never know who is going to come out on top. The Bass jig is one of the hardest baits to gain confidence in because for the most part you are fishing for a few bites a day.  There are days when seven bites is a good day.  I know that when I am fishing a jig, I am not looking to catch a big number of fish, but I am hunting a trophy.

For a bunch of us fisherman, we have a weakness when it comes to patience.  We hurry all week long and then we fish tournaments on the weekends and there just doesnít seem to be time to slow down.  For years I watched my dad catch the biggest fish of the trip.  He almost always caught them on a jig and pork or jig and craw.  I can remember countless times that I was catching fish after fish and he would say, ďIím just waiting on that one big biteĒ.  He took his time and never got in a rush.  He taught me most of the ins and outs of jig fishing.  I would watch dad flip his jig into a brush pile fifteen to twenty times before the water would erupt and a seven pounder would launch out and do its best to get loose.  This is one of the keys to jig fishing.  When you are flipping a jig into a brush pile or a logjam, donít just put it in there and remove it then skip to the next piece of structure.  Some times a fish needs to be talked into biting.  Flip the bait in several times and you are more likely to be rewarded.  Once the bait has hit something, donít take it right back out.  Although the bass tend to hit jigs on the fall, it is not over yet.  Take your jig and shake it and let it rest.  Shake it again and then if you are comfortable that you gave the fish every opportunity to bite it, go ahead and make another cast.  If you get into a hurry and skip these steps your success will be limited.

Your choice of color is as important as the placement of the lure.  If it is possible, find some crawfish on the lake that you are fishing and try to match up the color.  In the spring I choose a Cyclone crawfish jig tipped with a Gene Larew pumpkinseed craw with orange pinchers.  It is a color combo that has performed well for me year after year.  In the summer when the lakes tend to clear up, I turn to a white jig.  Although I seldom fish a jig that only has one color in it, I use white/chart, white/silver, or white and black.  I make sure that white is the predominate color.  In the fall I turn to an old favorite, its called Mardi Gras.  It is similar to sour grape but it has some gold strands in it.  I mainly fish it in the fall, but it performs equally well in the spring and summer.  For most Oklahoma fishermen, black and blue is the overwhelming favorite. Some guys act like that is the only color to throw.  There are many color options with jigs and the wise angler will have plenty to choose from in his box.

The tackle that you throw your jig on is extremely important.  You cannot go to the lake with ten-pound test and fish a jig in the heaviest cover and expect to boat very many fish.  You need to spool your reels with at least twenty five-pound line.  I recommend that you use twenty-five pound Berkley Big Game in the green color.  Your reel needs to be super free so that you can keep your bait close to the water when you are flipping it into cover.  This will give you a much quieter entry into the water.  You also need to have a high-speed reel so that you can bring your fish out of the woods before he wraps you up.  When it comes to rods you need to have a rod that is long enough to give you lots of leverage to bring your fish out.  I recommend that you use a seven to seven and a half foot mag heavy rod anytime you are fishing a jig.

Next time you are out for a day on the water and you want to catch a big fish, just pull out your flipping stick and tie on a jig and let it work itís magic.  If you will fish it slow and give it an honest chance, you will find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  One good trip is all that it will take for you to be hooked for life.

Leave a few for seed,

Chris Roberts