Do you love big bluegill?
I just got in to bass fishing a few years ago but I have tried just about every type of bait there is. I know far less than most people on this site, but I think I may have something to say here. Something that I have noticed is that there are very few "givens" in the sport. One of them that I've noticed is that bass fisherman that I see always use very large jigs with relatively big trailers. The Silver Dollar weighted Football jigs are nice when flipping brush, and in super deep water, but the majority of my fishing is in open, 6-12 foot water. I, like many others, followed the wave of large jigs, but one day last year we decided to fish gigantic smallmouth with a smaller jig. A 1/8 ouncer with a small plastic in fact. They ate that better than any football jig, tube, or swimbait that we tried. Those baits are supposed to the best at catching post spawn fish, staged on drop-offs. The mini-jig and plastic out caught them 5:0. While there are many days when I can't figure the fish out, this method keeps delivering when fish are in mid-depths. It caught 2 smallies over 20" last weekend in fact. The second cliché of bass fishing is the relatively small crankbait. I personally have never seen a bass fisherman in Illinois use any size over a 4" crankbait. On summer days when fish are suspended and eating perch and bluegill crankbait fishing is great, however the big fish aren't going to attack 2.5" shad imitators. Pull a 5 or 6" bait out of your box and you might get some pike and a few less fish, but the 5-8 pounders love it. I got my big baits at Walmart for 1.99. It wasn't a name brand, but the baits run well, rattle, and have ultra sharp hooks. Never have I caught a largemouth bigger than 5lbs doing anything else on my favorite lake, however, fishing big cranks, I have gotten 4 over 5lbs. So to sum it up, on heavily pressured lakes, think small jigs and big cranks. They just might surprise you.
We actually use the madness methods you've described here in southern California's waters for years now. Plenty of discussions on the secrets to the madness by the bass chasers around here. I go sick and tired of chasing bass (unless they're striped bass in which we love to eat) so, I focus my time cultivating my skills on panfish, and young cats and carps for meals on the dinner table. I always catch bass using rigs for my panfish and cat. This is why BBG is my home to hone my skills to be the better fisherman of the waters for delicious panfish.
thanks for the reply leo. I was wondering about the fisherman outside of the midwest and you gave me the answer
I've got a book on Bass Fishing that was published around 2005, give or take a few years.
The first chapter about jigs starts off with 1/4 oz (or smaller), bass-sized hair jigs from way-back-when. That book stated that these types of jigs are often overlooked nowadays, or used primarily for Smallmouth Bass. However, what has faded in the past is starting to come back 'round again, and some folks are again pursuing those green fish with hair jigs.
That same book also mentions how California and/or Arizona saw the birth of tube jig trickery, and how Cali started the monster plug craze, like the Z-plug, J-plug, Castaic Trout, etc.
I read way to much.......
thanks so much allen for educating me about the subject of small jigs. i only see people throwing big footballs in northern illinois wondering why they cant catch smallmouth...
Jacob---You should look up the Ned Kedhe or "Ned Rig".He is an illustrator for In-Fisherman Mag,but he has popularized a Gopher Mushroom Head/Strike King Zero combo that he claims to catch a million fish on (OK-9000) in Illinois.It's half a zero on a mushroom(small).They say many tournament guys use this as a 'secret' bait.
thanks chris it looks like a great method.
the older members of my family use that in southern indiana as well