and fishing more methodically during the winter months.
“ This is the season when I turn to a jig, because you get into that timeframe when the fish typically want to eat one big meal rather than chasing around a bunch of shad, ” Hite said.
Expanding on the general jig premise, let ’ s look at a handful of points for improvement.
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
Jig weight is largely determined by depth, so while a ½-ounce bait might do the trick in shallow waters, you ’ ll want to bump up to a ¾- to 1-ounce jig for deeper spots, or any spot where current might sweep a lighter jig off target. Whatever size you choose, give some thought to what ’ s on the back end.
“ My main choice for a flipping jig trailer is the 4-inch, medium Yamamoto Craw, but if I want to condense my bait profile for more of a finesse presentation, I might go to the 3 ¾-inch Yamamoto Baby Fat Craw, ” Hite said. “ If I ’ m fishing weed mats or grass this time of year, I want a nice compact trailer so my jig doesn ’ t get hung up a lot. ”
When he wants more action in his flipping jig presentation, Hite goes with the 5-inch Yamamoto Double Tail Grub. If he feels the need to spice things up a bit, he ’ ll even put a Yamamoto Flappin ’ Hog on his flipping jig for a more active display. Tearing off a couple of the side appendages streamlines the profile and keeps the skirt from bulking unnaturally.
Despite the logic of feeding winter bass one big meal, there will be times — particularly in those dreaded post-frontal conditions — when downsizing takes precedence. FLW Tour pro Andrew Upshaw approaches tough winter bass by pitching an Outkast Tackle finesse jig; a compact bait that ’ s more likely to tempt a lethargic bass.
“ Whether the barometric pressure is high or the fishing pressure is high, the finesse jig is a great bait to approach any lake, whether it has rock, wood or grass, ” Upshaw said.
These, along with shaky heads paired with skinny finesse worms, can prove highly productive for probing docks and wood when post-frontal bass snub full size jigs. Think of it like bringing meals to a flu-stricken family member. They need to eat, but they ’ re just not going to finish and entire sandwich in