Rus Snyders

When fishing clear, deep, rocky reservoirs during the earlyspring, it's hard to beat a football jig. The shape of their head is designedto kick up sand, dirt and mud, giving it the appearance of an escaping crawdad.

While swimbaits may produce the occasional giant bass, afootball jig will catch quality bass on a more consistent basis.

Common weights are 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4 and one ounce. There are many things to factor in whendetermining what weight jig to throw.One obvious factor is depth.Typically the deeper you fish, the heavier the jig selection. In 50 feet of water, it would take a3/8 oz. jig forever to hit the bottom.A 3/4 or 1 oz. jig would get your lure to the strike zone much more efficiently.Because heavier jigs fall faster,they tend to produce many reaction strikes from more aggressive fish. When working a heavy jig over a ledge,often times, just as you pull your lure over the lip, the jig falls quickly,and then POP!a fish smashes it just as you are pulling out line to ensure yourlure falls vertically. The surprise element of the fast falling jig triggers areaction strike. The bass has notime to think and realizes he either eats it or he misses out.

On the other end of the spectrum, a lighter jig requires afinesse technique. A 3/8 oz. jigis used when fish are acting more finicky. The light weight and slow fall give the jig a much more naturalpresentation, which can produce great results in clearer water.

When it comes to color selection, I lean toward more naturalcolors. I stick with brown rubberas my base color, and switch the colors of the silicone skirt to vary the appearanceof each jig. For example: brownw/purple, brown w/orange, brown w/ green pumpkin, etc. Keep it simple and stick with six or sevencolors max. This way you will gainenough confidence in each color to know exactly when and where to throwit.

These days a decent jig will sell for $3 or $4. Many anglers make football jigsthemselves to save money. By buying materials online and tying them yourself,not only are you going to have the exact colors you want, but it will cost youless than a dollar a jig. Usingstore bought jigs can get expensive when you loose five to ten jigs a day,which is quite common. www.JannsNetCraft.comhas a great selection of materials for the do-it-yourselfer.

I stick with four trailers to dress up my jig: Brush Hogs,Sweet Beavers, and a single- or double-tail grub. Just starting on the water, I will switch up these fourtrailers to determine what the fish are interested in.

When selecting a rod, a med/heavy to heavy, fast action rodis best in order to deliver solid hook sets. For 3/8 to 1/2 oz. jigs I use a 6'6" med/heavy Quantum; for 5/8to 1 oz., Quantum's 6' 10" works great.

Additionally, be sure to use a high-speed gear ratioreel. When a stealthy bass picksup your bait and runs at the boat without you feeling anything, a 7:1 ratioreel becomes handy. It allows youto pick up slack line faster, improving your chance at a good hook set.

Line is also a very important factor when jig fishing. Flourocarbon is the best choice. Fluorocarbon's low stretch allows thehook to penetrate the fishes mouth when making long casts, and the way itvanishes once submerged prevents the bass from seeing the line when fishingslow in clear water.

I hope these jig-fishingtips help put more fish in the boat.In the near future, I will be creating a YouTube video demonstrating howto make these jigs yourself, so stay tuned.

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Rus Snyders

About The Author: Captain Rus Snyders

Company: Rus Snyders Bass Fishing Guide Service

Area Reporting: Clear Lake, Cal Delta, Sonoma, Folsom, Berryessa, Anderson, Calero

Bio: Northern California Bass Fishing Guide.My number one goal as a guide is to have you go home feeling that you had the greatest fishing experience of your life. I want my client's to walk away learning in one day what they felt would have taken years to learn on their own.

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