• Kenneth Kieser: Bass tournament winning jig-and-plastic combos

  • Here is a stupid question for you: How would you like to catch more bass?

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  • Here is a stupid question for you: How would you like to catch more bass?
    If you answered “yes,” keep reading because the secret of catching more bass is an ancient remedy I first started using in the early 1970s.
    Honestly, in this day and age of miracle lures, there is no secret technique or expensive machine that drives bass into an insane feeding machine. A jig with soft plastic trailer has won more bass tournaments than any other lure.
    Winning major bass tournaments requires thorough preparation and flawless execution during the event, as well has giving them what they want. Bassmaster Elite Series professional anglers Alton Jones and Edwin Evers know that along with having the right lure, each angler must make daily adjustments to catch the most bass. Both anglers won nearly $1 million on just three tournaments using a variation of that old jig-and-pork you caught a bass on back in the 1970s.
    Jones won the Bassmaster Classic in 2008 on Lake Hartwell in South Carolina; Evers won the Bassmaster Elite Series Citrus Slam Tournament on the St. Johns River and the PAA Series Tournament on Lake Norman with a jig.
    Crawfish imitations that are associated with jig and trailer combinations seem to catch better numbers of bigger, quality bass and eliminate the smaller bites, giving bigger bass a better chance of getting on your line.
    Only a handful of anglers have ever won the Bassmaster Classic. Jones won in 2008 on a jig-and-craw combination of his own creation. He took the skirt off another jig and wired it to a BOOYAH jig head. His newly built prototype jig became known as the A-Jig. Jones then added a YUM Chunk as a trailer. The skirt, jig head and trailer combination was the key to his win.
    After Jones won the Classic on Lake Hartwell, the new BOOYAH A-Jig became an instant must-have lure among tournament anglers. This Jig features the same style skirt with both round rubber and silicone strains – a skirt combination that flairs and provides more action. These skirts are hand-tied, and the jig features a big, round-bend hook. Jones credited his victory in the Classic to this jig-and-chunk combination and to locating the right fish in deep water.
    “I knew that I could catch them early on a spoon,” Jones said. “But I needed to figure out a different lure that would catch them after the morning bite subsided. So, I spent every day of practice trying to catch them on different lures. Finally, I tried my prototype jig combination on a bottom drop off.”
    On his first cast, he caught a nice keeper, and another on his second cast.
    “I knew right then, I had found something special,” Jones said.
    To get his winning stringers he fished in 35 to 55 feet of water around drains and depressions with scattered stumps and cover. Jones knew the jig combination was going to be his key to winning the Classic once he started catching bass on it.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I literally had to crawl the lure on the bottom very, very slowly, and when the jig came off the bottom and fell, the bass would strike it, but only if the jig fell slowly,” Jones explained. “Once I started catching bass, I knew that this was something special and it was going to be hard for any other competitor to reproduce.”
    Jig combinations won't win on every lake. Jones says that he puts jigs first when he's fishing a lake known for producing big bass or when he's confident that he can get five good bites from the area he's fishing. Five bites are all it takes to win a tournament, but they have to be the right five, and the angler must perform flawlessly.
    Kenneth Kieser is a freelance outdoors writer. His column appears weekly in The Examiner. Reach him at kkieser@comcast.net

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