"Jig-n-pig", "jig-n-pork", "jig-n-frog", "jig-n-eel", "jig-n-craw" and
just plain "jig", these terms
all describe what will be one of the most
productive bass lures in East Texas during
the coming months.
Basically these terms
describe a jig (usually rubber skirted
but sometimes with a deer hair skirt) and
different types of trailers.
four are talking about a jig with a pork
type trailer such as those manufactured
by Uncle Josh or Strike-King/Bo-Hawg. The
main advantage of these pork type trailers
is that they will remain pliable and more
flexible and therefore produce a more lifelike
action in colder water temperatures. Many
pros switch over to pork in any water temperatures
Jig-n-craw describes a
jig with some type of plastic crawworm
trailer. This is what most of us use during
the majority of the year, while there are
still some purists out there that prefer
to use pork year 'round.
The main disadvantage
of pork is that it begins to dry out rather
quickly when its out of the water. So it
can dry out while you are running from
one fishing spot to the next. This is not
nearly the problem this time of year that
it is during the summer, but it is something
If you follow any of the pro circuits,
you know that a jig is one of the pros'
favorite baits. Denny Brauer won the '98
BassMasters Classic and became the all-time
money winner on the BASS tour and a jig
is usually his lure of choice. Former BASS
MegaBucks Champion and consistent Classic
qualifier Tommy Biffle almost always keeps
a jig tied on. Last year's BassMasters
Classic champion, Jay Yelas, caught the
majority of his bass at last year's Classic
on a Berkley Power Jig. And reigning BassMasters
Classic champ Mike Iaconelli caught some
of this years winning catch out of the
Mississippi River Delta on a jig.
of factors contribute to this loyalty.
First is the hooking-to-landing percentage.
You just don't lose many fish with a jig.
Usually when a bass bites a jig, he has
the whole bait in his mouth.
with soft plastics, the bass will pick
up a worm or lizard by the tail or pick
up a crawworm by the pincers. This leads
to missed fish and the pros will tell you
that most of the time it is very difficult
to get a bass to bite after you have just
jerked a bait out of his mouth. Also, because
of the design of the bait, the point of
the hook rides up all the time and you
usually hook the fish in the top of the
mouth. This is a tough portion of the mouth
and therefore the hook rarely pulls out
while the fish is fighting.
pros prefer a jig because it produces larger
than average fish. You don't have to measure
many of the bass that you catch on a jig.
Smaller, more subtle baits will produce
more bites most of the time, but usually
the fish are going to be smaller. How many
times do you think a four pounder was swimming
over to grab your bait but a ten incher
beat him to it. A jig and trailer is a
little bit bigger meal than most ten or
twelve inchers are willing to tackle. Therefore
you won't get as many bites with a jig,
but the ones that you get are usually going
to be quality bites. And in tournament
competition these days, quality bites are
of the utmost importance.
With the cooler air and water temperatures,
usually the bass want something slow moving
and on the bottom. If this is the case,
then the jig fills the bill. So if you
just know that there are some bass in the
lay-down logs and brushpiles that you have
been casting to and you just can't get
'em to bite your crankbaits and spinnerbaits,
then throw 'em a jig. Throw that jig in
the thickest cover that you can find. Try
to find some cover near deep water (7'-10'),
the bass like to stay a little closer to
deep water this time of year. Logpiles,
brushpiles, stumps and reeds are excellent
places to drop your jig. Lake Livingston
seems to have bass in shallow water almost
year 'round and a jig is a great bait to
go after 'em with.
On Lake Livingston I usually use a 3/8
or 1/2 ounce jig with a 4" Berkley
Power Craw trailer. I usually bite about
11/2" off my crawworm before I put
it on my jig, this makes the bait a little
more compact. This year the bass have had
a preference for something with red on
it. I have been having good luck with a
black/brown/amber jig with a plum/chartreuse
claw or a camouflage Power Craw trailer.
If the water looks pretty muddy, try a
black/blue jig with a solid chartreuse
trailer, you may get surprised. Since I
am always fishing fairly thick cover with
my jig, I usually use 20 pound clear premium
monofilament like Berkley Big Game or Trilene
XT or some of the new supertough Ironsilk.
I always use a 7'6" heavy action Fenwick
flipping rod (model GTC 775-2) for my jig
work. Also, I use like to use a smooth,
quality, high-speed, baitcasting reel with
a thumb bar release like one of the new
Abu Garcia Tornö 3006HSI. This reel
has a new, super-smooth spool system that
really improves pitchin' distance.
Next month is going to be the Houston
Boat Show at the new Reliant Complex. Come
by and see me at the Lake Livingston Area
Tourism Council booth or the Lakecaster
booth (they are side-by-side this year)
or at the Cut Rate Tackle booth. Also I'll
be giving bass fishing seminars again this
year. The subject of these seminars is
going to be "Springtime Bass Fishing
in East Texas." Check the seminar
schedule posted in the Reliant Complex
or printed in the Houston Chronicle. Come
by and visit, and tell me what you think
about my articles and let me know what
you'd like to have me cover in the future.
I look forward to seeing you. If you would
like some first hand instruction on black
bass fishing on Lake Livingston or Sam
Rayburn, I guide full time on both of these
lakes and can be reached at (936) 563-5454
or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you get a chance, check out my web site
at www.livingston.net/fairbanks and let
me know what you think. Don't forget, a
guide trip makes an excellent Christmas
present that will provide memories for
years to come. Until next month, may God
bless you and yours, have a happy and safe
holidays and remember that Jesus is the
Reason for the Season.
Sponsored by: Ranger Boats, Motorguide,
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