time bait is a 3/4oz Jewel Football Jig. I dress the jig with a full-size skirt, to allow for a large profile, and stick to colors like black/blue and peanut butter/jelly as these colors match the crawfish very closely for this time of year. As spring draws closer, however, I will start throw- ing the “hot peanut butter” color, because the red hues more closely resemble the seasonal color-change of the crawfish. I am also very particular about the trailer I throw on the bait as well. While I typi- cally use trailers with a lot of action, such as the Strike King Rage Craw, it is important to know that lots of action from your jig trailer will be counter- productive during the winter. The crawfish, along with the bass, are moving very slowly this time of year, so I prefer a trailer with almost no action. I have found that the Strike King Rodent or the 3X line of Denny Brauer Chunks work the best for this application; I prefer the regular and “mag- num” size for my wintertime fishing. I throw these jigs on 12 – 15 pound Hi-SEAS Quattro 100% Fluorocarbon. I find that this line has the sensitivity needed for me to feel super-light bites as well the ultra-low stretch needed for solid hooksets in deep water; both of which are common in wintertime jig fishing. I spool this line on a Quantum Tour Edition PT reel, the high speed 6.3:1 ratio allows me to pick up line in a hurry. Plus, the light weight and greatly re- duced profile of the reel makes it comfort- able to fish with all day; and sticking with a technique all day long is often necessary in cold water conditions. An American Rodsmiths Denny Brauer Signature Series Football Jig rod, with its 7’3” length for moving lots of line in deep water and a firm backbone for jarring hooksets, com- pletes the setup. The aforementioned principles should be considered even if an angler chooses to throw a lure besides a jig. For instance, if an angler feels more comfortable throw- ing a worm, I would tell them to shy away from the traditional curl-tail worms and in- stead opt for a larger, straight-tail worm. If an angler must throw a plastic during
the winter, my recommendation would be a Senko-style bait with a weight that is just heavy enough to keep your presentation on the bottom.
Wintertime bass fishing is a tedious job that is often reserved for the dedicated. But if we have to be bun- dled up in layers, some of us would have no other way than with a rod and reel in our hands. Most will choose to be home by the fire, but for those who continue chas- ing little green fish during the winter, awaits one of the biggest bites of the year. “Stephen Pineau is a professional angler and li- censed guide who will be competing in the 2010 sea- son on the FLW Stren Se- ries, B.A.S.S. Central Opens, B.A.S.S. Weekend Series, MediaBass, BassChamps and the ACA Tournament trails for The University of Texas at Arlington. His spon- sors include Triton Boats, Mercury Outboards, Bassa- holics Apparel, Quantum, Hi- SEAS Fishing Line, American Rodsmiths, Jewel Bait Com- pany, Humminbird Electron- ics, MinnKota Motors, Black Dog Bait Co, CurvSports Marketing, Kaenon Polar- ized and Secret Weapon Lures. For more information about Stephen, his guide service or his sponsors, you can visit his website at www. StephenPineau.com” bw