FISHING JIGS, I CAN DO THAT!
call it a search bait, others a big fish bait. To some, it is a numbers bait. It is a proven tournament winner across this great land. In as much as it is the confidence bait of many, it is an intimidating bait to fish for many anglers. One thing is certain, if you have yet to develop the trust and confi- dence in fishing a jig for bass, you’re miss- ing out on a lot of bites and some really great fish. As a guide on the California Delta, where the jig is a year round, deadly weap- on on largemouth bass, I encounter many clients who choose me as a guide to help them build that confidence and learn how to jig fish. Before we even hit the water, there are three steadfast concepts I dis- cuss about jig fishing.
By ANDy CUCCIA
» learn To piTch
These two tactics are by far the most deadly when fishing jigs, while targeting larger fish in close quarters, and or around cover. They are very similar and easy tac- tics to learn. Hall of Famer Dee Thomas, in- troduced the flippin’ technique to the bass fishing world many years ago. Dee and another Western angler Dave Gliebe, ex- ploded on the BASS scene and spanked a whole lot of professionals back in the 80’s with the flippin’ technique. Later in the 80s, many of us caught on to what Hank Parker & Denny Brauer where doing and began pitching. Both of these casting tech- niques allow you to efficiently present a bait into tight cover and at specific targets, either from close up (the flip, reel closed and locked) or from a greater distance (the pitch, reel open, ready to release line). Many anglers struggle with these two tactics. Inevitably, it leads them to putting down that jig for another day. Their prob- lems, all tend to lie in a few simple me-
chanical errors in their presentations. The flip and pitch, are derived from a natural swinging motion of your jig at the end of the line. They object is to use the strengths of your rod and reel to do all the work. Minimal body motion and interaction is required by the angler. Many anglers will use their elbow, arm, shoulder and hips to generate what they believe is the proper mechanics to send that bait flying towards their target. Inevitably, that’s precisely what happens, your bait flies out there to- wards your target out of control. Whether you are pitching or flipping, your bait should be hanging down right next to your reel when holding your rod straight up to 12:00. If you just use your wrist to dip the rod tip slowly to 9:00, you will notice a natural, pendulum swing of that jig. Once that jig is about 4 feet away from your body and starting it’s upwards pendulum move, raise that rod tip to about
11:00. You will notice the trajectory re- mains low. At this point you either feather out the line from your opposite hand when flipping, or release your thumb from the reel spool so the force of the jig can take out line and direct itself towards your tar- get. Do this over and over in slow motion; you will begin to get the picture. As you be- gin to get the hang of this simple motion, you can start to implement a 180 rotation of your wrist to gain greater force and dis- tance when pitching. Pitching and flipping is very easy; un- fortunately it’s difficult to explain in writ- ing. You can go out to Westernbass.TV and see my recent video on the proper way to pitch and flip as I have explained.
Fishing a jig is easy; tell yourself that, over and over. Instill the positive thought