Using weedless jigs in saltwater for calico bass

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  • BASIC ADVICE:

    1. Use good jigs, all weedless jigs are not created equal.
    2. Use slightly heavier than normal line.
    3. Use a slightly heavier than normal rod/reel.
    4. Add a slimy coating or scent.
    5. Swing MUCH harder than usual when setting the hook, wind through the hookset.
    6. Use the weedguard to it’s fullest potential, throw them in thick structure.
    7. Use different soft plastic trailers to create different falling speeds. Experiment.
    8. When fishing heavy structure, it’s important to horse the fish asap. Hit them hard and reel fast until you’re sure they are clear of the structure. Fish fight MUCH harder when you’re pulling them away from their hiding places.

    5 BEST JIG TRICKS:

    1. Fishing rocks from a boat or water craft. Choose or set up a jig that is appropriate for the conditions. Heavy in strong currents and lighter in more mellow currents. Station yourself as far away from the rocks, as you are comfortable casting (a trolling motor or an anchor is advised for this, but kayaks and tubes work good too). This will put you in a better position for presenting lures and a better position for fighting fish. Aim high, try to land your jig in the shallowest water possible. This is a falling presentation. Try to hop your jig down the rocks as if descending a staircase. It is imperative that your jigs contacts rocks. If you don’t feel structure throw closer to the rocks or set up a heavier jig. If your constantly getting snagged , your jig is probably to heavy. Work it all the way to the bottom and then crawl and hop it, about half way back to the boat. Lot’s of fish are hanging deep.
    2. Worming it. Choose a jig that’s heavy enough to work the bottom but, light enough to appear natural. Cast out and let it sink. Work down hill if possible. Work up current if possible. Wiggle the jig in place before moving it. Give it hard hop and then wiggle it again. This is incase any fish are staring at your lure, because they probably are. Start working it back, crawl it, hop it, shake it, and jig it(big hops). Slow and steady wins the race in this trick. Eel grass, choose a light weight jig and crawl it over the eel grass. Throw in some wiggles and hops. Experiment with trailers. Don’t be afraid to use lizards or plastic worms.
    3. Pot-holing kelp. Choose a jig that has a curltail feature. Choose a jig that has a well balanced fall rate, and kind of parachutes as it falls. Throw into medium to large kelp openings. Feel the line for taps or bumps. You are trying to get bit on the fall. Use the 10-15 foot rule. If your lure doesn’t get bit after 12 feet or so of falling, reel it in and cast again. Cast ahead of the boats drift. Long cast increase your chances of getting bit but, decrease your chances of landing big fish. Try to fish the holes that haven’t been spooked by the boat yet.
    4. Kelp canopy fishing. Similar to pot-holing. Use the 3 foot rule here. If your lure falls for over 3 feet, reel it up and cast again. Find kelp thick enough to slow or completely stop the boat’s drift. Pitch you jigs (same set up as pot-holing) into tiny holes and try to get bit on the drop. It is not necessary to even have a hole in the canopy. Throw onto the thickest kelp and wiggle the lure through. Again, if you don’t get bit immediately, try again. When retrieving your jig through the canopy pull it real slow to give the weedguard time to work. Sometimes this trick requires a lot of patience but pays off big. Same thing applies to the next and final trick.
    5. Bottom tapping. I like this trick because it isn’t necessary to use a curltail type trailer(also because it catches huge fish). Choose a trailer that looks good sitting still. I suggest; beavers, crawtubes, worms, zipper worms, etc. Find kelp thick enough to stop and hold your boat(you could also do this from an anchor). Drop your weedless jig through the canopy and all the way to the bottom. Fish vertically. Once on the bottom, wiggle or tap your jig in place. The longer you tap in one place the better. We’ve caught many big fish after 5 minutes of wiggling without moving. It’s a good idea to have a radio for this trick.You can tap to the beat. Always feel the line for a tick or bump. If you get bit, set the hook and WIND, WIND, WIND. Try to get the fish as high up of the bottom as you can before he even fights back if possible. If someone gets bit or hooks up and you have a jig handy, drop into the same spot. The actions of one fish inspire the actions of other fish, so you can often get more than one fish from the same spot.

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