Winter jig fishing
There’s never been a better bait in the heart of the cold winter than a jig. Over the years, It has emulated one of the bass’ most prominent food sources, that being a crawfish. There is no doubt that crawfish become their food source of choice in the cold winter water. There are several reasons: bass like easy prey, and crawfish are slow and easy for them to attack. Crawfish also hang in the rocky areas of the lake, and bass move to the rocks for heat as the water warms around the rocky area early in the winter. Most crawfish in freshwater lakes have a red and black coloring to them that makes them easily visualized by bass in the murky winter water. These are just some of the many reasons bass target crawfish in the winter. Combine the look of a jig crawled on the bottom emulating a crawfish, and you have the ideal winter bait.
There are many different looks to a jig. I like fishing with the football jig for several reasons. First, it easily gets to the bottom, and crawfish hang on the bottom near the rocks for protection, making the football jig ideal. A football jig also stays down easily as the design was made to stay connected with the bottom in the current. If I am fishing more than 15 feet, I like going to 3/4 ounce football jig. This stays on the bottom and can be crawled like a crawfish even if there is current or water movement. The heavier football jig is more sensitive and gives you a better feel of a bite when you get to the deeper depths.
It is also true that a jig is a big fish bait, and in the winter when the bass are lethargic, they become the best of the big fish catchers you have in your box. The bigger the bass, the more lethargic they become in the cold water, and the more apt they are to striking an easy prey, like a crawfish, hence your jig becomes your big fish bait of choice. Move it slowly, make a few jerking moves to give the jig that darting look of a crawfish and fish it on a slack line.
-Captain Mike Gerry