Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Winter 2015, Page 11

Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Winter 2015, Page 11


ohn Murray’s a big football fan, but there’s no

NFC-AFC smack talk or college rivalry in this

conversation. Rather, the Arizona pro puts

a ton of faith in a jig whose head resembles the old pigskin. That’s right – the football head jig, a

versatile tool the Murray knows he can employ in a

variety of ways with legitimate big-fish expecta-


“My background is growing up fishing big reser-

voirs like Lake Mead and Lake Powell and a football

head jig just offers me so much diversity in terms of

depth,” Murray said. “I can throw it in two feet of water

and I can throw it in 60-feet of water and catch a fish.

“It’s just a good all-around lure that imitates a

crawdad. There are so many crawdads out west now

with the mussels and all that, so you have to have a

bait that imitates (this forage) and the jig is the best

one there is.”

Indeed, when it comes to rumbling across hard

bottom – be it shell or rock – a football head jig offers

a productive platform for tailoring task-specific pre-

sentations. Murray shared a few of his tips for scoring

with the football head.

WEIGHT: Murray said he’ll always start heavy and go lighter if he has to.

“I’m a proponent of the ounce and the ¾-ounce bait because I can cover water, I can feel what’s down there and I can stir up some bottom just like a craw- dad. That’s my main weapon a lot of the year.”

Tackle: A 7-foot, 4-inch medium-heavy rod with a little bit of tip and plenty of backbone is Murray’s preference. He’ll pair that with a 6.4:1 Team Lew’s reel with 15-pound fluorocarbon.

“The key is I don’t set the hook with a jig – I use the reel,” he said. “So I want a fast reel, I want a stout rod and I use an oversized handle to help me reel set those fish. The rod set is fine in the shallow water stuff like Texas-rigged worms, but you go to rod set a football head jig in deep water and you won’t ever get the hook set.

“I’m pulling, but I’m reeling faster than I’m pulling. I don’t want any slack in my line, especially with that 1-ounce stuff. If you get any slack on a bass, you’re going to lose him. You have to have a good, quick reel to keep the line coming and do not stop.”

TRAILERS: Murray knows that the football head’s versatility depends on multiple “looks.” That’s why he keeps a trio of trailers handy to dress up his jig for different objectives.

LAREW BIFFLE BUG: Built with double swimming legs, this is the trailer Murray uses when he’s making long, descending presentation along hard structure.

“There’s a lot more motion for swimming the bait, or if I’m letting it flutter along bluff walls, I want those legs swimming all the way down,” he said. “Basically, it’s a good attractor.”

LAREW RATTLING CRAWLER: This bait’s kicking legs provides lots of action when he’s dragging the jig

and wants an audacious display.

“That’s one I’ll use a lot when the

water is fairly warm and that kicking

action is almost like a swimbait down

there, but it has a lot of motion to it,”

Murray said.


tic crawfish imitator, this is Murray’s

most common jig trailer. Only concern, he said, is a “realistic” response from marauding brown fish.

“The one thing you have to look out for when you’re using the Salt Craw is that if you’re fishing a lake that has smallmouth, they’ll pull those claws off first,” Murray said. “So, if you get a bite