Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Winter 2015, Page 43

Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Winter 2015, Page 43

present this lifelike meal in one of two ways: dragging or swimming.


Taking these high-probable tips in mind, heavier hair jigs such as 1/4-ounce and ½-ounce models make fishing these lures between 30 and 50-feet easier than their ultra-lightweight sib- lings. Casting beyond schools of bass and slowly dragging the bait back as close as pos- sible can quickly warm up numb fingers with high-fives and hoorahs. Much like dragging a tube or a spider jig, a cold water bite will most likely be felt through increased pressure. Decreasing line size is standard issue, but the reason for smaller diameter line is important because hair jigs are best utilized without imparted action. A short drag and pause method with light line is without a doubt the most successful way to catch bass in the winter.


A slow but steady swimming retrieve can be effective during warming winter trends. Stable barometric pressure tends to ignite activity levels, but this finesse technique still shines because of its conservative motion. Not intended as a search technique, swimming hair jigs is most successful dependent on the angler’s knowledge of known winter locations. In small natural lakes, or on highly pressured bass factories, a natural swimming action is often most effective and replicates baitfish and other prey as anticipated. With a combination of stable conditions and a subtle retrieve, swimming a hair jig can catch a multitude of species because unlike the competition throwing vibration baits, the hair jig remains one of the most realistic lures to ever hit the water with its minimal movement.


To take this technique one step further, many anglers prefer vertical jigging during the winter.


Whether it be fished atop hard water, or on a reservoir, tying a hair jig onto a dropshot setup is a tremendously efficient way to catch fish when bites are few and far between. The benefits are numerous and the hook position on the hook set is similar to other lures with a single jig hook - top of the mouth nearly every catch. For those who rely on electronics for structure purposes, this is a fast way to reach those deep fish with pinpoint accuracy. While many would pass on this setup, using the hair jig as the dropshot weight can turn a standard presentation into something a bit more appealing.


Perhaps one of the most exciting ways to fish hair jigs is in cold water current. Year round, small- mouth bass can be targeted with hair jigs very easily. Crayfish and baitfish, while limited on move- ment, make sporadic trips to new areas throughout the winter and the hair jig is an easy meal in a com- pact package. In places that hold a combination of mud and rock, hair jigs can entice bass relating to these specific areas. Casting up river and allow- ing the hair jig to glide back on semi-taught line is effective. While being small, the downside to fishing hair jigs in current are the chances of snags and having to retie.