Are you ready for some football Josh Bertrand is By Jonahtan Lepera, Page 2

Are you ready for some football Josh Bertrand is By Jonahtan Lepera, Page 2



s fall becomes winter, all anyone wants to do

is chill out on the couch, hope someone brings

them a snack and put the football game on. Largemouth are no different; they’d just prefer a football jig.

Major League Fishing pro Josh Bertrand has fished a jig

during colder months of the year since he can remember.

He learned from those who fished the same pattern years

before he was born.

“Deepwater jig fishing is one of those techniques that

has never faded away,” Bertrand said.

Bertrand knows a drop shot or a jigging spoon will be

twice as productive as a football jig, but the big bites that

only a football jig creates are what win tournaments.

“The bigger profile of a jig triggers big bites in the water

for sure,” he said. “It’s a slower moving bait and they are

lethargic and glued to the bottom,”

Garmin Panoptix LiveScope has proven invaluable

for Bertrand when fishing this technique. Fish appear as

a lighter colored rock when on the bottom and he’ll use

SideVü to find those rocks while idling. Next, he’ll scan to

80-feet from each side of the boat using amber or orange

crawfish palettes.

At the console, Bertrand relies

on a pair of Garmin EchoMap 126

units; one dedicated to mapping

and ClearVü and the other with

SideVü and DownVu. At the bow,

he’ll run the 10-inch screens with

one unit dedicated to LiveScope

and the other a split between

ClearVü and mapping.

Under 60-degrees is cold

water by western standards and

Bertrand believes that if you can

find the right size of rock, you’ll

find largemouth.

“I like the softball, or

smaller-sized rock because it’s

more attractive to crawfish

as they have a hard time

moving around huge boulders

and your jigs constantly get

stuck!” he said. “Sometimes,

you’ll have a beautiful rock

pile that is loaded with fish

all winter long. Other times,

it is a rocky vein in the

middle of a deep flat and

that rock is a magnet to

those deep fish.”

Main lake points, ledges,

channels and where they

meet are prime areas.

Sometimes, non-descript

bays can be the trick too.

“On a lot of the western

reservoirs, you’ll have a

flat bay, 30- to 40- feet

deep and it doesn’t look ‘bassy’ at all; but, often, they are in sneaky, subtle areas like deep flats with rocky veins and rock scattered across it,” Bertrand said.

Water depth is all about clarity. Bertrand says that a lake like Roosevelt fishes great in 20-feet, because the water clarity is 3-feet. Alternatively, on Lake Pleasant, fishing a jig in 40-feet is the deal because the water clarity is 20-feet.


Most of the time, he’ll work his jig from shallow to deep, dragging his jig down the hill. If fish are heavily pressured, he’ll reverse his approach, knowing he’ll probably get snagged a bunch more.

“Cast your jig shallow and

count rocks, as you drag your jig

back to the boat painfully slow,”

Bertrand stated. “I like to keep

my right index finger on the line,

because I’m already using the

most sensitive rod, a 7’3” heavy

Winter 2022