action Abu Garcia Premier, because I want to feel the most subtle bite.”
Often deep-water jig bites feel like mush instead of the distinguishable “thump”. That’s why Bertrand prefers to keep his rod tip low and move the jig with his rod tip on a tight line to maintain contact with the bottom; but also, to keep the wind from blowing slack in his line.
NEED FOR SPEED
Spooled with 15-pound fluorocarbon line, Bertrand prefers the super speed of an Abu Garcia MGX Revo (8:1) casting reel.
“You need a fast reel to be able to catch up to your bait when you get bit on a slack line,” Bertrand stated. “Also, after dragging your jig 2/3 the way back to the boat and you can no longer make bottom contact, that high-speed reel will save you 10 seconds every time you burn that
jig back to the boat to fire out another cast. If you add that time up, you can make more casts and put more fish in the boat.”
Though he understands the merits of a braid to fluorocarbon approach, Bertrand argues that a fluorocarbon line is far more efficient.
“No matter how good your knot is, you spend a lot of time retying leaders, which is probably the reason I do not fish braid,” Bertrand stated. “In other parts of the country where you aren’t retying so much, it might be different. It’s nothing to lose up to 10 jigs a day. I can just retie and be fishing again as soon as I can tie another jig on.”
There is no need to fish a line heavier than a 15-pound Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line. It’s near impossible to
break on a hookset, but a heavier line affects the fall rate
of the jig, as it does not cut the water as well as a thinner diameter line.
That is not to say that his line will not break on the hookset when using anything but a San Diego Jam knot to secure his jig.
“If you tie a Palomar knot
with 15-pound test, and you
do a hard slack line hookset
on a big fish, you risk breaking
that fish off,” he said. “The
San Diego Jam knot is s a
much better knot for impact
hooksets than the Palomar.
I’ve seen it first-hand.”
THE BUSINESS END
Released at ICAST 2021, the Berkley Football Jig was built around a stout yet dangerously sharp Fusion19 hook allowing for better hook penetration. The recessed 40-degree horizontal line tie makes fishing the jig through rock
easier. Most impressive,
each jig is outfitted with
PowerBait® Silicone Skirts,
which bass have proven to
hang onto longer.
color is BR Green Pumpkin
and matches it with a
Berkley Chigger Craw.
If bass are spitting up
orange pieces of crayfish
in his livewell, he’ll add
orange strands to the
jig skirt or highlight the
trailer by dipping it in
orange dye. •