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Wintertime Jig Fishing
By Denny  Brauer

Cold weather during the winter can make it tough for a person to get out on the lake, but these can be some of the best days of the year. You will often have the lake to your self, and the fish have not been as pressured by other fishermen. This is also one of the best times of the year for catching big fish on a jig.

I like to start out in areas that have deep water close to the shoreline. Creek channel banks, bluffs, and points are some great examples of these type places. After a few warm days the bass will tend to move up shallower on these areas, then after a cold front, they can easily move back to deeper water. Any additional cover, such as brushpiles, grass, or a laydown tree, on these areas is a bonus and is a key place to be very thorough.
Since the water is cold I like a slower presentation. Everything in the water is moving slower, so I want to match that with my bait. I can slow things down in several ways. First and most obvious is with my retrieve. I like to keep in contact with the bottom, and move the jig a bit slower than normal. I can also slow down by using a lighter jig. I may switch to a 3/8 ounce Strike King Premiere Pro Model Jig from a 1/2 ounce. This will slow the fall of the jig in the water, and also cause me to fish it a bit slower. I may even go down to a 1/4 ounce if I think I need to slow down even more. The size of line can have an impact on the speed the jig sinks as well. A 3/8 ounce jig will fall quicker on my 14lb Mustad Thor than it will on 20 lb Thor. I always try to use the heaviest line I think I can get by with, and only on a few occasions will I go below 17 lb. When the water is really clear, or if I am fishing really deep, I may drop my line down as far as to 10 lb. The last trick I may try to slow my jig down is with the trailer. A bigger trailer will slow down the rate of fall, especially my Strike King 3X Chunk because of its buoyancy.
Choose a jig color that fits into the water clarity that you are fishing. Clear water calls for natural looking baits, while stained water calls for darker and brighter colors. Strike King’s Chameleon Craw and Green Pumpkin are a couple of my favorites for clear water, while the old Black and Blue covers much of







the rest. I do like Texas Craw when the water is a bit stained. I will match my chunk to the jig color all of the time.

Put on a couple extra layers of clothes and try some wintertime jig fishing. You may not catch record setting numbers of fish, but you will often catch some big ones. Be sure to take the precautionary steps to address the dangers of the cold water.


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