UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Erie

Seasonal Patterns: Swimming a jig

Kellogg's team pro Dave Lefebre.

Looking for a versatile lure for summertime bass fishing? Kellogg's Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre suggests you take a look at the swim jig. "A swim jig is one of the most efficient baits in existence for a tournament fisherman," he says. "It casts extremely well, hooks nearly every fish that hits it, and, once I have it rigged correctly, I rarely have to fool around with fouled-up presentations. It's great in areas where there's a lot of fishing pressure, and it works in clear to muddy water." Below are Lefebre's top suggestions for choosing and using a swimming jig: Dave Lefebre helped design the TABU Tackle Open Water Series swim jig like the one pictured here.Picking colors Lefebre's primary swim jig is a lure he helped design: the TABU Tackle Open Water Series jig. He keeps his color selection simple. "It's absolutely true that the best colors for most lures are darker hues on cloudy days and light, transparent colors on bright sunny days," the pro says. • Cloudy days: black and blue or black with red accents • Clear water and sunny days: soft shell, watermelon red or blue crab In clear water, consider matching the trailer to the color of a swim jig, like this one made by TABU Tackle.Picking a trailer Lefebre sticks to a few basics for a large percentage of his swimming jig trailers. • Open-water jig swimming for spotted bass: white, smoke, and chartreuse grubs and chunks • Swimming around grass: small chunks and Yamamoto Single Tail or Double Tail grubs • Muddy water: large black or white flapping craws • Clear water: a grub that matches the color of the jig Retrieval methods for swim jigs, like this one from TABU Tackle, can vary greatly. Try a steady, medium-fast retrieve right below the surface for largemouth bass in the grass.Retrieval methods Lefebre's methods for retrieving a swim jig vary from day to day, and often from species to species. For spotted bass: Use a slow, steady retrieve. • For largemouths in the grass: Use a medium-fast, steady retrieve right below the surface. • For bass around shallow cover in muddy water: Experiment with pumping the lure up under the surface and dropping it around targets. "A swim jig is still a jig," Lefebre says, "so you can drop it around cover and work it like a normal flipping jig."

Tags: magazine-features 

/tips/2014-03-12-2014-buyer-s-guide-soft-plastics

2014 Buyer’s Guide: Soft plastics

No category of lure is as flexible as soft-plastic lures – both in action and in use. Not only do soft plastics move freely, even when deadsticked, but the range of their use is limited only by the angler’s imagination. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-03-11-2-d-sonar-strategies

2-D sonar strategies

There was a time when experience almost always trumped equipment when it came to finding fish. If you wanted to be a better fisherman, you got out there on the water and paid your dues. You learned the spots that produced at certain times of the year, and culled the 90 percent of the water that was almost always void of bass. The last decade or so of fish-finding technology has changed the paradigm, however. Now anglers can buy a Lowrance HDS unit, cruise likely looking spots on any lake and literally see bass. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-03-10-swim-jigging-winter-grass-lines

Swim-jigging winter grass lines

You can rip rattle baits through winter grass beds like everyone else, or you can offer bass something different: a swim jig. Veteran bass pro Ron Shuffield says a swim jig is one of his preferred cool-weather lures when bass set up camp on grass-line edges. It’s a lure that can be worked quickly, or dragged more slowly when conditions warrant a change-up. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-02-21-hog-hunters

Hog hunters

A five-fish limit is the first measure of success and job one in a tournament. But it’s how you see that quintet shaping up that sets the tone for your performance. Is it an open audition where anything that measures will do, or do you want five stars that’ll rock any stage? READ MORE »

/tips/2014-02-14-never-hardly-ever-lose-a-fish

Never (hardly) ever lose a fish

How many good fish do you lose in a season of fishing, whether it’s in a tournament or just when you’re fishing for the fun of it? If it’s more than you can count on your fingers, perhaps it’s time for some constructive self-criticism. Are the fish at fault, or are you? In case it’s the latter, we offer the following advice, observations and tips from some top pros regarding how to put the odds of landing a fish successfully more in your favor. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-02-10-x-marks-the-spot

X Marks the spot

Two things stand out about winter bass fishing: The fish get a little bit pickier about where they want to be, and anglers don’t want to spend as much time running a bass boat around a frigid lake trying to find them. READ MORE »

/tips/2014-01-02-q-a-with-andy-morgan

Q&A with Andy Morgan

I wouldn’t say it was a perfect season, but it sure worked out. I mean, it was a good year, but not a great year. I was surprised to even have a shot to win after Beaver Lake (he finished 68th). Honestly, it was never even on my mind until someone mentioned right before Chickamauga that I had a shot at winning it. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-12-23-last-minute-holiday-gift-guide

Last-minute holiday gift guide

Naughty? Nice? Who cares – Christmas isn’t far away, and any bad behavior can be overlooked for a while as we celebrate the season with presents for those nearest and dearest. As is our custom, we’ve appointed ourselves Santa’s helpers and came up with a few gift ideas. We’ve also selected goodies that cover a range of price options. Regardless of their cost, the following gear, gadgets and clothing would make any angler beam with joy. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-12-02-boat-care-101-simple-do-it-yourself-carpet-cleaning

Boat Care 101: Simple do-it-yourself carpet cleaning

If there is one thing I hate worse than seeing a nice bass boat with a filthy finish, it’s seeing one with dirty carpet. I like to keep my stuff clean, but not just because it looks good. A bass boat is a huge investment, and the more you can do to protect that investment the better the returns if you ever decide to sell or trade it. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-11-07-the-chilly-truth

The Chilly Truth

Not surprisingly, bass fishing has its own set of myths: Bass don’t eat topwaters when it’s sunny, big fish only eat big lures and so on. Winter fishing seems to take myths to a whole new level. Maybe the long hours in freezing cold numbs the mind as much as it does the hands, but one could write an article about how many myths there are regarding this chilly time of year – and whether or not they’re true. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-10-28-ask-the-experts

Ask the Experts

If I use heavy-gauge hooks for flipping grass with braided line, why not use the same gauge hooks for fishing all soft plastics? READ MORE »

/tips/2013-10-25-sound-effects

Sound effects

Though some anglers contend that rattling baits don’t necessarily attract strikes, and might even deter them, the preponderance of evidence favors the rattle crowd. Virtually every hard lure made nowadays – crankbaits, jerkbaits, stick baits and so forth – can be had in rattling and silent versions. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-10-18-guide-to-treble-hooks

Guide to treble hooks

As a general rule, the treble hooks on the lures of most tournament pros aren’t original equipment. Less-expensive stock trebles are usually replaced with ultra-sharp premium hooks of the angler’s choice. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-10-08-dock-cranking

Dock cranking

Well-honed casting skills are required to send a crankbait deep into the reaches of a dock. It can’t be skipped on the surface easily, but even an average caster can make a crankbait go where dock bass are likely to be if he employs a trick that Walmart FLW Tour pros Bryan Thrift and Wesley Strader call “driving,” or “steering.” READ MORE »

/tips/2013-09-26-first-look

First Look

The following products were originally featured in the 2013 August/September issue of Bass Fishing magazine. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-09-23-drawdown-tactics

Drawdown tactics

As summer winds down, however, things can change quickly on a drawdown lake – a reservoir where lake managers reduce the water level in late summer and early fall. Come practice for the EverStart showdown, Dan Morehead’s fish were nowhere to be found. In fact, despite the amazing pre-practice, Morehead didn’t catch a fish during the first day and a half of practice. The dropping lake and progressing season had caused everything to change. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-09-09-all-the-right-turns

All the right turns

Tournament fishing isn’t just about catching fish. It’s about making sound decisions based on experience and applying the proper strategies to make good things happen when they count the most. Of course, sometimes it’s just about trusting your instincts. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-09-05-deep-diving-details

Deep-diving details

Anyone who follows big-league bass fishing knows pro David Fritts is legendary for his ability to sniff out and catch bass on a crankbait. True, Fritts is handy with other styles of lures. But he is the iceman with a crankbait, particularly when the bass relate to cover or structure in deep water. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-08-22-the-right-trailer-for-the-task

The right trailer for the task

A jig trailer seems simple enough: a piece of molded soft plastic that dangles from a jig’s hook to add bulk, enhance action, temper the fall and suggest a crawfish or other food item. Those basic functions, though, are somewhat divergent and sometimes work against each other. READ MORE »

/tips/2013-08-09-lures-for-the-thick-of-it

Lures for the thick of it

While there is more than one way to get to a fat bass that is buried up in the jungle, few methods are more effective than flipping or punching. Both are short-range techniques built around a hard-core fishing system that includes thick line and a stout rod, and any number of lures and rigs designed to slip in and out of thick cover with the skill of a grass snake. READ MORE »