UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

The right trailer for the task

In clear water, consider matching the trailer to the color of a swim jig, like this one made by TABU Tackle.

(Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the 2013 August/September issue of Bass Fishing magazine. To read more compelling articles from Bass Fishing magazine each month, become an FLW subscriber member. If you'd like to sign up for a digital subscription to access articles online, click here).

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. Consequently, the best trailer to use depends on the jig and the fishing technique. So what style of trailer is best for what you want to accomplish?

Here are some suggestions.

Creature baits

NetBait Baby Mad Paca.Matching jig type: flipping jig
Ideal technique: pitching to wood cover
Good example: NetBait Baby Mad Paca
Action description: Paddles flap, arms flair, legs quiver, tails waver - specifics depend on the model, but the common denominator is that several appendages move in different manners and directions to create much movement and a bulky profile. Dragging a football jig with a creature trailer is a good alternative to a Carolina rig.

Nab short-strikers

To counter short strikes from bass when using a creature bait as a jig trailer, shorten the whole trailer by trimming the head end. This allows you to thread the trailer farther up the hook. You can also tweak the presentation by removing some appendages.

Chunks

Zoom Super Chunk Jr.Matching jig type: finesse jig
Ideal techniques: bottom bouncing and dragging
Good example: Zoom Super Chunk Jr.
Action description: The chunk helps create a slow fall overall. The tail flaps like a flag in the wind as the jig falls. Smaller sizes have subdued, less intrusive actions.

Two ways to get chunky

For maximum profile with a chunk trailer, simply hang the thick body on the hook from its end. Shorten the jig-and-trailer profile by threading the chunk up the hook shank instead. This rigging method also pegs the body to the jig and shifts virtually all the action to the chunk's tail.

Swimming crawfish

Trigger X Aggression FlappinMatching jig type: football-head jig
Ideal technique: offshore dragging
Good example: Trigger X Aggression Flappin' Craw
Action description: The flat curved-edge claws flap hard as long as the bait is in motion. Oversized claws and, on some examples, such as the NetBait Paca Chunk and Damiki Air Craw, a hollow body or appendages help create a claws-up posture. Many body and claw sizes are available. This is a good all-around choice for a jig trailer.

Get natural

If possible, determine what the prevailing crawfish color is where you're fishing. Sometimes bass will spit up crawfish in livewells, or you might be able to find crawfish in shallow aquatic grass or along rocky shores. Crawfish coloration varies dramatically by waterway and by season. Match jig and trailer colors accordingly.

Twin-tail grubs

Damiki Hydra Evolution twin-tail grub.Matching jig type: swimming jig
Ideal technique: swimming, especially for smallmouths and spots
Good example: Damiki Hydra Evolution
Action description: Twirling tails constantly move whether the jig is in motion or at rest. Models such as the Hydra Evolution and Yamamoto Hula Grub have a built-in skirt for extra flare, and often are fished on a football jig with no skirt in deep water.

Shoot to kill

When swimming a jig, retrieve it steadily, but kill it briefly a time or two per retrieve, ideally in key ambush zones. Be ready, especially as you start it moving again.

Realistic craws

Luck Matching jig type: round-head finesse jig
Ideal techniques: dragging and pitching to rocky banks, docks and shoreline cover
Good example: Luck "E" Strike Guido Bug
Action description: Although most realistic finesse craws lack appreciable movement when falling or swimming, they land with upright claws that wave naturally as the bait settles. Generally speaking, their best "action" is looking realistic in clear water.

The natural shake

Make a natural finesse craw trailer come to life by jiggling the rod tip enough to rock the jig and make the wispy pincers and antennae dance without actually changing the location of the jig. Then stop all motion before hopping it again.

In current-driven fisheries - especially with clear water - use a light jig and let the current sweep the combo along. The moving water, with occasional bottom ticks, creates a similar affect as jiggling the rod.

Mega craws

Strike King Rage Tail Lobster.Matching jig types: large football jig or flipping jig with a large hook
Ideal techniques: pitching to edges and beside cover or dragging offshore
Good example: Strike King Rage Tail Lobster
Action description: Claws flap hard on the hop and the drop. The entire soft bait moves a lot of water to draw fish with vibration and by sight. It creates a "magnum profile" jig. The Rage Lobster is 41/2 inches long for a true big-fish presentation.

Even more attraction

There's nothing subtle about an oversized craw trailer, and you won't be using one when fish are fussy. But when they're chomping, you might as well amp up the attraction by adding rattles. Shake the rod tip to engage the rattles and call fish for a closer look.

Flat flippin' bugs

Gene Larew RattlinMatching jig types: grass, flipping and football jig
Good example: Gene Larew Rattlin' Crawler
Ideal techniques: punching vegetation, flipping woody cover and stroking
Action description: This bait slides through cover, planes on the fall (thanks to its flat surfaces) and darts when hopped. The claw action is subtle on some versions, but overall it makes an impression.

Slim down to slide

For punching the thickest mats with flat, flipping bug trailers, pinch off outside appendages and make the profile as sleek as possible.

As a proud sponsor of FLW, Walmart offers one of the most comprehensive selections of fishing tackle and equipment in the industry. To find great deals on Walmart's entire collection of rods, reels, baits and electronics, click here.

Tags: jeff-samsel  magazine-features  gear 

/tips/2016-02-05-an-ill-wind-at-okeechobee-

An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-04-aquatic-plant-id

Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-poche-services-set

Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-time-to-shine-for-setzer

Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-01-ambassador

Ambassador

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-29-glenn-browne-s-timeout-is-over-

Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-flw-podcast-109-mike-surman

FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-john-cox-gives-himself-a-makeover

John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-austin-felix-is-ready-for-the-big-time

Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-flw-canada-sets-tournament-sites-dates

FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-26-jigging-spoons-for-winter-bass

Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-24-how-bryan-thrift-got-to-be-so-good

How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-high-school-fishing-makes-the-grade

High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-flw-mexico-at-the-starting-gate

FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-making-the-case-for-haynes-as-aoy

Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-21-flw-podcast-108-jason-lambert

FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-bfl-choo-choo-division-postponed

BFL Choo Choo Division Postponed

The FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Choo Choo Division tournament on Lake Guntersville originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 23 has been postponed due to impending inclement weather. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-tigerodz-aligns-with-auburn-team

TIGERODZ Aligns With Auburn Team

Custom fishing rod manufacturer TIGERODZ of Scottsboro, Ala., has signed an agreement to become the official rod brand for the Auburn University Bass Sports Club. Scott Dobbins, president of TIGERODZ, is an Auburn alum, and he says the pairing involved a natural progression of involvement. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-20-becoming-aware-of-your-angler-strengths

Becoming Aware of Your Angler Strengths

The ongoing sentiment among fishermen is that versatility is the key to becoming a successful professional angler. While I’m certain that statement holds some weight, I think there is an alternate perspective that is worth entertaining. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-18-pundits-picks-for-aoy

Pundits Picks for AOY

Winning the Angler of the Year title is a tremendous feat. It can solidify a budding career or affirm a veteran’s status among the best. It also comes with a hefty reward – $100,000 and early entry into the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup. READ MORE »