UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Lake Erie

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

How to Catch More Winter Bass on Jigs

How to Catch More Winter Bass on Jigs

(Editor’s note: Bill Taylor is FLW’s senior director of tournament operations and a veteran tournament angler who relies on jigs for an unusually high percentage of his fish catches.)

I don’t do this often, but recently I was asked to write an article for the FLW website. Please let it be known that I’m not Bryan Thrift or David Dudley. However, I have logged many long days on hundreds of lakes over a 50-year span as a bass angler. The one thing I’ve learned above all else is that experience is your best asset, regardless of whether you’re fishing, hunting or even performing at your job. I’m hoping that, by sharing some lessons learned through my own experience on the water, I can help you all catch more bass, too.

I learned this important tip in the early 1980s while fishing on Dale Hollow. On one particular January day, I found the bite slower than anticipated. The water temps and lake level seemed perfect, but eventually I realized the area I was fishing, which was normally pretty clear, was a little more stained than usual. So I decided to try something different. I pulled the trolling motor up and ran upstream until the water began to clear. The temp was the same, but visibility went from 6 inches to 3 feet.

I started fishing a jig, but still had very little success. The area I was fishing was the old creek channel with a vertical buff that fell quickly to 22 feet. Soon after, I broke off and sat down to tie on a new jig. While I worked, my boat drifted out a bit into 17 feet of water, and I saw flashes of baitfish on my old flasher unit.

The next move I made has allowed me to double the number of wintertime fish I now catch. Rather than casting the jig to the bank, I simply cast out toward the middle of the creek to 20 feet of water. I let the jig hit bottom and began working the bait back up the old bank of the creek bed.

Boom … I started getting bites and catching fish.

Since then I have not only been successful with catching more fish thanks to this technique, but I have won or made money in tournaments on many lakes by using it. I learned that I can find this situation in creeks on almost every highland impoundment. Plus, it’s easy fishing and generally works from late fall into early spring.

See the image below for an example. On the bottom side of the image, rather than casting right to the bank, try casting out toward the edge of the old river channel, which snakes along the bottom side of the creek.

As a matter of fact, just recently I took a trip to Lake Mitchell on the Coosa River in Alabama and could not get a bite or catch a fish of any kind doing the “usual” things. Frustrated, I moved to the head of a major creek and finally found just what I was looking for. I started catching spotted bass almost immediately. From the dirty water to the clear, with 52-degree water temp, I caught every fish on the outside bank of the old river channel in 14 to 17 feet of water. I salvaged a bad day with 14 keeper spots.

Try this on Watts Bar, Dale Hollow, Lake Lanier, Lake Martin, Norris Lake, Lake Cumberland, Smith Lake, Table Rock and many others. It will get you several more good fish – I promise. My best lure is a 3/8-ounce Zorro Baits Booza Bug jig with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk trailer. I hardly ever use line heavier than 12-pound test and use a medium-heavy 7-foot rod.

Stay tuned for another tip on getting things ready for your next road trip to your favorite lake to make sure it is trouble-free. Thanks for reading, and best fishes to everyone!

Tags: jig  smallmouth  dale-hollow  bass  bill-taylor  article 

Curveballs at the Cup

Curveballs at the Cup

When the field of 52 anglers arrived in Hot Springs, Ark., for the official practice period for the 2019 FLW Cup, they were greeted with sunshine, humidity and brutal daytime temperatures in the upper 90s. Early in the week, there was little mention of anything other than the same – a typical Arkansas summer forecast of sunny and hot. READ MORE »

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Slow Down in Brush for More Success

Many times, hitting as many brush piles as possible is the key to success, with Bryan Thrift’s 2015 FLW Tour win on Lake Eufaula serving as a prime example of that strategy. However, with the fishing pretty tough on Lake Hamilton, both Wade Strelic and Joel Willert turned to more methodical approaches to generate bites. READ MORE »

Lawyer Loads Up on Cover Cash and Bonus Bucks at Cup

Lawyer Loads Up on Cover Cash and Bonus Bucks at Cup

Jeremy Lawyer’s fourth-place finish at the FLW Cup on Arkansas’ Lake Hamilton was enough to earn him an extra $1,000 from LEER Cover Cash and $3,500 from Toyota Bonus Bucks. The third year FLW Tour pro used a two-prong approach of fishing shallow with a topwater and probing deep brush piles with a drop-shot to notch his best finish to date in the Cup. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Lawyer Mixes it Up for Fourth

Cup Top 10: Lawyer Mixes it Up for Fourth

Fourth-place pro Jeremy Lawyer was the highest finisher to utilize the shallow-early, brush-later strategy. Lawyer stacked together limits of 12 pounds, 1 ounce and 12-5 on the first two days to go into the final day in fourth place. He weighed in just 7 pounds on Sunday. READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Set to Air Wednesday

Rapala Varsity Bass Set to Air Wednesday

The second episode of Rapala Varsity Bass presented by General Tire will air today at 2 p.m. CT. In Episode 2, Noah Ezickson and his teammate Connor Walsh journey to the fabled Alabama fishery of Lake Guntersville. Utilizing his diverse fishing experience from his travels around the world, can the Wake Forest University team qualify for the 2020 YETI FLW College Fishing Championship? READ MORE »

Green Has Experience of Lifetime at Cup

Green Has Experience of Lifetime at Cup

Winning $2,500 might be the highlight of a trip for a lot of people, but for Leroy Green, winner of the FLW Tour Marshal program at the 2019 FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton, the cash prize was secondary to the relationships he forged out on the water. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Cup at Hamilton

Top 10 Baits from the Cup at Hamilton

While there weren’t too many patterns in play at the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., the nature of an August tournament in the South forced most of the top finishers to mix in a bunch of baits to catch their fish. Here’s what the top 10 used to catch schoolers and ply brush, docks and various types of shallow grass. READ MORE »

FLW Marshal Don White Wins New Ranger Boat

FLW Marshal Don White Wins New Ranger Boat

Angler Don White of Columbus, Mississippi, was announced as the first winner of a brand new Ranger Z521 courtesy of the FLW Marshal Program. READ MORE »

Rome's Henderson Wins $15K at Inaugural Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack on Lake Ouachita

Rome's Henderson Wins $15K at Inaugural Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack on Lake Ouachita

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Kayak angler Clint Henderson of Rome, Georgia, caught, photographed and released a two-day total of 157¾ inches from Lake Ouachita to best the 72-angler field and win the inaugural Dee Zee FLW/KBF Kayak Cup at Lake Ouachita presented by YakAttack Saturday. For his win, Henderson earned the top prize of $15,000... READ MORE »

Henderson Holds Steady to Take FLW-KBF Cup Crown

Henderson Holds Steady to Take FLW-KBF Cup Crown

Even with day-one leader Eric Jackson taking a massive lead into the final day of competition and 70 more of the best kayak anglers on the planet behind him, Clint Henderson did what he said he was going to do. He won the Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack and the $15,000 top prize. READ MORE »

Jackson Crushes on Day One of FLW-KBF Cup

Jackson Crushes on Day One of FLW-KBF Cup

Eric Jackson is simply a hammer fishing from a kayak. The FLW Tour pro and owner of Jackson Kayak is fresh off an individual and team gold-medal-winning performance in the 2019 Pan Am Bass Kayak Championship (not to mention a third-place finish in the final 2019 FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain), and his five-fish limit of 98.25 inches on day one of the Dee Zee FLW/KBF Cup presented by YakAttack puts him in stellar position to earn another victory on Saturday. READ MORE »

2020 FLW Tour Schedule

2020 FLW Tour Schedule

FLW announced today its regular-season schedule for the 25th season of the FLW Tour, which kicks off in January 2020. The schedule was revealed to anglers and media at the annual pre-FLW Cup banquet in Hot Springs, Ark. READ MORE »

Alan Reed Dishes on FLW-KBF Cup Practice

Alan Reed Dishes on FLW-KBF Cup Practice

We caught up with Reed after his practice on Wednesday to get the scoop on how Ouachita is fishing and what the outlook is for the two-day event that begins Friday and runs concurrently with the FLW Cup on neighboring Lake Hamilton. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for the Cup

FLW Live Schedule for the Cup

FLW Live will air all three days of the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton, beginning with on-the-water coverage Friday, Aug. 9. READ MORE »

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

Thrift Roams Hamilton on Day 2

In seemingly any tournament that Bryan Thrift shows up to he is without a doubt one of the favorites to win. With two FLW Tour Angler of the Year titles, six Tour wins and five Costa FLW Series wins – including his most recent on Lake Champlain just a few weeks ago – it’s easy to understand why. READ MORE »

McCaghren Lives Out Childhood Baseball Dream

McCaghren Lives Out Childhood Baseball Dream

FLW Tour pro Billy McCaghren, who’ll be competing in the FLW Cup this week at Lake Hamilton, says his childhood dream was not to be a pro bass angler. He wanted to play professional baseball. Well, this week, the Mayflower, Ark., angler gets to dabble in both professions. The 2019 FLW Cup qualifier will compete on Lake Hamilton in front of what is practically a hometown crowd, and last night he was honored for his fishing accomplishments by the Arkansas Travelers baseball team, which invited McCaghren to throw out the first pitch in a game against the Springfield Cardinals. READ MORE »

By the Numbers: 2019 FLW Cup

By the Numbers: 2019 FLW Cup

The FLW Cup is a week away, and 52 of the best bass anglers on the planet are all gearing up for a chance at the $300,000 top prize and a slice of bass fishing immortality. READ MORE »

Meet FLW Pros at Pro Day This Weekend

Meet FLW Pros at Pro Day This Weekend

FLW has teamed up with Bass Pro Shops and Greeson’s Polaris to host four Pro Day events on Saturday, Aug. 3. Fans can take photos and get autographs from the pros, or just talk fishing and get some in-store tackle-buying advice.  READ MORE »

From the All-American to the Cup

From the All-American to the Cup

Brennon McCord is a self-described quiet, easygoing guy, but the 22-year-old T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League All-American champion hopes to make some Lake Hamilton noise in his first FLW Cup appearance. For the moment, understandably so, he’s still basking in the afterglow of a victory that earned what he calls the biggest honor of his career. READ MORE »

FLW Cup Predictions

FLW Cup Predictions

With the FLW Cup just a little over a week away on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Ark., anticipation is starting to grow. We wrangled several FLW staff members and FLW Tour pros who aren’t fishing this year’s Cup and asked them to give their take on who will win and how it’ll be done, along with any other prediction they have. READ MORE »