UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

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 

Fayetteville’s Guyot Earns Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Tournament on Lake Murray

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PROSPERITY, S.C. – Boater Scott Guyot of Fayetteville, North Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday totaling 23 pounds, 8 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. For his victory, Guyot earned a total of $4,359... READ MORE »

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BROOKELAND, Texas – Boater Anthony Sharp of Village Mills, Texas, had a day Saturday that most bass fishing tournament anglers only dream about. Sharp brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 6 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Sam Rayburn... READ MORE »

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For 2020, FLW has partnered with Toyota to roll out a completely revamped Triple-A league known as the Toyota Series, with many enhancements over the previous FLW Series that were requested by competitors. READ MORE »

Register Now for High School Camp

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Dawsonville’s Johnson Wins Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Lanier

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Boater Jason Johnson of Dawsonville, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. For his... READ MORE »

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The final day of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Toledo Bend is an absolutely glorious one, in terms of weather. A light breeze and sunny skies greeted anglers for the first time all week, and while it may be pleasant to be outside in, it hasn’t done much to help the fishing. READ MORE »

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It was another cloudy, cool morning to start day two of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Toledo Bend. With water temperatures hovering around 52 degrees, the fish weren’t in much of a biting mood throughout much of the morning. READ MORE »

Fish BFL, Series for Chance to Win Polaris

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Just as it did last season, Polaris is teaming up with FLW in 2020 to give away a pair of ATVs and a UTV. READ MORE »

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Toyota Sponsors MLF and FLW

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Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) announced today a formal sponsorship of Major League Fishing (MLF), professional bass fishing’s newest premier tournament organization, and home to Team Toyota professional anglers Mike Iaconelli, Terry Scroggins, Kevin VanDam, and Jacob Wheeler. The partnership includes Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, as title sponsor of the Toyota Series. READ MORE »

Sharing Forrest Wood Stories

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Forrest Wood’s Legacy

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Surrounded by his family, Forrest Wood passed away in a Mountain Home, Ark., hospital just after 9 a.m. Saturday, four days after suffering a heart attack in his home. Wood, who was 87 at the time of his death, was the founder of Ranger Boats of Flippin, Ark. A pioneer of bass tournament fishing, he helped launch the careers of hundreds of aspiring tournament anglers through sponsorships. During his 20-year span at the helm of the company he founded with his wife, Nina, Forrest is credited with laying the groundwork for the modern bass boat through his innovative designs and engineering advancements. READ MORE »

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FLW is saddened to report that Forrest L. Wood, the namesake of our organization and a longtime member of the FLW family, passed away today at age 87. He spent his final days surrounded by his family, including his wife of 68 years, Nina. READ MORE »

Daniel Fennel to Direct Pro Circuit

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At the registration meeting for this week’s Pro Circuit season opener at Sam Rayburn Reservoir, FLW announced that Daniel had been promoted to senior director of tournament operations for the Pro Circuit, FLW Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League, with responsibilities to include directing the Pro Circuit. Bill Taylor, who served as tournament director for the FLW Tour from 2001 through 2019, has been promoted to senior director of operations, where he’ll lend his expertise acquired through more than two decades as a tournament director toward logistics, angler relations and event planning for all FLW circuits. READ MORE »

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