UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

How to Choose a Swim Jig for Bushes

How to Choose a Swim Jig for Bushes
Allen Boyd

At the 2018 FLW Tour event on Lake Cumberland, Allen Boyd relied on a spinnerbait and swim jig to catch enough shallow largemouths from flooded bushes and trees to finish in second place.

Boyd’s spinnerbait tactics are featured in the Spring 2019 issue of FLW Bass Fishing magazine. Here’s his advice on choosing and using swim jigs in flooded woody cover.

 

Swim jigs

Boyd uses two swim jig variations in 3/8 or 1/2 ounce. He throws them on a 7-foot, 2-inch, medium-heavy rod.

“When I get in heavy cover I like the Dirty Jigs No-Jack Swim Jig,” he says. “It’s got a little bit heavier weedguard, so if you’re flipping it around in the bushes and coming through heavy cover you’re not snagging every stick you come across. It has the big hook so you can use heavy braided line and really winch on them and get them out of that stuff.

“In lighter cover I like the Brovarney Swim Jig. It has a lot lighter weedguard and a lot lighter-wire hook, so when you’re in open water, if a fish hits it he’s hooked. The problem with throwing it in really heavy cover is the weedguard is too light. It gets hung up a lot easier. I throw it on fluorocarbon.”

 

Colors

In the spring, Boyd uses colors such as white that more or less mimic shad. Once summer arrives, he’ll switch to bluegill patterns with chartreuse, then back to shad in the fall.  

 

Trailers

Here’s one area where Boyd is a little less strict. He’ll use a handful of trailers depending on the cover type, depth, presentation and local forage.

In more open water or sparse grass, he’ll use a Zoom Fat Albert Grub. He also likes the Reaction Innovations Little Dipper and the Strike King Rage Craw. One of his favorites, however, is the Strike King Rage Menage Grub, which he says is an all-around awesome swim jig trailer. He’ll use it just about anywhere. The usual way to rig it is with the tail flat (horizontal), but that’s not the only way.

“If I’m trying to get a little bit deeper, I’ve been putting my Rage Menace on sideways, with the tail vertical,” he says. “I’ll do it when I’m fishing docks. It’ll allow that bait to get just a little bit deeper and allow your bait to fall a little better.”

 

Allen Boyd

Line

Interestingly, Boyd likes Berkley Trilene Big Game monofilament for spinnerbait fishing because constant roll-casting is hard on the line and he has to re-spool every night. Big Game is affordable and suits him just fine. He takes a more mainstream approach (at least among FLW pros) when fishing a swim jig. In clear water and when the cover allows, he’ll use 20- or 25-pound-test Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon. In heavier cover, he’ll use 65-pound-test PowerPro braid. 

 

Allen Boyd

When and how to use the swim jig

Boyd has three go-to options when water hits the bushes: a spinnerbait, a swim jig and a bottom bait for flipping.

The bottom bait is reserved for when the fish are really locked down. Maybe they’re spawning, the cover is extremely dense or they’re not willing to chase at all. The spinnerbait is his choice in stained water and on windy days. The swim jig fills in the gaps. He’ll use it when they’re starting to get on beds and get “turned off” on the spinnerbait; in clear, calm conditions; and any time they aren’t willing to leave the bushes to chase a spinnerbait. That’s where a swim jig’s versatility really shines.

“Using braided line, I can flip the swim jig in the heart of the bush and swim it out,” Boyd says. “I can cover a lot of water and get right in their house.”

A 1/2-ounce swim jig is heavy enough to get through a bush, and weedless enough to come through branches.

“I’ll flip the swim jig right in the heart, just like I’m flipping a regular jig or punch weight, shake it up and down, then swim it out of the bush. You can then swim it by both sides of the bush,” Boyd adds. “I just like it because it’s so much more versatile than anything else for fishing those bushes.”

Tags: pro-tips-weekly  -fishing  -bass-fishing  -ohio  curtis-niedermier  tips-and-techniques 

Cup Top 10: Osborne Fished Finesse

Cup Top 10: Osborne Fished Finesse

Osborne spent the early visit graphing for brush in Hamilton’s lower end. In practice, it was more of the same, as Osborne spent only a couple of hours beating the bank. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Douglas Fished Brush and a Buzzbait

Cup Top 10: Douglas Fished Brush and a Buzzbait

Minnesota pro Josh Douglas is regarded as an electronics expert. But while he put his Lowrance units to the test at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton to find offshore brush piles, even Douglas couldn’t resist spending some time in the mornings hunting shallow bass. READ MORE »

Thrift and Kripp to discuss FLW Cup

Thrift and Kripp to discuss FLW Cup

FLW Tour pro Bryan Thrift, of Shelby, North Carolina, the newest FLW Cup champion, will break down his career-defining week... READ MORE »

Potomac River Set for Costa FLW Series Tournament Presented by Lowrance

Potomac River Set for Costa FLW Series Tournament Presented by Lowrance

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. (Aug. 15, 2019) – The Potomac River is set to host some of the top regional bass anglers Aug. 22-24 for the Costa Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Series Northern Division tournament on the Potomac River presented by Lowrance. The... READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Salzman Went Shallow to Deep

Cup Top 10: Salzman Went Shallow to Deep

Ryan Salzman earned an eighth-place finish at the FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton with a well-executed two-part strategy. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Webster Wormed Brush

Cup Top 10: Webster Wormed Brush

Among the FLW Cup pros that committed the entire tournament to one pattern was Joseph Webster, who weighed in a three-day total of 28 pounds, 2 ounces at Lake Hamilton. He finished seventh. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Felix Keyed on Clear Water

Cup Top 10: Felix Keyed on Clear Water

Eden Prairie, Minn., pro Austin Felix finished sixth in this year’s FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, but he’s convinced that if the engineers operating Blakely Mountain Dam had released water on a more consistent schedule, the results might have been even better for him. Felix spent most of the tournament keying on the clear waters of Hamilton’s upper end. READ MORE »

Cup Top 10: Martin went up the River

Cup Top 10: Martin went up the River

Prior to practice, Scott Martin had no idea that the far upper end of Lake Hamilton, where the cold waters from the bottom of Lake Ouachita flow in through Blakely Mountain Dam, was such a drastically different mini-fishery within the reservoir. Then he started scouting it in practice and realized there was potential to win the tournament in the tailrace in areas where the water temperature was below 60 degrees. 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 »

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 »

Cup Top 10: Ebare Fished the Tailrace

Cup Top 10: Ebare Fished the Tailrace

Most of the time, fishing Southern impoundments in August is all about slowly dragging worms through brush piles. That’s what Dakota Ebare planned to do at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton. How he wound up catching enough fish to finish in third place felt more like Southern stream fishing. Ebare spent three days fishing the tailrace below Blakely Mountain Dam where the cold, clear waters drained through from the bottom of Lake Ouachita. 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 »

Cup Top 10: Walters Committed to Brush

Cup Top 10: Walters Committed to Brush

Coming into the FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton, Florida pro Kyle Walters figured the only chance he had to win was to stay away from the bank, where competing with the best in the sport was a tall order, and commit to finding as many brush piles as he could. READ MORE »

Thrift Goes Wire-to-Wire, Wins Professional Bass Fishing’s 2019 FLW Cup

Thrift Goes Wire-to-Wire, Wins Professional Bass Fishing’s 2019 FLW Cup

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the stage weighing 10 pounds, 13 ounces, Sunday to claim the title of FLW Cup Champion at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton. Thrift, with a three-day total of 15 bass for 38 pounds, 7 ounces, won... READ MORE »

Thrift Finally Wins the Cup

Thrift Finally Wins the Cup

Everyone knew it was only a matter of time, and that time is finally now. Bryan Thrift is an FLW Cup champion. 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 »

Thrift Extends Lead at Day Two of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

Thrift Extends Lead at Day Two of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (Aug. 10, 2019) – Pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, crossed the stage with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces, for a two-day total... READ MORE »

Thrift on the Brink of First Cup

Thrift on the Brink of First Cup

For the second day in a row, Shelby, N.C., pro Bryan Thrift will go to bed with the lead in the 2019 FLW Cup at Lake Hamilton. Today, Thrift weighed in 12 pounds, 7 ounces for a two-day total of 27-10. He leads Florida pro Kyle Walters by 1 1/2 pounds. READ MORE »

Thrift Leads Day One of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

Thrift Leads Day One of Professional Bass Fishing’s FLW Cup

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Fifty-two of the best bass anglers in the world began their three-day competition for a top cash award of $300,000 at... READ MORE »