Don’t ever fish for bass in summer with trying a jig. Specifically a Hair Jig. It’s a great fishing technique for ledge fishing and offshore summer bass to mimic forage like shad and other bait fish that move to deeper water during summer for more oxygen, cooler water, as well as in reaction to fishing pressure in clear water. There is no right or wrong way to fish a hair jig. I have a couple rod and reel retrieves I use all the time that seem to trigger fish on any lake. One slow rolling the lure near the bottom; two giving the reel a few quick turns and then lifting the fishing rod and slightly pendulum the bait down on a semi taught line; and three fast reeling the jig for a few quick turns and letting it just sink back down.
No one has this fishing lure as of yet. I finally prototyped and designed a ned rig jig that has everything to fish big bass and heavy cover and will end bait slippage when fishing docks or just power fishing a Ned Rig. We head out to Lake Guntersville to test out my homemade jig and see how it performs around grass, fishing rock and other types of structure and cover for bass. My goal was to take the things that I don’t like about a Ned Rig – the finesse hook, the lack of a good keeper, the inability to throw it on a bait casting fishing rod – and turn those things around to make a more heavy cover, more functional, fish anywhere type ned rig jig. I also wanted it to be better suited for mag ned fishing and fishing soft plastic worms like like senkos or my Gambler Ace stick baits. We test the prototype on one of the best bass fishing lakes to see if my homemade lure catches bass and will make the cut!
There are a few summer fishing lures that never fail to catch bass. Baits and techniques that I have a ton of confidence in to trigger fish to bite in the summer heat. Most of theses lures rely on getting bass to react to the lure such as crankbaits and swimbaits – their action never fail to catch bass this time of year that are active and pursuing forage like bluegills and shad. There’s also a couple lesser known baits such as the scrounger trailer combination that has become a staple technique for ledge fishing and structure fishing. And although I love fishing moving lures this time of year to catch bass you always need to have some finesse techniques for those fish that are failing to respond to your reaction lures. It seems fish never fail to bite a ned rig or a drop shot with a small stick style bait especially a wacky rigged drop shot!
There is 1 thing that is a huge fishing cheat you never want to forget when trying to catch summer bass – either fish them super fast and try to trigger them with crankbaits, big swimbaits, spoons, and reaction style fishing lures; or fish them super slow with soft plastic Texas Rigged Worms, Ned Rigs, drop shot rigs, Neko Rigs, and all the finesse techniques you can think off. The fish seem to either be in one mood or the other when fishing in summer and that means the techniques you use to catch bass need to mimic that mood. Warmer water temps and clearer water leads to more stable fishing so once you figure out a fishing pattern you can stick with it but when it comes to lakes with a lot of fishing pressure or boat traffic you may have to adapt your approach and cheat a little with more finesse style lures or highly reaction oriented baits.
Late spring and summer fishing is here and that means swimbaits, crankbaits, jigs and tons of other fishing lures and fishing techniques to catch post spawn bass moving into summer patterns. I got a bunch of baits from Tackle Warehouse to get my fishing rods rigged up for this lure transition and I go though each lure and how to fish it out on the lake.
Frog fishing is some of the most fun you can have fishing for bass. That topwater pattern is insane! Frog fishing is a technique of patience though and placing your fishing lure where the bass live. Fishing frogs for bass requires a focus on cadence and there’s really 2 things that no tells you enough before you get out to the lake – don’t set the hook until you feel the fish, and don’t think about your cast with your fishing rod. Often times anglers set the hook early and tournament anglers will tell you that’s a big oops when it come to hollow body frogs. Also skipping the frog under bushes, under docks, and even casting it around heavy cover you need to not think to much otherwise you end up overthinking your cast. Whether you’re bank fishing, pond fishing or tournament fishing get out a frog – the warmer water temperatures and vegetation growth means fish are shallow and relating to cover – a perfect time to cast a frog!
There is only one lure you need to catch bass in spring and honestly the way it triggers fish it’s like cheating!!! The Ned Rig is one of the best fishing lures for a couple reasons – it catches small fish and giant bass but also any angler can fish it from a beginner to an expert angler. It’s a finesse style technique that catches all species of bass and especially in late spring fishing a Ned Rig is just like cheating because the fish can’t resist it! I rig my ned rig jig with a small soft plastic worm stickbait that I cut down – a Gambler Ace and it’s tough to beat a color like green pumpkin. Since the water was not super clear and we were fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass I used some chartreuse dip on the tail as well.
A Ned Rig jig and a soft plastic is a perfect technique to catch spring bass moving up to spawn. The versatility of the lure really makes it shine and it’s finesse features allow it to catch fish in nearly any conditions – clear water, deep water fishing, skipping docks…it’s one of the most adapatable spring fishing techniques that works for any angler. There’s a little trick I figured out that I don’t even think the pros are doing on Lake Guntersville where you flip a ned rig on light action fishing rod like a spinning rod to holes in the grass – you need clear water but basically you’re triggering spawning and staging bass using those sandy areas as pathways. It catches fish and any angler can do it – it’s easy!
I love frog fishing and topwater fishing but I have never fished a topwater lure just like a frog on top for bass! We found some fish in super shallow water in the backs of creeks. The water was pretty clear and the fish were chaising big baitfish up onto the bank. We started off fishing a Jacob Wheeler buzzbait but as the sun rose the fish never totally committed to it so we had to modify our topwater technique to be more subtle and literally start fishing the lure just like a frog. I could actually see the fish in the clearer water swimming off the bank and staying under the lure and starring at it until they were triggered by a small twitch after letting it sit floating for 5-10 seconds. The technique involved a walk the dog style topwater on braided fishing line and a medium heavy fishing rod. You’ve got to make long casts very near to cover in the backs of creeks targeting where the bank flattens out and often you’ll see the fish or bait fish (shad, herring, and bluegill) swimming around. Then walk the bait in slow twitches and long pauses just like fishing a floating frog – the biggest tip is to let the bait sit without moving for long periods of time.