Late spring and summer is prime time for football jigs! Tyler Anderson lays out all you need to know to get on the water and searching the depths for those big bass on the bottom of the lake.
* Transcript below:
Big bass. Giant. What do I have? Hold on. Look at that, boys and girls.
Well, how’s it going everybody? My name is Tyler Anderson for the YouTube Channel Tyler’s Real Fishing. I’m coming to you guys on behalf of Lucky Tackle Box today to teach you guys how to catch more fish on the lures that come in your box. Now the lure that I’m hopefully going to teach you guys a little bit about catching fish on today is the 3/8 ounce Stellar Jig Company Football Jig. Let’s get started.
So you guys know here at Lucky Tackle Box, we talk about three things, rigging, retrieval and location, the three most important parts of fishing any lure to have a successful day out on the water. Let’s start with rigging. In this jig, straight out of the package, it’s pretty much fishable, but I do a few small things on the rigging portion before I get started and tying it on. First thing is I mess with the weed guard a little bit. What I mean by that is I will kind of flare out the weed guard a tiny bit to make it a little bit more weedless.
Now, most jigs come straight out of the package, just like the factory, with the cylinder of weed guard strands coming straight out of the jig head. Now, that can work in certain circumstances, but I found in a majority of all fishing circumstances that it’s best just to have the weed guard separated a little bit. That way if the jig wobbles to any direction and then pulls over a piece of cover, it is not going to get stuck. I just tend to take the weed guard and I split it out a little bit, separate it that way. It’s kind of more like a V, not a letter L.
Depending on the time of year you’re fishing, this football jig, you can do all sorts of modifications to the skirt. You can cut the top strands of the skirt shorter to make it a finesse cut or you can just cut all of the strands all together to make it a smaller presentation, but for this time of the year, I’m gonna keep it just like it is because I want the full gear presentation.
When it comes to rigging the jig, all I do is tie a simple Palomar knot, fisherman’s knot, whatever kind of knot you guys want to tie. I know everybody has their own favorite knots, their own superstitions on which knot is the best, but I just tie a simple Palomar knot. Only takes me a few seconds and it’ll probably take me more seconds now that I’m on the clock. Tie it straight, cut the tag and you have yourself a perfect little jig. Now, we’re gonna talk a little bit more about the trailer that I put on this jig and we’re gonna talk about rod, reel, and line as well.
One thing that’s important when fishing a football jig, especially one that I say is a 1/2 ounce or larger, this is a 3/8 ounce, so I wouldn’t consider this quite a finesse football jig, but it’s getting there. It is not quite standard. I think 1/2 ounce is definitely standard in terms of football jigs. 3/8 ounce is a little bit more finesse. For a little bit shallower water, I’d say, or bass that are just a little bit more finicky, but especially with a football jig, I don’t throw on any rod less than 7’3″, seven foot, three inches. The reason for that is because I’m most often fishing a football jig in water deeper than 10, 15 feet. If you’re fishing a rod that’s 7 feet or shorter, you’re ability to set the hook will be hindered because you don’t have as much rod power and rod length to bring in the line and set the hook, especially when you’re deep.
I fish football jigs in 50 feet of water before and so because of that, I throw a 7’6″ to 7’11” foot rod. All around fishing, I’d say for a football jig, I throw a 7’3″ medium/heavy or 7’3″ heavy rod. Now the reel I that have on this is the Lew’s Hyper Mag. Absolutely incredible reel. I love this thing. This combo here is literally lighter than a feather. It is awesome. The line I have on here is 15 lb fluorocarbon. I’ve thrown a football jig on 12. I’ve thrown it on 20, but I think the line I mostly land on for open water fishing, whether it’s isolated brush piles, isolated rock piles, bluffs, that kind of thing, is mostly 15 lb fluorocarbon. Basically, you want to just judge the line size based on what type of cover you’re fishing. If you’re fishing in isolated brush piles, you’re probably fine with 12-15. I would just say 15 all around is probably the best fluorocarbon line for that.
I rarely ever throw a jig on anything else besides fluorocarbon, unless I’m flipping. Then I’ll throw it on 50 or 65 lb braid. I’ve never thrown a jig on monofilament just because you’re fishing in deeper presentation. You don’t want that stretch in line to get in the way of you setting the hook on the fish. All this stuff will be linked below for you guys to purchase, but I say we move on to the trailer. Now there’s all sorts of different kinds of trailers that you can put on the back of a football jig, but I want to talk about the two that I like the most for this time of the year.
The two trailers I throw for a football jig and really any jig in general is a bulkier beaver style presentation or a skinner craw style presentation. Here’s the reason why. The craw presentation often times is when I’m trying to represent a crawfish. I’ll take it out and show you guys. This is the Strike King Ragetail. I think it’s the Rage Lobster Mini. There’s definitely a smaller presentation, smaller body size, but two nice size claws that kind of imitate a crawfish. I use that in times of the year when I know that crawfish are responding, when I know the bass are eating on crawfish, but this time of the year the bass are not eating on crawfish, they’re eating more on bluegills and shad.
Basically, what I do, without ruining this one here, I want to keep this one for later, is I cut off about, I’d say three or four of the bumps on this thing here to make it shorter and so I have the rodent in a smaller form factor now and then I basically line it up with a jig, kind of where the hook starts to bend and I kinda poke it out there. I realize it’s about on that notch there. I push back the weed guard with my thumb. Hopefully you guys can see this and I thread it on nice and even right down the middle. Sometimes you gotta look at it from that angle to make sure you’re good. Boom, poke it out right there. Get all the strands and weed guard out of the way and push it all the way down. There you have yourself a perfect little football jig combo. Definitely one of my favorite ways to catch fish.
Now the rigging is done, we move on to retrieval and talk about how to catch fish on this bait. Retrieval with the Stellar Jig Company Football Jig really comes in two main forms. It comes in a drag and a hub. I’d say 90% of the time if not more than that, a drag is the technique I use to retrieve this lure. I say we hop on the water and kind of talk about why I’m retrieving a football jig in this way and what that allows me to do under the water in finding out what’s down there.
A football jig is an awesome lure to use to find out what’s down there on the bottom because you can cast that thing out there a mile. It’s usually a heavier type lure and this one is a finesse style, but most football jigs are a 1/2 ounce or larger. You can really use that bait to probe down there on the bottom. What I’m doing is I’m dragging it across the bottom to find where the brush piles are, find where the rocks are, find where the mud is, all that kind of stuff. That way I know I’m making the right cast every single time because if I can feel what’s down there, dragging on the bottom, I’ll know exactly where those fish are supposed to be.
Now I love fishing a football jig for all kinds of deep cover. It really covers all your bases. You can fish it on deep brush piles like I’ve talked about. Rock piles and of course bluff walls like this. Now this is definitely one of my favorite types of things to do with a football jig is fish it on kind of a 45 degree rock block. We’ve got the wind blowing into this bluff right now. It makes it a perfect situation to throw the football jig because when you look at a bluff like this, you might just see a flat face of rocks, but really underneath, there’s all sorts of irregularities, small points, small dips. The football jig is really good for kind of feeling around there where the irregularities are and catching those fish that live there. We’re gonna spend a minute here fishing this jig along the rocks here and hopefully pick up a bass.
I’m gonna make a long cast up into the wind and bring it back with the current just so I have the best sensitivity possible. Like I talked about in rigging, you really, really want to have a sensitive rod and sensitive line to be able to fish this bait. Man, if braided line was invisible, I’d be fishing that on a jib because you want to feel every single thing down there. Got ’em. Got one on the football jig. Bring it in. Bring it in. That was an awesome bite. I pulled it over a rock and he nailed it. Is it a big one? Oh, not a big one, but look at that. Got one on the black and blue finesse football jig. Super super cool. Just as I was talking about. Nice windy bank. Perfect situation for the football jig. Like I said, I pulled it just over a piece of cover and that fish just slammed it and almost tore it out of my hands. Awesome.
The reason why this bait is so good as I’ve discussed for dragging down there on the bottom and feeling what’s down there is because as I’ve mentioned, it is a football jig. If you look at the head close, it actually looks like a football. That is what I love about this jig is that it allows you to maintain contact with the bottom and it also stops the bait from falling over. If you’re gonna throw a finesse jig out there or a casting jig, it doesn’t have as much… I’d say it’s not as centered in the middle and so if you’re dragging it or hopping it, the bait can fall over, give you a worst hookup percentage, if the fish eats it, but because the football jig has the side sticking out it oftentimes forces the bait to stay straight up and down. When the fish eats it, you have a good hook set. That’s why I love retrieving this bait and use a straight drag with a little bit of hop every once in a while if you hit a piece of cover and kind of get stuck.
Now that we’ve talked about retrieval, I say we move onto location, probably the most important factor when it comes to fishing this football jig. Let’s get started. We’re talking location about fishing a football jig. Oftentimes I’m looking for very, very obvious pieces of structure on very, very obvious points. Today I’m practically the biggest melee point in this whole lake and then we have a brush pile off the point here. I grafted it a few years back. I have it on my electronics as a way point, so I’m just dragging the football jig very slowly over the brush pile, feeling every single little twig in there, kind of popping off branches as I get stuck. That’s usually when you get bites is when you cast your jig, I guess beyond the brush pile and then pull it into the brush pile and pull it out. Usually you get your bites on both sides or in the dead middle of the pile.
If you’re gonna push a football jig, I’m not saying you can’t fish one from the shore if you guys are bank fishermen, but I’m saying it’s gonna be hard because it’s more of a deeper style lure. You have to have deeper water and brush piles, rock piles, that sort of thing to throw a football jig effectively. I’d say it’s definitely designed for deeper water and I’m currently stuck in the brush pile. Like I was saying, it’s not gonna be the easiest lure to fish from the shore because it’s heavy and you may get stuck, but it’s definitely one of my favorite lures to fish if you’re in a boat, offshore, especially in this early summertime period.
Now when this video comes out, I don’t know if it’s gonna be early summertime or not, but I’d say that the best time to use this lure is the early to mid summertime wherever you guys are in the country. On these post spawn days, sometimes that’s all it takes is just a slow drag. I’m dragging it right down this little ledge here, into the rough pile and that should be right where the fish is at, if we’re playing our cards right.
Brush piles are great, great places to fish if you guys can find them. Now basically, what a brush pile is, it could be a man made brush pile. Somebody went and chopped down a bunch of Christmas trees and threw them in the water and it also could be a natural brush pile, a big pile of bushes that happened to form in the water was lower and now the water’s flooded, so there’s literally a pile of brush. Fish often gravitate towards those because of the amount of cover that’s there and the amount of bait fish that live around there.
Now the whole fishing ecosystem loves cover. Everything from tiny, tiny microorganisms to minnows to the bluegill to the bass and to bigger predators… Everything loves cover and so brush piles are great stuff to fish around, especially in the post spawn when your fish are just finished spawning. They’ve just eaten and they want to head out on the highways to the summertime where they spend all their days. I’d say the football jig is one of the best ways to intercept those fish as they’re moving from brush pile to brush pile to deeper and deeper water.
That’s the video. I hope you guys enjoyed it. It’s always a pleasure for me to sit down and teach you guys some of the basics on fishing the lures that come in your box every single month. I love working with Lucky Tackle Box. They’re an awesome company that not only gives you good quality products, but teaches you guys how to become better fishermen, which is what we all want anyways. If you guys haven’t subscribed to the Lucky Tackle Box YouTube channel, make sure you guys click that Subscribe button below and hit that notification bell. That way you guys know every single time a video comes out from us. Also, if you guys haven’t subscribed to my channel, Tyler’s Real Fishing, I just hit a 100000 subscribers. Pretty cool milestone that I’ve been trying to hit for a while now. Definitely something I’m super proud of. I want to thank you guys for watching again. If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below and we’ll see you guys next time.