by Jon Stanco
Year in and year out there are different trends in the fishing industry, specifically bass fishing. There was the tungsten craze, the dropshot frenzy, and the west coast infiltration of swimbaits. Each one of these new techniques generated a boom and anglers everywhere flocked to purchase the right gear and set out to master the hot new technique in hopes of catching a bunch of fish or, even win a tournament.
I always have my ears open to new ideas, and when a good one comes along I usually to try learn about it just like everyone else. Sometimes, however, there is just a refinement on an old method that can be just as successful.
I like to fish jigs. They catch alot of fish, and big fish at that. They are also an amazingly versatile lure that can be flipped, pitched, punched, swam, dragged, and hopped. There is one problem with jigs however, in the very thick vegetation, fishing them can be a nightmare. While the invention of weed guards and wedge shaped heads has helped, they still tend to get mired down in heavy vegetation.
Fast forward to the fall of 2009. I was fishing coontail and vegetation so thick that a jig was not getting to the fish, just staying mired in the middle of the vegetation. As the old cliché goes, then a light bulb went off. I decided to make a weedless jig that could be used to punch through vegetation. Using a Naked Bait Co. Skirt weight I made up skirts in colors that I knew would produce. I went on to catch several nice bass between 3 and 4 pounds testing my idea and a new type of specialty “jig” was born.
Now onto the good part, what was I actually doing? The idea is remarkably quite simple in design. Here is the design:
Step 1) Make a skirt using the Skirt Expander and material from the Naked Bait Co.
Step 2) Fasten the Skirt on the Naked Bait skirt weight by sliding the o ring into the groves of the weight. Cut the tag ends. (You will now have a skirted weight.)
Step 3) Run the line through the fishing weight and tie on a fishing hook appropriately sized for your soft plastic trailer. I like to use a Poor Boy’s Baits Bertha Bug.
Step 4) Rig your plastic weedless with the hook buried in the plastic.
Step 5) Catch fish!
Why does this work? Simple, I can put a jig “profile” in a place where a jig would be a ineffective to fish. It is the most weedless way to catch a bass in this situation. It will take you about a minute to make this set-up. But, if you fish a lot of heavy cover as I do, it will save you hours of pulling vegetation from your lure and trying to muscle a stuck jig back to the boat.