I normally write articles where I interview professional fishermen about the hottest techniques and lures that are catching fish right now. I ask about their tournament strategies and how they maximize the potential of everything they do. When I do the Bass Cast radio shows on www.BassEast.com they tell me their secrets on how they make it to the winner’s circle so often. But this time I do not need the insight of a pro. I have found a lure that has produced so well for me in so many situations that I have become a raving fan! I have caught an unbelievable number of fish and mixed in have been many heavy bass over 5 pounds and a couple in the 6 pound class, and this has been just since this February!
The Baby J jig produced by Omega Custom Tackle is the product I am referring to. I know some of you are probably disappointed with that kind of an introduction to hear that I am talking about a jig. I hear people all the time tell me that “a jig is just a jig.” These people obviously are not jig people. You will never hear that phrase come out of someone like Denny Brauer or Tommy Biffle. Derek Remitz has certainly found the jig that fits his purposes; he put his name on it! There are a few good jigs on the market, but the Baby J, although still in its’ infancy, has proven itself as one of the most productive lures available.
Not long ago I moved to Southern Tennessee close to the Tennessee River chain of lakes. I am now living close to Guntersville, Wheeler, Wilson, Pickwick and the southern end of Kentucky Lake. I did my research on the lakes and found that big jigs like the Derek Remitz signature series and the Pro-Mega have been very effective among many others lures. I had a lot of success on these jigs. I was catching pretty good numbers and decent quality but I knew what these lakes had the ability to produce and the 12 to 14 pound sacks I was catching were not going to win tournaments most of the time.
On one particularly tough day this February, I pulled out my new shipment of Baby J jigs in watermelon red. I was on Pickwick Lake where the crankbait and jerkbait bite had been phenomenal. I couldn’t buy a bite. The full size football jig wasn’t cutting it either. I rigged up a Paca Chunk on the back of this 5/16 oz. ball head jig and began to shred through fish. People were cutting in front of and behind us, but it didn’t seem to matter. We were still culling fish after fish. We had other boats sitting there watching us fish to see what we were doing. That finesse presentation made all the difference!
After a day like that you tend to keep the lure you were using tied to your favorite rod and reel combo. I started jigging the Baby J even when the bite was good. The results were just as amazing. The finesse jig was catching many times even better quality fish than the full skirted jigs were producing. I realized that these fished are just so pressured and the big ones are so smart that the Baby J is better at enticing the bite under almost any circumstances.
So what makes this particular jig so good? There are a host of other brands that have created a ball head jig and many of them embrace some of the features that make the Baby J number 1 in its’ class. There are standard features that any must be present for any jig to be considered a good jig. It must have a sharp hook, a realistic skirt, and paint that does not easily chip off the head. The Baby J has all of these, but what sets it apart are the added features Omega designed into this jig as well.
To start with, whatever happened to recessed line ties? They were all the rage for a while and fishermen absolutely loved them. It protects the knot, keeps grass from hanging on the line tie, and helps it pop over rocks and wood. Omega took note of this and built it in to this jig.
Most ball head jigs lack the flat spot that the Baby J has to keep it standing up in the crawdad defense position. But, the fact that it looks more natural in the water is not the main reason the flat spot is important. Keeping the jig standing hook up makes the Baby J more weedless as it enticingly crawls along the bottom. If a jig is on its side as it moves, first of all, the trailer doesn’t work correctly, and secondly, the hook is dragging the lake bottom. Any little bump can nudge the weedgaurd enough to allow the hook to grab it.
The shape of the hook used on the Baby J is unique to ball head jigs. It has a wider gap to keep the plastic trailer out of the way on the hook set allowing the barb to penetrate deeply and keeping the fish pinned on the way back to the boat. The lightwire hook is also much sturdier than the hooks used on other ball heads. This allows you to finesse it over rocks and gravel on light line or beef up the tackle and throw it into the middle of heavy cover still getting a good hook set yet not straightening the hook either.
Finally, you will never pull any Omega jig out of the package and get frustrated at the fact that the weed guard is bent or spread out. If you need 10 jigs you do not have to buy extras “just in case” like you will with other brands. Each individual jig is examined for quality assurance and if one happens to come out with the slightest imperfection it does not get packaged.
It is the little things that will put a few extra fish in the boat each tournament. How many times have you lost the tournament because of that one fish that came unpinned or the final keeper you couldn’t entice? Chances are, there have been many! Omega Custom Tackle has listened to these stories and built a jig to solve those problems; the Baby J jig.
Check them out at www.omegacustomtackle.com
Josh Bracamontes