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Choco Taco

Milfoil jig help

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Fellas,

New to fishing this heavy milfoil stuff on Tonka. I bought a bunch of heavier jigs but trying to figure out what to do. Do you guys pitch these things in deeper water? Inside weedline? Outside weedline? Do you cast them a short or long distance? I am not used to playing around this stuff. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

-CT

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All of the above. smile Jigs work great in deeper water as well as shallow. As far as pitching, you'll wanna find small pockets in the milfoil and just drop it in, wiggle it up and down a few times and move to the next one. Just make sure you're using some pretty heavy gear for this, since you basically have to lift anything you get outta that milfoil, or it's gone!

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Choco, make sure you bring some patience with! The most frustrating thing about flippin into the pockets is that you can go a LONG time without getting a fish, then you will hit the motherload.

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Last night fished outside weed edge with 3/8th oz brown / orange jig tipped with a green pumkin berkley chigger craw. Had my 4yo son and 5 year old daughter with... It was slow going for the most part but I did hook into three nice ones - a 19.25 incher, and two 18's. All came out of fairly thick cabbage in 7-9 fow. I just flipped into pockets and watched line, popped it up a few times then moved to next pocket.... I'd say I spent a good two hours with that approach but did end up with about 10-11 lbs with those three fish. Kids love just seeing those big bass. Took some pics with the camera phone with kids and let them swim. I'd agree that you do have to have some patients with the jig but I will also say that it simply works and often times if you are patient it will pay off with a nice bag of fish. I think the main problem with people new to jigging for bass is they aren't confident in the approach and have little patientce with it / hence the switch to something else and the jigg confidence never gets established. I suggest just forcing yourself to fish with the jig until you have success. That is basically what I did a couple summers ago and I'm very glad I did as it is one of my most often used techniques now.

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I've fooled around with flipping a little, but not long enough to catch a fish. For beginners, is it easier to open the spool up and use a heavy jig? I've tried it a couple times with a swim jig, but had trouble getting distance on the flip.

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I like using a jig that has more of a bullet head shape instead of one that is more rounded... I also prefer to fish the milfoil vertical instead of horizontal, which means short accurate casts and pitches/flips... smile

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Instead of pitchin in pockets does anyone pitch the the thick matted up foil? I mean like there's a thick nasty clump and you cast right on it hoping to have enough weight to bust through?

Saw that on a bassmasters show last year. I haven't really tried it. I need heavier jigs or heavier bullet weights.

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Thanks for all the replies. I seem to give up on jigs to early because I am not used to the feel of the bite. Several times, I got a fish but it felt like a snag so my confidence on detecting a strike is low when it comes to jigs. I figure to go out only one day with jigs and leave all my other lures at home. That will force me to learn jigs.

So, here are my newbie questions. When you guys look for pockets in the weeds, are you looking at what's on the surface or below the surface? I assume both. I have a hard time spotting those pockets. Second, when do you decide to swim, pop, or drag a jig? Again, thanks for helping me out.

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Look for the pockets in the top of the weeds. The pocket is there because of whats on the bottom. Be it a rock, wood, or just a harder spot in the bottom where the weeds aren't growing. The pockets may only be the size of a basketball, but thats all they need. I usually let the fish tell me how they want it. Usually its a couple hops a brief pause, then onto the next hole. If they are there they will eat it. There have been times where they want it slower, but you have to know they are there in order to do that or you would be using up a lot of time. No need to swim or drag it when fishing in the foil, it will just get hung up in it. Like Tonka said, stay as vertical as you can, it will make your life a lot easier...

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Thanks for all the replies. I seem to give up on jigs to early because I am not used to the feel of the bite.

As far as the feel of the bite; You may feel a light tap, a noticable bump, or you may just see you line twitch or move slightly one way or another. There is no real science to feeling the bite as it varies from fish to fish. You can only concentrate and focus on your line and the feel of the rod and jig in your hand. Typically anthing that varies from the norm signifies a potential fish. Remember; Hook sets are free.

With no stretch line and an above average Rod you should feel at the very least a tap or a bump unless you have a lot of slack in your line. Also, excess Wind will hamper your sensitivity greatly. Good luck.

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And don't forget, go easy on the hookset! Since they're usually 10-15ft away and there's no stretch in the line, I can't count how many bass I've broken off on a jig cuz I set the hook too hard.

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Ok, so I tried jigging a little bit today. Tried the outside weedline in about 15-17 fow and tried some holes in the milfoil in about 10-12 fow. No takers. I flipped the jig about 5-10 ft away from the boat and popped it some, shook my rod tip, and dragged it back a little. Used a 1/2 oz jig with a craw trailer. Any tips on what I should do better next time? Thx.

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I'd have to respectfully disagree fishahaulick. I drill my hooksets just about as hard as I can in attempting to get the heavier gauge hook to bury itself into the thick upper (roof) of the bass's mouth. I've never broke off nor have I ever busted a rod. Again, I use med/heavy bait casting rods coupled with 30 - 50 lb Power pro often times directly tied with a back to back uni knot to 20 lb flourocarbon. I have though lost fish because I thought I had a bite and did a half [PoorWordUsage] hook set... I you have the proper equipment you can set the hook and not be afraid. Have you ever seen a bass pro on T.v. set the hook soft while fishing a jig? The only time I'd set the hook softly if I were using a lure with small hooks or a circle hook type tension hook set. But I suppose if you are fishing lighter mono or flouro I could understand it but to me that is using the wrong tool for this application.

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I know I'm using the wrong tool. I only have a couple of bass sticks, one's a med/hvy baitcaster another's a med/hvy spinner, both spooled w/ 12lb mono. Since I only have 2 I need to set them up to be as versitile as possible. If I set as hard as I can when they're 10ft away with 12lb line, they're gonna break it if they have any size, plain and simple. I spose I could start using one of my muskie sticks! laugh

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Another reason to cross their eyes with a hookset is that you want to get them moving in the right direction immediately before they can burrow into the weeds/pads/milfoil/wood you found 'em in.

But - be careful if you swing and miss because that jig is coming back at you at a pace good enough to drop you if it hits you in the head - happened to a guy I know this weekend who shall remain nameless.....Another guy I know put a jig hook through his finger when he tried to catch it.

For the really thick stuff I sometimes flip a heavy jig way up in the air and let it free-fall in an attempt to use the additional momentum to break through whatever cover it is. Another tip is to use streamlined plastics (tubes or beavers, etc) either alone or as trailers so they don't hang up the presentation.

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Do you guys always connect a Flourocarbon leader to the braided mainline? I was originally thinking of just tying my 50# braid directly to the jig

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I don't... I do like coloring the last couple feet or so of my braid with a black sharpie though... Not sure if it makes a huge difference, but it doesn't seem to hurt! smile

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