MAS­TER CLASS Dress­ing

There is no sin­gle bait in that arse­nal of yours that won’t catch a bass at any given time of the year… the se­cret how­ever, is to ap­ply the most ap­pro­pri­ate lure to at­tract the great­est vol­umes of bites and of course to ap­ply the best op­tion to seek out t

SA Bass - - >> Sa Bass - >> Roger Don­ald­son*

There is a com­mon trend in the move­ments of bass as they sense the change in sea­sonal tem­per­a­ture. Bass are par­tic­u­larly sen­si­tive to wa­ter tem­per­a­ture change and their feed­ing habits need to adapt ac­cord­ingly. In­stinct tells the fish that the ar­riv­ing colder tem­per­a­tures will mean a de­cline in the avail­abil­ity of food. In turn the bass switch to a dif­fer­ent gear and their feed­ing habits be­come quite in­tense – a great time of year for bass fishing.

In the next few months you’ll ex­pe­ri­ence that bass will feed more ag­gres­sively and larger baits will at­tract a bite from even the younger fish. It’s a clever strat­egy that our tar­get species em­ploy in or­der to fat­ten up for the ap­proach­ing win­ter pe­riod. A bulky lure op­tion that be­comes pop­u­lar over the next few months is the jig.

A jig on its own has a fairly slim pro­file when re­trieved through the wa­ter. I like to dress my jig for a few im­por­tant rea­sons; to en­hance its pro­file, and its swim­ming ac­tion, and to im­prove hook-set ra­tio. There are a three ways to do this which makes jig fishing that much more ex­cit­ing:

En­hanc­ing jig pro­file

A jig ‘trailer’ is a plas­tic lure rigged to the hook of your jig. The plas­tic lure can take on many va­ri­eties to suite the fishing venue. I will take par­tic­u­lar note of the most prom­i­nent source of food in the dam I am fishing in and try to match that prey. A good ex­am­ple is on the Vaal River where the ma­jor­ity of the crabs have had a few months growth to de­velop to a ma­ture size. Crabs will cling to the sub­merged branches and to the reed banks as they feed.

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