There has been numerous articles about jigs and trailers; how, when and where to fish them. I decided to ask Joao Mendes about his views on selecting the correct jig trailer for different fishing conditions.
“Select the Correct Jig Trailer” There has been numerous articles about jigs and trailers; how, when and where to fish them – Bennie Wiese
H is team has been doing extremely well on this year’s Cast-for-Cash tournament trial and I spent a day with Joao on his boat. I have taken the opportunity to ask him about his views on jig trailers.
“The first thing about jig trailers is that there are many colours and sizes to use. Not going off the subject but for the casual angler, jigs are jigs. Not true. Anglers will just maybe see the different jig sizes and many colours. There are different head designs and hook sizes that’s part of choosing the right jig for the correct condition and matching it with the proper trailer.” The jig itself has been around for many years and must be one of the most versatile lures around.
“It will all come down to where and how you are fishing the jig. The chances are really great to catch bass on about any type of water with a jig, any time of the year.”
He adds “I personally believe that you can have more success if you are more versatile in picking the trailers for your jigs. There’s a lot to it, but it’s also pretty straightforward and basic when you break it down.” Here’s how Joao goes about selecting the jig trailer for different conditions:
“The first thing that I will consider will be the water depth I am going to fish. Generally I am going to fish the shallow areas and prefer the old style chunk trailers like the Chunk of Super
Chunk. These types of trailers have been around for many years and still produce fish. They don’t have lots of action but work will when pitching or flipping the shallows water areas.” Joao tells me that there’s an important exception when he is fishing a swim jig in the shallows.
“Yes, the swim jig is deadly in the shallow and I will always have one ready on the boat to make some cast in the shallows. When using swim jigs I will most of the time use twin tail type of trailers. These twin tails have a lot of action even when fishing them slow.”
Twin tails also work extremely well on football jigs, especially when you are crawling the football jig slowly across the bottom. The reason being that twin tails are very sensitive to the slightest movement of the lures.
Water clarity also plays a great part when picking the
correct jig trailer. Mendes explains that: “Most of the time I will use bigger bulky trailers when fishing dirtier water. You need the trailer to display more water. The dirtier the water the more the bass need to use their lateral lines to find the fodder. Especially a big twin tail or a creature bait like the Brush Hog moves a lot of water and makes it easier for the bass to find it.”
Joao also adds that “When I am fishing clear water I will scale down on line sizes to make further casts. The jig’s trailer will also be scaled down to move faster through the water. The
more time the bass has to look at the bait the bigger the chances are for them to find something wrong with it and move away from the bait.”
Joao believes that the trailer’s colour is highly influenced by the water’s clarity. “When I am fishing dirty water, I like dark colours that show up well or offer a good silhouette so the bass can find them more easily. If the water is clear, I like natural colours like green pumpkin or watermelon that blend in with the surrounds. I believe to keep it easy for as long as possible. On bright and sunny bluebird days lighter natural colours works great for me. I try to match fodder in the venue I am fishing.” Joao also adds that; “The darker colours work better for me when it’s over cast or when fishing deeper water.”
On a sunny day glittered trailers can attract more attention from the bass; the colour will change its appearance the deeper it goes. For example a colour like red will lose its look and change to black where as black and white loses their appearances last. Contrasting dark and light colours will give the angler a more natural affect as well as give a visual presence to the lure in changing conditions.
Lastly Joao says; “When water is stained I found that bass will be holding closer to the bottom or structure. I will always look for banks that have a type of slope between 30 to 45 degrees. It allows bass to quickly move between the shallows and deep water without wasting excessive energy. And with the colder months approaching the bass will move more lethargic as the temperature drops. So it is important that you slow down your presentation and that you match the colour of your trailer as close to the fodder as possible.”
*Bennie Wiese is the editor of SA Bass magazine and an experienced provincial bass angler.