Tour­na­ment-Proven Tackle

SA Bass - - Front Page - By Cur­tis Nie­der­mier

L ike an old friend re­turn­ing home af­ter a long ab­sence, the resur­gence of the Preacher Jig as a Tour-level tour­na­ment lure a few sea­sons ago kicked off a lot of ex­cite­ment in the bass fish­ing com­mu­nity. Young bucks raced to find the big buck­tail hair jig, which was the hottest “new” lure for ledge fish­ing, while sea­soned vets dug out their long-for­got­ten buck­tails that they’d for­merly re­placed with newer tackle.

Sure, hair jigs have been used by some fish­er­men in var­i­ous lo­cales for decades. But un­til the res­ur­rec­tion of the Preacher Jig, cou­pled with Ja­cob Wheeler’s win in the 2014 Bass­fest event at Lake Chicka­mauga with a sim­i­lar style of buck­tail jig, many an­glers con­sid­ered hair jigs to be noth­ing more than win­ter­time lures. Still oth­ers con­sid­ered them relics of a time be­fore tackle was de­signed by com­put­ers, when peo­ple ac­tu­ally had to sit at a ty­ing vise and piece to­gether for­age im­posters out of bits of feather, fur and fiber.

What got over­looked, even as an­glers rushed to eBay to snatch up what few re­main­ing orig­i­nal Preacher Jigs they could find, was that a big buck­tail is only one of many pro­duc­tive styles of hair jigs for bass an­glers. Hair jigs aren’t just ledge baits or cold-wa­ter baits; be­cause they’re tied to­gether by hand, they’re end­lessly cus­tom­iz­a­ble, and can be fished suc­cess­fully in all sorts of sce­nar­ios.

All shapes, all sizes, all sea­sons: The ef­fec­tive­ness of hair jigs any­where and any­time has won them new re­spect among bass fish­er­men.

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