Getting Jiggy With It

gc1By Garrett Cates

As many competitive bass anglers know, crawfish presentations can catch some monster fish. Bass depend on these crawfish as a main food source due to their high protein content and abundance in many North American reservoirs.  Having traveled the nation for tournaments and recreational fishing trips, I’ve seen first-hand how universal this technique can be. Varying color selections, line size and lure weight may be all it takes to trigger big fish into feeding no matter what part of the country you’re in.

Being from the Kansas City area, I grew up fishing generally stained to dirty water in the rocky reservoirs of Kansas and Missouri. Crevasses between rocks provide crawfish with the perfect habitat to live and largely contributes to the healthy bass populations these reservoirs produce. Although bass are lazy by nature, they must eat to survive. Chasing down another fish can prove to be a daunting task but a defenseless craw makes for the perfect meal. Since discovering Jewel jigs as a young bass angler and capitalizing on this concept, Jewel jigs have played a key role in my tournament success ever since.

I frequently use a 5/16 oz. Jewel Eakins jig as my weapon of choice while on the water. With the lure’s versatility, I can almost guarantee bites no matter what nature throws at me. In clear to slightly stained water such as the water at Table Rock Lake, natural colors like PB&J, brown/purple flash or green pumpkin worked well. Heading to Lake of the Ozarks or Truman Lake generally meant dirtier water. This is when I would stick to darker colors like black and blue. After selecting a jig color, the next important piece of the puzzle was matching the jig with a suitable trailer. Generally speaking, I like trailers with a lot of flapping action for dirty water or for triggering aggressive bass to strike. In clear water or more lethargic situations (such as cold water), I prefer to use a more natural approach, like a Snack Daddy Craw Daddy. Their subtle action and smaller profile sometimes make all the difference in the world. These tricks of the trade have worked well for me, and I continue to use them today.gc

As light as the 5/16 oz. Jewel finesse jig may be, its slow fall yields the most life-like action. This is a very important concept to keep in mind while fishing because triggering a live creature to eat something that’s unnatural isn’t always easy. The more lifelike it looks, the better chance you’ll have at tricking them into feeding. Aside from how real the Jewel Eakins jig looks in the water, its versatility never ceases to amaze me. Skipping under docks, dragging on windy points, pitching around cover, swimming in grass, and even hopping around on bluff ends, are just a handful of the endless possibilities.

Ultimately, using a lure that you have the most confidence in is going to work the best. From my experience, if I don’t feel confident in what I’m throwing, my chance of catching fish greatly diminishes. With the Jewel Eakins jig in my arsenal, I have all the confidence I need to go out and catch a limit each day. No matter what time of year it is, where the fish are, or what the weather is doing, I always have one or two tied on and ready to go. So if you’re a beginner looking for a go-to technique in any situation, or an advanced angler who prefers other methods, give Jewel a try and see the difference for yourself. Crawfish presentations can be very productive all across the country. A Jewel jig is the most realistic craw imitation and can definitely help you catch more fish!

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