Information Central (c) Larry Larsen
Jig Tips and Tactics
The large profile, gaudily trimmed "Peacock Bass Rattle Jig" should be an integral part of
every peacock angler's tackle box, according to jig fishing expert Paul Reiss. "The peacock bass jig can be an angler's secret weapon.
Sometimes the big noisy surface plugs just won't get eaten, and sometimes water conditions demand a quieter presentation. Sometimes nothing else works. Having a few
jigs in your arsenal ensures your ability to succeed in variable conditions. He is right.
When to use it - Although you can use this
lure anytime, here are some of the more practical ways to use it.
As a fish-finding tool - This lure covers a lot
of water quickly. Use it when entering new areas to test for the presence of fish or to find where they're holding in the area.
As a second presentation
- Anglers often encounter peacocks that short-strike and miss other lures, or simply fail to hook up on the first encounter. They will usually
ignore the initially presented lure from that point on. Drop a jig in his face and he'll be much more likely to turn on again.
When your partner hooks up
- Peacocks often hunt in bunches. If your fishing partner hooks up, use a jig to offer an easy meal to the often jealously competitive fish
hanging behind the one already hooked up. Very often they're even bigger than the first.
- Used like a streamer fly in clear water, the jig is a very effective sight fishing lure because
of its relatively subtle presentation. If you can see them, they can see what you're up to. A well presented jig won't be as likely to spook shallow or cruising peacocks.
When you're tired
- After slinging 2 ounce hunks of lumber for a few hours, the jig feels just about weightless.
- A great all around lure, in the right conditions the jig will probably catch greater numbers of peacocks than any other bait."
"The best presentation is not the slow, bounce-off-the-bottom kind," says Paul. "After slinging a huge
Woodchopper for hours, anglers hardly notice the minuscule half-ounce weight of this lure. Take advantage
of this. Don't try to throw it on your heavy spinning rod or baitcaster. Downsize to a medium-light spinning
rod with lots of backbone. Add a small spinning reel and spool it up with a strong, fine braid. With a little
practice, this rig will provide pinpoint accuracy, effortlessly long casts, fast retrieves and plenty of fish
fighting power. If you're a diehard baitcaster and absolutely can't or won't throw a spinner, at least switch
to a light rig. Use a medium rod and fast retrieve reel (6:1 or better) to maximize the jig's acceleration.
The peacock bass jig is effective in a great variety of retrieve
methods. The only things that don't usually work very well are fishing it slowly, or bouncing it off the bottom like a conventional jig.
Peacocks just don't feed that way. They are fish eaters and are used to fast-moving prey. Move your jig quickly. Work it running shallow
with a steadily accelerating start and then a short, abrupt stop. Or, off points or in deep, fish-holding water, let it sink and then crank it,
with rhythmic jerks, toward the surface. In shallow water or along beaches, skitter it quickly above the bottom or the creases in the sand.
"The key to the jig retrieve," says the experienced peacock angler,
"is to generate a strong, sharp acceleration after each pause, making the buck-tail pulse and then move rapidly away from the observing
predator. In order to maintain a good rhythm, keep your line tight and stay in position to set the hook in a striking fish. As with other
peacock baits, placing your jig effectively and moving it through high percentage locations will help to maximize the number of strikes you
trigger. Cast at structure and then move it along the structure."
We have quite a few other jig fishing experts in the
Peacock Bass Association that have passed along info on this specific technique/lure to us through our monthly PBA eZine, "The World of Peacock Bass." One
offered his expertise concerning top colors and patterns for catching peacock bass on bucktail jigs. The attached
pictures reveal some popular colors as specified (and ordered) below. 1. Yellow belly
and red back and tail in black tannin-stained water. This is a favorite color combo of
many. 2. White belly and red back and tail for slightly tannin or slightly dirty water. 3. White
belly and green back and tail when the bite is "off" and the fish need more
coaxing. 4. Yellow/black striped belly and black back and tail.
The flashibou tied into the tail of many of these jigs (as
well as the body) gives it that extra attraction. The red at the throat of many of these jigs makes a real
difference too, according to the jig experts. Many use them as "back-up" baits and most jig affectionados feel that the lures are under-used and under-rated by many.