- the only bottom is g ji a t a th k If you thin , you’re missing im sw n ca u o y t bouncer tha ears, a this story. For y in r te p a ch t x e y in the n glers, particularl n a f o p u ro g d te dedica rms d paddletail wo te n se re p e v a h y Florida, ve more typicall ie tr re a h it w y, . horizontall n to a Texas rig a th it a rb e n in r suited to a sp Fears let anothe T O ro p a m o h Veteran Okla Series this year’s FLW t a g a b e th f o t n cat ou ke Eufaula whe a L ’s a m a b la A event on largemouth by 8 -0 9 r e st n o m a me he caught chnique that so te a ’s It . e b tu a n swimming und weedbeds o ro a d se u e v a h t savvy anglers ber of years, bu m u n a r fo r e iv the Arkansas R an event on the t a rs a e F r fo e its value hit hom years back. e Red River a few jungle was, let m e th k ic th w o h “To tell you big motor to get r u o y se u to d a say that you h fish were,” he e th re e h w t e g over the stobs to pped, you’d be o st u o y n e h w n ater. explained. “The em, out of the w th f o p to n o re e t sitting th ere and if you sa w sh fi e th re e h But that’s w e fish t it calm down th le d n a e il h w a there ing minnows. ,” would start bust the book at them in g in th ry e v e nd “I threw catch one now a ld u co u o Y “ . d e u en he contin innerbait, but th sp a n o r o rm o then on a w g a little tube in m im sw d e rt a I my partner st d and of course o o g y tt re p m e and busting th rt followed suit.” an important pa e m co e b ’s it , n Since the und timber like ro a st ju t o n l, a of his arsen ut also around b r, e iv R d e R e he found on th on. cks and vegetati o d s, ck ro s, n w laydo
either natural or white; both like black/blue, particularly in dirty water; and the last and possibly most frequent choice is some sort of bluegill imitation, usually green pumpkin for Roumbanis and green pumpkin with blue flash for Lowen. A color-coordinated trailer completes the package. Clemons has several bluegill imitators that see heavy duty on the end of his line. One favorite is called “Mean Green” and features strands of plum, green, brown and black. He said that 95 percent of the time he uses a black with blue flake Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Craw as a trailer, regardless of what color jig he’s throwing. He said that the legs don’t break off as easily as on some other craws, and unlike the hollow-bodied version he can trim it down as needed. Under intense questioning, Roumbanis did reveal one effective color that is slightly out of the ordinary – an all-bubblegum monstrosity that he refers to as “Miss Piggy.” He doesn’t know what it represents or why it works, but said that “in the early spring it is deadly on the big females.”
Like any technique, swimming a jig requires a rod that handles to oddi- ties of this technique – the fish are often buried in heavy cover, so it’s essential that the rod have a lot of backbone, but because it’s a moving bait, a little bit of give is also required. If you use most manufacturers’ self-labeled “jig rods” or flipping sticks and you’ll sacrifice casting accuracy and pull the lure away from a lot of fish. You’ll also need forearms like Popeye in order to swim the jig all day. If you try to go lighter and utilize a typical spinnerbait rod, the big fish that tend to fall for the jig are going to wrap you up or pull off. But until recently, neither angler could find a rod that combined the best of both worlds.
Photo by Dan O’Sullivan