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Summer Jig Tips

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Wizard

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Y'all know I fished jigs year 'round at Lake of the Ozarks. It's a riverine impoundment owned by a utility company and it's main purpose is producing electricity. Mostly without vegetation or shade, it is best fished at night during the summer. You better know how to pick apart a dock as there are 10's of thousands on the lake. If you're a visitor, you'll probably have to fish during the day. Here are some tips to get you started.

During the day: get out BEFORE first light as fishing slows or ceases when the cruisers come to play. Most fishing is over about 9-10 in the morning.
1) fishing is often very shallow in the morning with many limits filled in 3 ft. or less.
2) I fish a lite jig in early morning. Remember that tubes, grubs, jigworms, etc. are also jigs. I vary my jig on what I see or feel is happening.
3) As the sun gets higher and the air and water temps rise, it's time to fish deeper. Myself, I like to fish ledges, points and drops. The summer thermocline is normally between 18-25 ft. A very narrow range that makes it easier to fish. I don't look for bass but do look for bait fish. I still fish a jig but there are a horde of different lures for deeper water.
 
The ol' lift and glide, stroking and Football jigs.
A) The lift and glide is your normal jig retrieve. Try it at various speeds.
B) Stroking is something a lot of anglers forget to try. It works for active bass. Cast the jig a SHORT way, maybe 10 ft. from the boat and let it sink on a semi tight line to the bottom while pulling line from the spool. Let it sit and marinate a minute or two. Now, using your wrist, jump the rod tip up a foot. This causes the jig to jump 3-4 ft. off the bottom. Follow the lure down to detect a strike. As soon as it reaches bottom, stroke it again. No strike? Leave the jig rest on bottom for a minute and stroke it again. No bite, put it away.
C) Football jig,  a lure for bass very near the bottom. Use a very slow drag to make it wobble. Stop the retrieve often. DON'T OVER FISH THE FOOTBALL JIG.

Now many anglers reading the post would say all these retrieves are all for bass on or near the bottom. I will say you are DEAD RIGHT. First, I wanted you to read the post. Second, I want you to learn something. Our forum's recently deceased mentor, bo james, would have hammered me on it if I forgot to explain it-BAIT FISH have yto be present AND on or near the bottom for a jig a be successful. If bass are at mid or shallow depth, other lures would be appropriate.
Hopefully, another angler will talk about mid and shallow summer angling.

Wizard


D.W. Verts

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Okay Wiz, that's JUST ABOUT ENOUGH.

Geez.

Dale
If you wanna hear God laugh, tell him your plans...

chrisD46

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Y'all know I fished jigs year 'round at Lake of the Ozarks. It's a riverine impoundment owned by a utility company and it's main purpose is producing electricity. Mostly without vegetation or shade, it is best fished at night during the summer. You better know how to pick apart a dock as there are 10's of thousands on the lake. If you're a visitor, you'll probably have to fish during the day. Here are some tips to get you started.

During the day: get out BEFORE first light as fishing slows or ceases when the cruisers come to play. Most fishing is over about 9-10 in the morning.
1) fishing is often very shallow in the morning with many limits filled in 3 ft. or less.
2) I fish a lite jig in early morning. Remember that tubes, grubs, jigworms, etc. are also jigs. I vary my jig on what I see or feel is happening.
3) As the sun gets higher and the air and water temps rise, it's time to fish deeper. Myself, I like to fish ledges, points and drops. The summer thermocline is normally between 18-25 ft. A very narrow range that makes it easier to fish. I don't look for bass but do look for bait fish. I still fish a jig but there are a horde of different lures for deeper water.
 
The ol' lift and glide, stroking and Football jigs.
A) The lift and glide is your normal jig retrieve. Try it at various speeds.
B) Stroking is something a lot of anglers forget to try. It works for active bass. Cast the jig a SHORT way, maybe 10 ft. from the boat and let it sink on a semi tight line to the bottom while pulling line from the spool. Let it sit and marinate a minute or two. Now, using your wrist, jump the rod tip up a foot. This causes the jig to jump 3-4 ft. off the bottom. Follow the lure down to detect a strike. As soon as it reaches bottom, stroke it again. No strike? Leave the jig rest on bottom for a minute and stroke it again. No bite, put it away.
C) Football jig,  a lure for bass very near the bottom. Use a very slow drag to make it wobble. Stop the retrieve often. DON'T OVER FISH THE FOOTBALL JIG.

Now many anglers reading the post would say all these retrieves are all for bass on or near the bottom. I will say you are DEAD RIGHT. First, I wanted you to read the post. Second, I want you to learn something. Our forum's recently deceased mentor, bo james, would have hammered me on it if I forgot to explain it-BAIT FISH have yto be present AND on or near the bottom for a jig a be successful. If bass are at mid or shallow depth, other lures would be appropriate.
Hopefully, another angler will talk about mid and shallow summer angling.

Wizard
*First , by "Cruisers" are you talking about large boats which tend to scatter / drive bass away ? ...Next , what is your football jig set up ?

Wizard

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Cruisers are the large boats up to 92' on LOZ.  Most cruisers top out at 72' but a local boat merchant is selling a Mediterranean style cruiser made by Venetian Ltd. of Italy with 92 ft. length.  They drive everything away... fish, bass boats, SeaRay cruisers, dock walkways.  Now even the 3 deck yachts and large cruise boats have to stop to go over the wake made by these monsters. Lord help you if you don't pay attention and your head swiveling.
My football setup is a 7' 2" Hvy Flipping stick with Trilene Big Game 20 lb. mono. I fish deep flats near points and drops. I cast a long way and slowly drag the jig. If the jig buries in a rock pile, I can use the "bow and arrow" method to free the jig. You can't do that with braid or flouro. Remember that a football head doesn't need strands on it. Thread a large worm, lizard, creature bait, etc. on a bare head.

Wizard

loomisguy

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Wiz, The football jig bite alluded me yesterday morning on Table Rock. They were on the brush piles but just didn't want it. They would nip the big worm but eat the Magnum Trick worm ,even in the stalls.
They would also get a yellow magic if you could find a bush still in the water but wouldn't move 3 feet to get it. Make 2 or 3 twitches and reel it in.
My lovely bride did miss the lake with a cast and hooked a snake that was minding it's own business on some rocks and pulled it into the lake .
 Unbelievably hot and humid at sunrise , 87 water temp. Put the Triton back on the lift at 9am ahead of the chaos.
 

Oldfart9999

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I like dipping my jig tips in chartreuse before using.
Rodney
Old Fishermen never die, their rods just go limp.

jwkelley51

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Does wind affect your decision to get on the bottom? If we have a little chop I can piddle around and catch some with top water and jerkbait. Seems like no wind and those lures don't work even though I can see shad swirls around.

Wizard

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Loomis, as you know. thee are usually several patterns on a lake the size of Table Rock. Myself, I never fish a football head in  brush pile.

jwkelley, my decision to fish on or near the bottom is determined by bait. If bait is very near the bottom, I will be successful with with a jig or near bottom lure such as a jigging spoon or drop shot.  Many knowledgeable anglers on UB fish by this thought- there can be bait fish with no bass but there will not be bass without bait fish.

Wizard

jwkelley51

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