I love that morning in September when I walk out the door and feel the first hint of fall in the air. There is not much change, but for the first time in months the air has a quality that makes me feel good. There is just a little change from hot, humid, muggy air to a little cool crispness. And that means great fall fishing is not far off.
That little change is a sign to me that jig and pig fishing is about to take off. Although I keep a jig and pig rigged year round on one of my rods and throw it some, especially at night, I rely on them starting in the fall. I often have three rigged and ready for club tournaments and throw them more than any other bait.
Kicker Bass Bait
I always keep a 3/8ths ounce jig on a heavy action rod and 20 pound test fluorocarbon line on the reel. It will have a big chunk or twin curly tail trailer on it for more bulk. I throw it around docks, brush and blowdowns, anywhere I need heavy line to pull the fish out.
This is my go-to bait when I need a kicker bass in a tournament since a jig and pig tends to produce bigger fish. Big largemouths seem to love the big bait and will hit it readily all year long. From Thurmond on the east side to West Point on the west, I will fish this bait on every lake I visit.
Spotted Bass Bait
Starting in late September I also keep a 1/16 ounce jig on a spinning rod and reel spooled with eight pound fluorocarbon line. It is teamed with a Zoom Tiny Chunk and this small bait is fished around rock and clay banks. It is especially good for spotted bass in middle Georgia lakes that have become infested with them like Jackson, West Point, Harding and Russell.
All Around Bass Bait
By mid October I usually have a one/quarter ounce jig rigged on a medium action bait casting rod and reel spooled with 12 pound fluorocarbon line. This lighter jig is teamed with a mid size chunk or curly tail and I fish it everywhere, from open clay banks to docks. It will catch more bass than the bigger jig but bigger bass than the little one. It is a good all-around size to throw on all kinds of cover and structure.
In clear water I like a brown jig with a few strands of orange in the skirt. I hook on a brown trailer and usually dip the very tips of the tails in chartreuse JJ's Magic. The chartreuse tails seem especially attractive to spotted bass and all bass seem to like the garlic scent.
The fluorocarbon line is especially important in very clear water you often find in our lakes in the early fall. It helps to make long casts to stay way back from the fish in clear water, too.
In stained water a black and blue jig with both colors in the skirt teamed with a blue twin curly tail trailer is my favorite. The twin curly tails create more action in the water that the bass can feel. The more stained the water the bigger bait and more action you need.
Even in stained water I like the fluorocarbon line because of the low stretch and I go with heavier line. In real muddy water I will even spool up with braid for the great feel and lack of stretch, but the water has to be extremely muddy for me to use a line I can see.
The bass here in Georgia won't feel the slight change in air temperature for several weeks after I do. But they definitely feel the shorter days. Less daylight is a signal to them to start feeding actively, especially on crawfish. Have a jig and pig ready to offer to them.