Tales of a diehard jig fisherman

Published 12:01 am Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Old Rivers at Vidalia, Deer Park and Yucatan produced some nice size white perch this week.

Several customers/friends stopped with an ice chest half full of some huge slabs. The numbers are not that great, but the size makes up for that. The only two “in common” facts I heard was the perch were in 10 feet of water. Some were using shiners. That’s Southern for minnows. It is just hard for us to say minnows.

Others were doing just as well on jigs of various colors. The other “in common” fact is the jig anglers were using a jig with a certain color on it. Some were using green and chartreuse, blue and chartreuse, white and chartreuse and brown and chartreuse. It obviously does not matter as long as there is some chartreuse color in the jig body. It works the same way with bass. Chartreuse, or some mix of color, including chartreuse, will catch bass.

That is strange when you consider nothing that swims in our waters is chartreuse. I interpret that as a visibility factor or curiosity of the fish when it sees this almost florescent color pass by. Some chartreuse lures are florescent. One of my long time product sponsors, Bill Lewis Lures, who makes the famous Rattle trap, marketed for a short time a chartreuse, glow in the dark Rat-L-Trap. My first thought was this would be a great lure under low light conditions and at night. I would hold a flashlight to the lure until it glowed really bright. Let me tell you this lure caught absolutely nothing.

I caught some gar on it, and soon after, that color was discontinued, but I keep them because one day they may have collector value for my children or their children. I never did figure out why that lure did not work. Most people that know me think of me as what I am — a diehard jig angler for bass. I am and for good reason.

Back when we had a great population of bass, mostly anyone that halfway knew what they were doing could catch a limit during a tournament. The big would catch a limit, and 90 percent of the time the jig fish would outweigh the bass caught on other lures. It is still that way, but with a declining bass population, it is not hard to get five jig bites in eight to nine hours of tournament fishing, sometimes.

If you get those five bites, you usually win or place. The jig is just so versatile. You can slow drag it on the bottom like a crawfish. You can speed your bottom, retrieve or make the jig a great imitation of a fleeing crawfish. You can hope the jig up high and cover the mid water column by imitating a small sunfish like a bream or shad. You can go with spinner bait colors on a jig and swim it near the surface, where it acts much like a spinner bait without the spinners giving it a more subtle look that bass like near vegetation that we no longer have much.The swimming jig is productive in warmer, clear water around wood cover.

The Mississippi River is rising. Some may think this is not good, but if the river had continued to fall the Old River bend lakes would become landlocked with stale water. That would not be good. As long as the Old Rivers are fluctuating no matter if it is up or down, the fish will remain somewhat active despite the August heat. This exact time last year the Old Rivers were landlock and surface water temps ranged from 90 to 94 degrees. This week, the Old Rivers topped out at 88 degrees. That is another big plus for summer fishing. The stage was at 18.9 feet. So a rise from 18.9 feet to today’s level of about 18.8 feet is not bad. By Wednesday, if the river level predictions hold up, we should see a level of 20.7 feet.



Eddie Roberts writes a weekly fishing column for The Democrat. He can be reached at fishingwitheddie@bellsouth.net.