From The Helm

Pro Tip Tuesday 4/30/24

When to use a Jig, a Spoon, a Plug or Bait?

Wow…now that is a tough question, which is why most fishermen have EVERYTHING at their disposal.  

But there is a way to help you narrow it down and figure out where to start.  We call it KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.  Yup, forget everything you’ve been told, what people are chattering on social media about, and look at your surroundings.  Take a deep breath, and look around.  Do you see bait?  Are birds feeding?  Is the current moving quickly?  What does the seabed look like? Are you on structure?  Are you marking fish, or do you need to draw them in?  Answer these basic questions and you’ll develop a good strategic starting plan.

As a Charter Captain, I rarely, if ever, leave the slip without live bait, or at the minimum fresh bait.  Like you, I got my handful of SP Minnows ready to go, my Flutter Pro Spoons, a Couple of FatCats and an assortment of Jigs.  

Now, when I reach an area that I would like to try, I go over a quick checklist in my head.  Marking fish?  Birds Feeding?  What does the drift look-like?  Do I have structure, am I by a bridge or off a jetty?  

Lately, in most cases, I would usually try the 9″ Flutter Pro first if I don’t see an active surface bite (If I did, I’d go with a SP Minnow or a FatCat).  The reason is because I can work it a few different ways.  Even if I’m drifting a bridge or anchored up, I’d float that spoon out there, and work it with some hard jigs to see if I can entice a bite.  If I’m confident there are fish there but I’m not getting a hit, I’d try sending down some live bait or some fresh clams.  If this doesn’t work, I would usually move on and look for another area to work.

I would go with a jig mostly if I need something to get down quickly.  Maybe its the speed of the drift or the depth of the water, but if I’m marking fish and a Spoon just can’t get to the targeted area fast enough to provide the proper presentation, then I will be whipping out the jigs.  

Yes, there are 1000’s of variables, but this is my thought as I approach an area to fish.  What are yours?

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