Like a lot of anglers, I grew up fishing bass jigs traditionally, pounding cover with an endless drop-lift-drop-lift routine. And while I caught fish, I didn’t fully grasp how truly versatile jigs are—and how they can be fished in ways that can crack conditioned bass when everything else fails.
My “eureka” moment came on a trip with a saltwater guide who’d throw his jig out as far as he could and rip it back to the boat. Watching him catch fish taught me that we all have preconceived ideas about how we’re supposed to fish jigs.
During a TV shoot in Texas a few years back the producers asked me to burn the bait back to boat so they could get a shot of the reel handle rotating. So I start drag racing a jig through two feet of water and all of sudden an eight-pound bass grabs the bait. Here again, I never would have fished a jig that fast, but it produced a solid fish and once again opened my eyes to the efficacy of breaking conventions.