By Kevin Hawk
Jigs are highly adaptable lures that catch bass all year round. They can be fished in both stained and clear water conditions, shallow and deep, and in most types of cover. Keeping a selection of jigs and trailers in my makes it easy to best match the conditions I find myself fishing in, but there are two specific jig trailers I rely on heavily during the early spring when the water temperature is still cold.
A Big Profile
If I’m fishing on a body of water holding large bass that eat large prey, like Lake Guntersville, I always start with a large profile jig. Large, female bass feed heavily to prepare for the upcoming spawn, and I feel they target the largest prey they can find. I want to appeal to those pre-spawn females.
The 3.75” or 4.5” Yamamoto Flappin’ Hog is my first choice for a bulky jig trailer, because it can be used on any style jig for multiple techniques. I thread the Hog on a 4x4 Football Jig when fishing in rock and a 4x4 Tournament Series Casting Jig around wood and grass.
I also like to make small modifications to my Flappin’ Hog depending on how I’ll be fishing it. When I use it on a football or casting jig I tear off the two sets of appendages furthest away from the tail section, which makes it more streamlined. If I’m skipping docks I pull off the third set leaving just the tails. This makes the jig and trailer more compact, so it skips easier.
The Yamamoto Double Tail Grub is my confidence trailer when I want action. I like the 5” DT Grub (97-series) for larger skirted jigs and the 4” DT Grub (93-series) for finesse-style jigs.
The Double Tail Grub’s action is subtle, yet it produces enough vibration to help bass hone in on it, especially in stained water. Like the Flappin’ Hog, the DT Grub works well on casting jigs dragged or hopped along the bottom, as well as, pitching and skipping around cover.
I do, however, use the 4” DT Grub when I’m skipping docks, even with a 1/2oz jig. The smaller size tails on the 4” Grub catch less water than the 5” model, so it skips easier.
I’ve also found rigging the Double Tail Grub on a shakey head, rather than a jig, can produce better on pressured lakes or in clear water. Without a jig skirt, the DT Grub becomes an even more finesse-style presentation—one appealing to inactive bass, or spotted and smallmouth bass.
My two confidence colors are Green Pumpkin (297) and Bug Grinder (386). The Flappin’ Hog is offered in both, while the DT Grub is only available in Green Pumpkin. Bug Grinder is close to a green pumpkin, but with green flake added. I can’t tell you why bass like green flake, but I’ve caught too many fish on it to not always have it on hand, especially in stained water.
I always pay attention to the baitfish and crayfish pieces I find at the bottom of my livewell. If I find crayfish pinchers tipped with orange, or chartreuse-colored bluegill tails, I pull out my marker pens and color my jig trailers to match. This may seem like an insignificant detail, but it’s one that often produces more bites.
Jig trailer selection doesn’t have to be difficult. Just think about what profile and action you want to present to the fish. If you want a bulky profile with minimal action choose the Flappin’ Hog. If you need a smaller sized trailer with subtle action pick the DT Grub and customize your trailer to fit the job you’re using it for.
Keep your choices simple and you’ll build more confidence in your fishing by removing the guess work.