The jig/worm combo is one of the standard bass fishing techniques used by fishing guides in Brainerd, Minnesota. The combo consists of a 1/8 to 1/4 ounce jig head and a six to seven inch plastic worm. The jig is the key to this combo. The jig's hook should be 2x long and 3x strong. Its shank should have some type of spade, screw, or collar to hold the worm in place. Every Brainerd fishing guide has their own preference for worm colors but most will agree that blue-fleck, motor-oil, pumpkin seed, and basic black are somewhere on their top ten list. The best jig colors are those which provide stark contrast to the worm's color. Brainerd fishing guides will match a blue-fleck worm with a yellow jig or a motor-oil worm with a chartreuse jig. The jig head's contrasting color allows the bass an "eye" or something to key in on. These types of color combinations cause the bass to strike the end of the worm containing the hook more often, thus producing more positive hook ups. Many Brained fishing won't fish a fire-tail worm for this reason unless the fire-tail extends to almost half the worms length. Inch long, or shorter, fire-tails seem to produce nipping strikes from bass and can be a nuisance to fish when bluegills are present. The only exception to this rule is when a black jig head is matched with a black colored worm. This traditional color pattern has probably accounted for more bass caught by fishing guides in Brainerd, Minnesota than any other jig/worm color combination.
The jig/worm combo can be fished in a variety of methods. It can be dragged, popped, and swum in many ways. There are also times where it's the most effective just resting on the bottom. Brainerd fishing guides will incorporate a wide variety of different patterns, or tempos, throughout the day. The basic method calls for the boat to be held just outside the edge of the weeds and then cast the bait towards shore. Allow the worm to sink slowly to the bottom. This can sometimes be the most productive time of the retrieve. Let the worm rest on the bottom for a few seconds before giving the lure a two to three foot pull. Repeat this process all the way back to the boat. Hesitate for a moment when a bite is detected and the set the hook with a long, deliberate, sweep of the fishing rod.
© 1990 Brainerd Fishing Guides, Inc.