JIG FISHING ON CRAB ORCHARD LAKE   2 comments

Professional anglers have told me that jig fishing is a go to system for big bass.  On Crab Orchard Lak ein southern Illinois it is probably the most popular lure in the tackle box.

This popular impoundment in Williamson County, near Marion ,Illinois is a known bass factory.  The 7,000-acre lake has a rather featureless bottom due to years of silting action.  What structure is available is in the form of some rip rap and a lot of buck brush and weeds.  The latter is the most popular with the bass and anglers.

You can fish this versatile bait in a variety of ways and in many situations.  The simplicity of the lure allows an angler to cover a lot of water.  That is an important factor to the time pressured tournament fisherman.

When working shallow water near rip rap along the western shore of the lake you can move along the bank pitching to targets that are likely to hold fish.  This is usually sticks or vegetation.  Pockets in the rocks also are good targets.  Most bites come on the fall so it is important to watch the line as the lure enters the water.

The weed guard on a jig helps to keep it from snagging in vegetation or becoming wedged between the rocks.  The key is to be able to maintain sufficient accuracy to enter the water without making a big splash.

Try to find water that has either rock or wood associated with it.  Bass prefer cover and there is not a lot of it in this lake.  The rather shallow (maximum 18 feet) bowl shape of the lake is not conducive to finding a lot of structure.  Local anglers report that fish are in the shallows almost all year.

Shallows located close to cheek channels such as those in the north western part of the lake are desirable.  One can cast a jig and swim it.  Work it like a crankbait and let it occasionally fall.  This allows one to cover a lot of water.

If that fails to produce action try slowing down.  Just hop or drag the bait in and around the vegetation.  Pitch to any irregular feature.

Fishing a jig in the brush or among the racks may not be the most glamorous way to fish.  It can be downright frustrating with the hang ups that occur.  The pickings may be slim but what you do catch is well worth the effort.

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