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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
as I received a new Bass Pro Shops catalog in the mail yesterday. This is the fresh water version not the saltwater version. In this catalog on page 263 there is a product called XPS Freestyle Jig. It comes in 4 sizes. 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ounce. These are too small for most saltwater applications. This can only lead one to speculate that someone is making an effort to introduce vertical jigging to fresh water. I had considered trying vertical jigging on the landlocked stripers in the Tennessee River below Pickwick Dam. I have caught many stripers there on poppers and 1 ounce football head jigs with 5 inch sassy shad bodies. Many of them are around 20# or a little better. Next summer I plan on trying to catch some of them vertical jigging. They should be fun on my Stella 5000SW with the new United Composites rod that Txseadog is building for me.
 

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I have been vertical jigging fresh water for bass and walleye.
and other species for over 35 years.

Nothing new for me,
just swithched over to salt water jigging 30 years ago:D
 

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I've been deep jigging for big stripers for the past 3 yrs at Lake Mead, Las Vegas. I found the SS Hooker 1 jigs to be the most effective using slow to medium jig action. $$hit loads of fun with noodle Trevala rods.
 

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as I received a new Bass Pro Shops catalog in the mail yesterday. This is the fresh water version not the saltwater version. In this catalog on page 263 there is a product called XPS Freestyle Jig. It comes in 4 sizes. 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ounce.

They have had those for 4 or 5 years if they are the ones I'm thinking of--don't have the catalog in front of me.

Don't they also sell a matching "jig" rod for it along with a 7:1 reel, as I recall?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The ones I have seen in the catalog in the past are the big brothers to these jigs. They are the saltwater version. If you count vertical jigging a 3/4 ounce Little George just off the bottom in the Tennessee River for white bass, then I have been vertical jigging since the 60s. If you count jigging just off the bottom of the river with 1 or 1 1/4 ounce jigs tipped with minnows for sauger, then I have vertical jigged since the 60s. The problem is that type of jigging is greatly different than speed jigging in saltwater. One big difference is the water clarity in the river isn't that good and you won't draw in fish from very far away. If you use the butterfly jigs where I sauger fish and let them go to the bottom you will break off an awful lot of them as they snag in whole trees lying on the river bottom. I use braided line and jigs with fairly light hooks that can be straightened in the event of a snag. When I used to use 10# mono, sometimes you would break off 20 or more jigs in a day to snags. If you used higher test mono there would be a big bow in your line and you would lose contact with your jig. While doing these things I am directly over the lure I'm fishing but they are shaped considerably different than butterfly type jigs and their is very little action for the sauger jig other than moving it up and down over maybe a 1 foot range above the bottom by raising and lowering the rod tip. This is considerably different than butterfly jigging.
 

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The ones I have seen in the catalog in the past are the big brothers to these jigs. They are the saltwater version.


They have also had small ones marketed for bass fishing for quite a while--they were called "freestyle jigs" or something like that, and they had a rod/reel that they sold with it with a very high retrieve. I remember seeing them when "butterfly jigs" became the rage a few years ago. I threw the catalog in the recycle bin already, so I'm not sure if they are the same ones I am thinking of.
 

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Those jigs are perfect for small inshore species.
We caught a lot of mackerel, pompano and other fish this past years at Destin,FL.
 

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Yep, vertical jigging has been around in the freshwater scene for decades..........just not known by that specific name.

A favorite tactic of mine has been using little saltwater baitfish lures ( 1/4 oz lead slugs & Hopkins No-EQLs) vertical jigging amongst the drowned standing tree timber in deepwater for bass feeding on baitfish holding in amongst the tree branches.
Just quietly nosing the boat right in to the tree trunk & dropping the jig down next to the trunk & then a variety of retrieves on the way back up.

He He..........requires making the trebles weedless tho if you are not to lose a jig on the branches every second drop..... He He.

Started S/water vertical jigging for Yellowtail kingfish & cobia back in the early '70s with modified US yo-yo jig patterns in lead & Norwegian cod jigs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have done that sort of thing with Texas rigged plastic worms and fat bodied grubs. I've also used living rubber skirted jigs with fiber weed guards tipped with soft plastics such as crawfish imitations impregnated with salt and crawfish scent. I've always worked the bait in this heavy cover sort of slow and methodically. This is sort of a probing type of fishing though and not done as violently as speed jigging. If I did that in a standing tree in a reservior, I bet I would run every single bass out of it.:D
 

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A hopkins is standard issue when it comes to freshwater and inshore jigging.

Historically we only yo-yo jigged. However, I have wanted to try mechanical jigging when stripers suspend over deep water in the summer. The striper levels in Kerr Resevoir are coming back, so I could see an epic day if you catch it right.

Lately though the boys have been getting cats on live bait. They had a 79lbr three weeks ago.
 

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"A hopkins is standard issue when it comes to freshwater and inshore jigging"-I agree. Also an other good jig for gray trout, blues, and stripers (VA/NC) was the Stingsilver jig. Did a google on Stingsilver, but I guess that was pre-internet. By the earlier 80's I think the Silver Buddy/Blade bait was the hot VA/NC FW/SW jig bait.
 

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The little pink 1/4 oz. one is awesome for hybrids in the shallows in springtime
but that's here in Tx. I find these lures are just as effective ripped across or just under the surface.
I think the main issue is when fishing for stripers in freshwater, you really don't have a lot of water column to work in. Most of my fish are caught in water that rarely exceeds 60', so speed jigging would consist of about 8 cranks before that jig is back up top. I have had good success with it yo-yo
style at a specific depth, but just like any jig, put it where they're bitin', and
they'll hit just about anything
 

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I have also been doing this in freshwater for years now. Scaled down but much the same. 10# braid in depths from 10-35 on my local lake. Best times are just before and right after the lake is frozen and after the nastiest T-storms during the summer. Cruise the lake looking for bait and bigger fish near or under them. Rocky ledges also produce regularly. Drop down using the tradional yo yo style. This technique caught my second best on the local lake and I have caught all of the following species jigging: baitfish, bluegill, perch, crappie, catfish, large and smallmouth bass, walleye, brown trout, stripers, pickeral, and musky. My freshwater metals include 3/40z. blade baits (Heddon Sonar), Hopkins, and Kastmasters).
 

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you guys want to know the sad truth? Bass Pro is where i heard and got my first exposure to vertical jigging.
My local Bass Pro had a Shimano butterfly jigging video on, because i had just been looking at the Trevala rods because i liked the action. Thats how the addiction started guys, Bass Pro.
I started with two trevala rods, a handful of butterfly jigs and the owner assist hooks.
 

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Here in OK, we use sand bass slabs which resemble a saltwater vert jig. First, you mark a school then drop the slabs to depth, then everything else is rod tip, little to no reeling.

this year I am going to experiment with making some tiny assist hooks with some small circle hooks to prevent bottom snags and brush problems.

We'll see if they work or not.
 
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