Jigs and Techniques for Fishing Winter and Spring River Conditions

By Bryan Wilhelm

Old School…meets…New School

There is nothing new about using jigs to take Bass from rivers, but there are many combinations of both recent and traditional ways to rig, tie, and trim jigs that are gaining popularity today.  What follows are some of those popular tricks and combinations that can achieve success throughout the cool water seasons on pressured waters.

Those anglers who fish rivers know that the hair jig is, a staple on rivers for bass through the cold water periods.

hair jig no 1


Light jigs work best.  When fishing for small mouth bass, the light hair jig often attracts more bites when a small pork trailer is attached.  These natural trailers hold scent too.  Uncle Josh (see at www.unclejosh.com) has made pork trailers for years… and their product is the preferred bait for many of the pros in cold water conditions, because they move with lifelike action regardless of the water temperature.  It is the top anglers’ go-to bait.

Slow is the way to go.  Jigs should be selected to match conditions (flow of water, water temperature and fish you have targeted).  Natural colors are preferred.

A number of years ago, a chap from Maryland named Butch Ward developed a hair jig using dear body hair.  Body hair was selected because it is more buoyant and it flares when tied onto his jigs.  When tying these jigs, Butch would intentionally tie the hair onto the hook that it had a hair collar just behind the head.

hair jig no  2


The resulting jig design dropped much slower than straight tied conventional hair jigs.  Cold water fishing was forever changed.

Today, bass anglers buy jigs with silicone or silicone and live combination rubber skirts and trim them to have a forward collar in front of the band.  They call this the finesse trim or finesse jig.

finesse jig


This special clip or trim allows the jig to drop at a slower speed on the fall.  The addition of a twin tailed plastic or pork trailer is added to further reduce the fall rate and attract fish.  The Uncle Josh pork trailer may be used in any water temperature, but the plastic trailer is best used only in warmer conditions (60 deg. F water temps. and above).

When fishing 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4 ounce hair jigs, many guides and anglers exclusively use Uncle Josh, No. 101 spinning frog pork trailers in purple, black and green pumpkin.

spin pork frog


The combination of the deer body hair collar and pork trailer keeps the jig out of harm’s way while attracting big bass to bite.

When Old school meets new school, you will succeed.

Tight lines…

Bryan Wilhelm

Is brought to you by Do-It fishing and Uncle Josh.

Go to: www.do-itfishing .com and www.uncle josh.com