Discover fishing tips at crazy for fishing.

Catch Spring Smallmouth Bass with Hair Jigs

Using hair jigs to catch smallmouth bass in the spring can be highly effective. Here’s a guide on how to do it successfully:

  1. Choose the Right Jig: Select a hair jig that mimics the natural forage in the area. Hair jigs with marabou or rabbit fur skirts are excellent choices. Colors like brown, black, and green pumpkin tend to imitate crayfish, which are a primary food source for smallmouth bass.
  2. Adjust Jig Size: Smallmouth bass can be particular about the size of the bait they’re willing to strike. In the spring, start with smaller jigs and gradually increase the size until you find what the bass are responding to. Generally, 1/8 to 3/8 ounce jigs are a good starting point.
  3. Fish Near Structure: Smallmouth bass love structure, especially in the spring when they are often found in shallower waters. Target rocky areas, points, submerged logs, and drop-offs. Cast your hair jig near these structures and let it fall to the bottom before starting your retrieve.
  4. Experiment with Retrieval Techniques: Hair jigs can be fished with various retrieval techniques. Try a slow, steady retrieve to mimic a crawfish crawling along the bottom. Alternatively, hop the jig off the bottom, imitating a fleeing baitfish. Small twitches and pauses can also trigger strikes, so experiment to see what the smallmouths prefer on a given day.
  5. Pay Attention to Water Temperature: Smallmouth bass activity is closely tied to water temperature. In the spring, they become more active as the water warms up. Focus on areas where the water temperature is rising, such as shallow flats, rocky points, and sun-exposed shorelines.
  6. Use Fluorocarbon Line: Consider using fluorocarbon line for your leader. It has low visibility in the water and sinks, helping to maintain a natural presentation. Smallmouth bass can be finicky, so minimizing any potential deterrents is crucial.
  7. Fish During Low Light Conditions: Early mornings and late evenings are prime times for smallmouth bass activity. During these low light conditions, bass are often more willing to strike. Topwater hair jigs or those retrieved just below the surface can be effective during these times.

Remember to adapt your techniques based on the specific conditions of the water you’re fishing. Pay attention to the behavior of the smallmouth bass and be willing to experiment with different jig sizes, colors, and retrieval techniques until you find what works best on a given day.