I recently returned from a fishing trip to Punta Colonet, just off the Baja Mexico coast, south of Ensenada. The original plan for this trip was to catch big bottomfish while the bottomfish closure was in effect in U.S. waters. Instead, it turned into a yellowtail (a cousin to the amberjack) trip. The preferred method to catch them was on heavy jigs. The fish were holding pretty deep, 30 to 40 fathoms. I discovered that not all heavy jigs are equal. Weight was only one factor. Shape was a big factor that I’m not sure everyone else considered.
Thankfully, I brought a good assortment and found one that really worked. Interesting to me is that the same lessons learned in this ocean trip can be applied at the lake. In this article from Sportsmans Lifestyle, read how Yamaha pro Doug Stange uses different metal jigs to attract winter smallies.
Most bass fisherman might think that action cools as fish move into the Fall months, but nothing could be further from the truth for smallmouth bass. And one of the best ways to take advantage of them is an unconventional cool-water tactic — throwing spoons.
Yamaha pro and Hall-of-Fame angler Doug Stange prefers pitching metal as the temperatures fall as a surefire way to prospect for smallies.
“As dissolved oxygen and water temperatures become more evenly distributed in water bodies in late fall, smallmouth bass can hold just about anywhere,” says Stange. Finding them is the key, which means presentations that cover water fast are best … and nothing covers water better than spoons.”
Stange asserts that the notion of casting metal to Fall smallmouth may seem strange at first, even for those who vertically jig winter-chilled largemouth. But as late-season smallmouth move toward wintering areas they feed heavily on baitfish. And nothing reaches deep water as fast or mimics forage fish better than a spoon.
Photos: K Marine (top); Sportsmans Lifestyle (above)