Eastern Open #1
February 5th 2018
Last week, every fish I weighed in on days 2 and 3, and my biggest fish from day 1 came on a swimjig (a frog, bedding fish, and magnum ultravibe speed worm filled out the other 4).
The absolute key for me was trailer selection, something I feel gets overlooked a lot, especially when swimming a jig. The fish I was targeting were in thick Kissimmee grass, and I was steadily reeling it in, with my rod tip held high, letting the bait's deflection over grass stalks enhance the action. In the morning or when clouds and wind would roll in and the fish were more aggressive, I opted to use a cut down skinny dipper as a trailer to give the bait more vibration and trigger bigger bites and help the fish locate it better. A smaller/shorter swimbait seems more practical to use on the back, but a bigger paddle tail "rocks" the head of your jig back and forth more which is a must have, especially for prespawn fish. As the day wore on and the sun got up, I switched to the menace grub, a smaller profile, very subtle swimming trailer. This allowed my bait to get 6"-12" deeper into the grass and still continue to get bites from fish that weren't as willing to chase. Through trial and error, I've came up with a system for myself that when fish are in the prespawn stage you use a paddle tail trailer on the back of your swimjigs, and when the fish come off the beds you make the switch to a craw style trailer for the remainder of the summer. In fishing, obviously nothing is 100% set in stone, but following that this week paid off.
I hope this information helps as our fishing season up north starts up here in the next few months!