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ozarktrout

fishing with jigs

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Hi Phil,

I was wondering how to fish rainbows with jigs and do you need a fly rod to do it..I usually fish for them with POWERBAIT but you just can't get the big ones with POWERBAIT...I have done very well with the eggs and marhmellows and corn and live bait but am looking for a new challenge and new adventure. If you could share any information on the topic as far as how to set up the line and reel would be extremely helpful to this amatuer

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Jigs are great, I have fished for trout w/ jigs since I was about 7 or 8 years old and now, nearly 30 years later, I still use them. I have learned how to fly fish and enjoy that, but jigs on a spinning rig are deadly. I have used marabou jigs from Bass Pro or event the 1/32 or 1/16 oz white or yellow crappie jigs from walmart (97 cents for 10 of em). I started fishing them at Roaring River as a kid, using 2 lb test and 1/64 to 1/100 oz during low water in the summer. Large waters like Taney and Benett use larger sizes like 1/32 to 1/16. My biggest fish to date was on a black 1/64 crappie jig (28" rainbow) and 4lb test. The key is to know when your getting a hit vs hitting the bottom of the stream. I don't use a strike indicator, just throw it out and reel it in slowly, work the rod tip a little moving it up and down and get ready for a hit.

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would you fish the jigs like drift fishing with the power bait only jiggin it some? i havent really tried too much jig fishing on the tanney but 2 or 3 years ago we tore em up with lil cleos spoons basicly jiggin them up n dow anchored off on the outside of the bends in water around 12-18ft id say. caught a 19" rainbow other than that we didnt get anything real big. the water had to be running though it seemed when it wasnt they didnt bite as well. we found that out this last year. this was all downstream of fall creek(other than the 19"fish) where there is a lil deeper water. we usually started on the first big bend and fish any of the trees or cover we found in the water. seen some big ones but no reaction from them. still cool to see the monsters swim by just to remind ya that they ARE in there.

first bend past fall creek heading downstream

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The good thing about jigs is that it is really hard to fish them wrong. One of the techniques that I like to use when I can see the fish and the botton in slow moving water is to flutter or shake the jig by moving the rod tip up and down a couple of inches real fast. If the fish watches but does not take, I drop the jig to the bottom and let it sit. A lot of time the fish will come and pick it right off the bottom. It doesn't take the fish long to spit it out, so strike quickly.

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