As more and more anglers hit the water these days, we are constantly in pursuit of new ways to outsmart the ever evolving bass. Finesse tactics have long been the remedy and seem to still be the frontrunner in cracking the code when it comes to catching overly pressured fish.
One finesse bait that has taken the bass fishing world by storm over the last few years is the Ned rig.
A lightweight jig head rigged with 2 or 3-inches of soft plastic, the Ned rig is about as intimidating as a chihuahua and extremely effective.
But what if you wanted to dress it up just a bit? Enter, the MISSILE Jigs IKE Micro Jig.
Micro Jig Fishing with John Crews
“The Micro Jig is basically a Ned Rig with a skirt on it,” said John Crews, owner of MISSILE Baits and MISSILE Jigs. “It doesn’t replace the Ned rig, but it’s a good compliment to it.”
The similarities in the head design of the Micro Jig and Ned rig are evident at first glance. The 90 degree eye of the jig and the overall compactness of the bait quickly place the two presentations in a similar category.
How Does Micro Jig Fishing Differ?
“When you start fishing it slow and that little teeny skirt flairs out, there’s just nothing else artificial that small that has that flair to it. And that is exactly what a crawfish does when it feels threatened.”
If you’ve ever seen a crawfish in a creek or tank or even on video, you’ve seen that moment Crews mentions here. The moment when running is no longer an option and the crawfish’s last resort is to try to look as big as possible.
“But a little 3-inch crawfish can only get so big. He can flare his claws out all he wants, but a 2-pounder is just going to wolf him down. I think that’s just a natural defensive motion that bass see a crawfish do all the time and that’s what makes it so effective.”
As is the case with most finesse techniques, where you gain in performance, you lose in efficiency. Though usually when it comes to finesse techniques and a tough bite the exchange is worthwhile.
“Because of the compact size, it’s not the most efficient bait to cover water with by any means. But there are times it’ll out-fish a dropshot and a lot of other finesse techniques.”
Crews recommends using whatever gear you usually throw a shaky head on for the Micro Jig.
“You’ve gotta be able to put a little wood to them on the hook set. So you can go too light on the rod if you’re not careful. And I put it on 12-pound Sunline Xplasma braid to an 8-pound fluorocarbon leader.”
Micro Jig Fishing: Great in Challenging Conditions
Crews says the bait works really well around sparse cover. Isolated laydowns, stickups and short rocky bluffs all represent good targets for the Micro Jig.
And it works really well in current.
“It’s really, really good in current. I’ve caught a ton of smallmouth in little streams around the house just letting it wash around in the current.”
So if you find yourself faced with challenging conditions this winter due to overly pressured fish, cold water temps or whatever the case may be and you’re tired of all the same ole finesse techniques, give the Micro Jig a try. Fire it around isolated cover, fish it slow and don’t be afraid to lean into them a bit when setting the hook. Maybe you’ll find yourself a new clean-up bait to add to the arsenal.
This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert
Become an ANGLR Expert and apply here.