Pond Hopping – Jigs ‘n Rigs:

Pond Hopping – Jigs ‘n Rigs:

Aug 23, 2012

The Short truth on rigging soft plastics

Sages tell us the “devil is in the details,” and, at Bass University last week, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kevin Short showed that he has the devil by the tail when it comes to flipping and jigging.

Short, known, too, as “K-Pink” for his bold boat wrap and angling garb, offered a rigging tip to improve hookup ratio when flipping soft plastic baits on a Texas rig.

Said Kevin: “If you are losing a lot of fish working soft plastics on a wide gap offset hook, my advice is:

1)   Buy straight shank  (round bend) hooks, and

2)   Learn to tie a snell knot around the hook shank.”

His reason is “a matter of physics,” and he asks anglers to note the angles of force and penetration between the two styles of hooks.

 “The knot won’t slip, and your hookset will be consistent,” says Short, who uses Vicious braid and fluorocarbon for his flipping. “If you go to a straight shank hook, you solve the problem right there .You will be amazed at how many fish you put in the boat with a snell knot and the straight shank hook.”

The advantage of the snell knot on a straight shank round bend hook is that all the force you put into the hookset helps drive the point straight into the fish’s mouth. The line wrapped around the shank commands consistency. Not so much with a knot that shifts its position on the hook eye.

Try it…and look for more of Kevin’s flipping, jigging and other tips coming in our Tackle & Techniques section.

Mike Pehanich

Note: While flipping soft plastics into submerged vegetation at Lake Guntersville several years ago, Bassmaster Elite Series angler Matt Reed pointed to another advantage of straight shank round bend hooks: they hang up less in grass because they do not have the protruding notch of an offset hook to hang up on stems and collect debris. — MP

Drag that jig!

Just because we call it a “jig” doesn’t mean that’s the only way to fish it!

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Kevin Short prefers to crawl rather than "hop" his jigs. Here he shows two jig types he uses for crawfish imitation: a Jewel Eakins Jig and a Jewel Football Jig..

In fact, Kevin Short isn’t “jigging” much at all when he’s using his jig and trailer to imitate a bottom-creeping crawfish.

“Most of the time when I am fishing the jig, I am not hopping it,” Short explained. “I feel that if people would drag a jig – as if they were fishing a Carolina rig – they would get more bites. If you watch a crawdad, he doesn’t hop along the bottom. He crawls. He may flare up off the bottom, but he is not (doing a series of hops). He is crawling along.”

Short likes the Jewel Eakins jig coming off a ledge or any precipitous drop off because its flat fall in a relatively horizontal position more closely resembles the natural fall of a crayfish.

The Jewel Football Jig is his tool of choice for dragging rocky bottom.        –MP 










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