How To Catch Fish: Two Presentations For Tough Conditions

As you’re driving to work, you notice conditions are perfect. A breeze that creates the perfect amount of chop, overcast with light comfortable rain off and on, and of course no fishing pressure. Fast forward a day or two on your day off, and it’s bluebird skies, no wind, post-frontal, with seemingly everyone in the world headed to the same lake you’re going to. If we could, we’d fish on days where all the variables lined up in our favor for a killer bite, but most of us can’t. We fish when we have time off and make the best of whatever conditions we’re faced with. The two presentations in this blog will catch bass when conditions are brutal! If you’re a new angler looking for something simple to catch your first bass, both are great options. If you’re a tournament angler, both are great to fill a limit when all else fails, and if you’re like me, just wanting to stretch your string on a Saturday, well, ole buddy, both of these presentations work.

finessejigblog-1Finesse Jig

Finesse Jig(available in Trokar and Lazer Sharp) paired with a Ned style soft plastic is a combination that works. When all else fails, this is a goto for anglers in the know across the country. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure why it works so well or what it imitates that gets fish to bite even when they snub their noses to everything else, but I do know as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, this combo will get bit. Everywhere I’ve fished it, I’ve been able to drum up bites with this set up in a wide variety of super harsh conditions!

The Finesse Jig/Ned style soft plastic combo works best fished with spinning gear. This combo fishes great on a 7ft medium-fast EC2.5 Bass series rod paired with an EC2.5 reel spooled with light braid (20lb) to a Fluorocarbon leader (8-12lb). For most instances, 10lb Fluoro leader material is perfect but adjust to the conditions you’re faced with. Ultra-clear water without much cover around go lighter, and if you’re fishing around laydowns or anything where there’s a chance you can get bulldogged into a lousy situation, bump it up to a heavier leader line.

When conditions are tough, and you know bites will be hard to come by, it’s essential to vary your retrieve until the fish start talking to you. With the Finesse Jig/Ned style soft plastic combo, your retrieve can be the difference between a banner day and going home skunked, aka sunset pic on IG. Start with a basic retrieve lifting you rod tip a few inches at a time putting action into the jig, picking up slack with the reel, and repeat. If you don’t get results, the sky is the limit regarding what you can try to drum up bites. I’ve done everything from hopping the jig back fast to slowly dragging it along the bottom with pauses between. Although what they key in on can be different from day to day, one thing I’ll say is don’t forget to pause from time to time. When the Finesse Jig/Ned style soft plastic stands straight up and down, there’s something about it that drives bass crazy.

FinesseJig-1There’s a ton of different soft plastics available for this combination made by tons of different fishing companies. To get you started, check out the offerings from Zman, Strike King, and Leedan Lures. Color-wise, stick with natural colors in clear water, darker colors in stained water, and when in doubt go with green pumpkin, which is bass fishing duct tape!

Little Nicky Rig

Next up in the tough fishing conditions hall of fame, we have a little modified Neko Style Rig (I affectionately call the Little Nicky Rig). I started fishing this set up years ago, and it’s flat-out deadly even in the toughest of conditions. It’s a Neko Style rig but with a small (3-4 inch) soft plastic stick bait. The modest size of this rig with the alluring action gets even the tightest lipped fish to hit in super harsh conditions, and of course when rigged on a TK137 bites=hook ups! 




tk137 Wacky-Neko-1The little Nicky rig works best on spinning gear. I love fishing this set up on a 6’10” Medium Light Fast action EC2.5 Bass Series Rod paired with an EC2.5 Reel. I run light braid as a main line to a Fluorocarbon leader ranging from 8-12lb test with 10 usually being the sweet spot.

The same thing applies to varying the retrieve using this rig as it does the Finesse Jig/Ned Style soft plastic. Play with the retrieve until the fish start talking to you. With this rig, I like to vary how aggressively I shake the rod tip, which results in the rig dancing you’ll see below in the action videos. At times fish key in on the little Nicky rig really going to town. I’m talking about shaking the rod tip like you’re all hopped up on Mountain Dew, and others they like it very subtle. Again, play with until fish start talking to you.

Tk137fish-1Learning both these presentations will pay huge dividends over time both in flat out catching fish with nothing is working and confidence knowing you have a few aces in the hole with the bite gets tough. If you have any questions post them in the comment section below, we’re here to help!

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