A jig is one bait a lot of bass anglers don’t understand how to fish, and because of that they have poor results with it.

But Jeff Bruhl has mastered the art, and he said it is critical to pick the right size lure for the situation.

“If the fish are holding tight to the bank, I will use a 5/16-ounce (jig), and if they are out deeper I will use a ½-ounce jig,” he said.

Bruhl uses Stanley jigs with thick wire hooks that allow him to get fish out of the wood that lines the banks of the Pearl River.

Knowing what retrieves work best and experimenting with presentations can land you some big bass, according to Bruhl.

“Some days they want it to hop, hop and fall, and they’ll hit it on the fall,” he explained. “If you do not do well with that, sometimes they want it drug on the bottom where you just make contact with the cover on the bottom.”

Detecting a bite on bottom-oriented bait can be extremely tricky, but if you know what you are feeling for it will be a lot easier.

“Most of the time it is just a mushy feeling where you will lose contact with the jig and your line will start moving off,” Bruhl said.

In most types of fishing, it is a good idea to be a line-watcher. This is particularly true when trying to detect a jig-fish hit.

“If you are not really experienced at throwing a jig, you need to watch your line — it will tell you a lot of times when you have a bite,” he said. “If you throw it next to a tree and you see your line move or twitch as it goes down, that’s a bite.

“Sometimes you do not get any feel for the fish and it’s just visual with the line.”

Bruhl said the equipment you use is important for not only feeling the bite but to keep the fish from detecting you.

“I like a rod with some backbone but that also has some flex at the end,” he said. “That way, when you pull on the jig and hop it, you can feel him before he feels you.”

Bruhl throws his jigs on 20- to 25-pound flurocarbon line, but he said 50-pound braid will work just fine.