One of the most successful and recognizable Louisiana bass pros plans to be swimming when he fishes this month — swimming a jig, that is. And he’s good at it.
“I like swimming a jig in April, for two reasons. The fish are just coming off the bed, and the shad are spawning. That’s why it’s a good choice,” said Greg Hackney of Gonzales.
As an afterthought, Hackney said it’s a good choice because, as far as water temperature is concerned, the water’s on the cool side still but not hot.
“It’s a way to cover a lot of water, and it catches a lot of fish on braid. It’s fun. Fish like to bite it.”
The bass, many of them in a post-spawn period, are in the kind of mood that prompts them to hit it, he said. If you’re fishing a lily pad field or hyacinths, for example, that’s a more sight-oriented presentation to show them something different.
Hackney’s swim jig of choice is, typically, a 3/8-ounce Strike King Hack Attack.. His color preferences are green pumpkin or white or black/blue.
“You can take those three colors and catch fish in every state that bass are living in,” he said.
Add a Rage Craw
Hackney adds a Strike King Rage Craw, which gives the bait a wider, more aggressive action coming through the water column. He matches the craw’s color to the swim jig’s skirt — white to white, green pumpkin to green pumpkin and black to black/blue. He threads it on in its center so that it swims straight, which aids in the desired result.
Hackney, 46, television the host of Sportsman TV, nearly always throws a white jig in clear water, even in stained water if the bass are eating shad. If they’re dining on bluegill or crawfish, he’ll choose a green pumpkin.
He’ll tie it to 50-pound braid spooled on a Lew’s Custom Pro reel with an 8..3:1 retrieve ration, critical because retrieve is critical because it’s fast, and fast counts when fishing a swim jig. He fishes it on a 7-foot-2, Lew’s Hack Attack swim jig rod.
“A lot of times, they hit it fast and move fast. A lot of times the fish are real shallow. You need to keep up with them,” he said.
His swim jig was designed to be fished in and around heavy cover. Its strength is centered around the extra-strong Gamakatsu Siwash hook that provides an extra bite with a heavy weed guard to enable it to weave through the heaviest cover, he said. Also, Strike King’s Perfect Skirt gives the artificial lure more life-like action.