Despite the onslaught of new tackle and techniques, a jig remains widely regarded as the best big bass bait in existence. Jig fishing expert Randall Tharp discusses the importance of rod angle in controlling the fall of your jig while maintaining the best position for bite detection and efficient hooksets — critical information if you’re getting started with jig fishing or looking to up your game.
- ARK Randall Tharp Honey Badger Series King Cobra Casting Rod
- Team Lew’s Hyper Mag 7.5:1 Speed Spool
- Lew’s Double Power Handle
- 4X4 Signature Series Jig
- Lowrance HDS-12 LIVE Fishfinder
While Tharp fishes jigs horizontally in certain circumstances, experience has taught him that skirted bass jigs are at their prime when fished vertically using the flipping and pitching technique. What becomes essential with both methods is allowing the jig to fall naturally using controlled, semi-tight slack. Maintaining a rod angle between the 9 and 10 o’clock position affords bass some movement with the bait and the angler the optimal rod position for detecting bites, and driving hooks home.
When it comes to setting the hook, Tharp is a proponent of feeling the fish, then easing into him. Check out our Slack vs. Tight Line Hook Sets video discussion between Tharp and Gerald Swindle to learn more on the topic.