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Big Hair Jigs for Bass | Using Southern Tactics on Northern Bass

Part of the fun of fishing is adopting tactics from different places and having success on your home waters. Wired2fish video producer Kyle Peterson learned how to fish big ‘preacher-style’ hair jigs with colleague Jason Sealock on Kentucky Lake and liked the system so much that he took it back to Minnesota where it’s been an impressive producer. Largemouth, smallmouth bass and pike find the profile and natural action irresistible, yet not many people fish these type of magnum hair jigs for bass and other species.

Kyle shares how he fishes oversized hair jigs up north, largely relying on a fast reel retrieve for pulsing the bait forward, with pauses. When you reel the hair jig quickly it compacts and jumps off the bottom. Then when you pause it, it opens up and flares before it starts falling. You will get most of your bites at the top. That’s why reeling the jig can be a better option than snatching the hair jig up off the bottom with your rod. That will get bites too but it can be a lot harder to hook them because you have to take up the slack and then set the hook. If you do it more with the reel, keeping your rod low, you’re in position to set the hook on a reaction bite.

The lure performs best in hard bottom areas as the exposed hook tends to foul in the grass. Like a lead-head swimbait, hair jigs can be fished at a variety of depths – determine the jig fall rate and depth fish are positioned, then make a long cast and countdown to the target depth. Or you can simply cast it out and let it hit bottom and the reel it up a few turns to get it up off the bottom. The more you reel it or hop it up, the higher you can fish it in the water column and get reaction bites.