Wired2fish broke the story on Cody Huff’s deep-water jigging tactic for winter bass on highland reservoirs using forward-facing sonar. Since then, Huff has partnered with the Rapala product development team to create the Jigging Rap Magnum, an even heavier bait with beefed-up hooks optimized for sharpshooting fish in deep water. Huff reintroduces us to this system, walking us through how he employs Garmin LiveScope Plus with the ultra-efficient Jigging Rap Magnum to get his bait in front of roaming shad eaters (bass) at depths reaching 70 feet and beyond.
TACKLE USED (retail links)
- JIG – Rapala Jigging Rap Magnum, color – Chrome Blue, 1-1/8 ounce: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- JIG – Rapala Jigging Rap (W9), 7/8-ounce: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- ROD – Johnny Morris Signature Series Rod, 7’1” medium: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- REEL – Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Spinning Reel: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- LINE – Sufix 832 Braided Line, 10-pound, Ghost: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- LINE – Bass Pro Shops XPS KVD Signature Series 100% Fluorocarbon, 10-pound: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
ELECTRONICS & BOAT CONTROL
- FISH FINDER – Garmin EchoMAP Ultra Fishfinders: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- FORWARD-FACING SONAR (FFS) – Garmin LiveScope Plus System Bundle: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- FFS TURRET – RITE-HITE Turret: Buy at Amazon
- TROLLING MOTOR – Garmin Force Trolling Motor: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
TARGETING DEEP WATER BASS
In this video, Huff highlights the challenges and rewards of deep-water fishing. He showcases the spot he’s targeting – the mouth of a long pocket meeting the main lake, a prime wintering area. Huff stresses the importance of using fast-falling lures like a heavy jig and plastics combo or the bunker-busting 1-1/4 ounce Jigging Rap Mag. Why? Because the strike zone is surprisingly small. With bass on the move, a fast-falling bait with an accurate cast is your best chance of getting the lure near the fish, which is crucial to getting bit.
HOW TO FISH THE JIGGING RAP MAGNUM
Huff showcases the effectiveness of heavy swimming jigs. The beauty of these baits is their ability to generate a highly erratic side-to-side action, or the opposite, with subtle movements akin to moping a minnow. Use forward-facing or 2D sonar to help guide your jigging action — the bass will tell you how they want it. Huff demonstrates a non-traditional approach to fishing this lure which involves spotting fish on LiveScope then making an accurate cast to the fish rather than the usual vertical presentation.
COMPARING THE JIGGING RAP MAGNUM TO THE ICONIC (OG) JIGGING RAP
While Huff has a handful of favorite winter bass fishing lures, the Jigging Rapala family is his favorite. He discusses the differences between the original Jigging Rap and the Magnum version, showing the significant size difference and explaining when each is appropriate based on the targeted water depth. Huff also highlights the Jigging Rap Magnum’s beefier hooks, built-in swivel, and split ring to reduce leverage.
ROD SETUP FOR MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY
Huff shares his gear choices, including a 7’1” medium power spinning rod and an 8-pound fluorocarbon leader to a braided mainline. The key to the setup is using a small diameter line to help achieve a faster fall rate.
This isn’t old-school jigging. Technology has changed the game, both in terms of electronics and lure design. Cody Huff’s technique is a must-learn for winter bass fishing enthusiasts on highland reservoirs and beyond, and it works well for other gamefish such as walleyes, pike, and salmon, too.