back in world war ii, the u.s. navy packed a bucktail jig and handline into survival kits for sailors and pilots to catch fish in an emergency. there is one more essential component to your bucktail jig arsenal, and these are what i call “enticers.” they are very important to use, as they are like the icing on the cake in the world of bucktail jig fishing. in these situations where the water moves, cast cross-current and let the jig settle to the bottom. if you are in a boat and drifting in deep water, lower the jig and bounce the rod tip as you move. one of my best outings using the float and jig occurred at point judith, rhode island, in a stiff northeast wind that was blowing right into my face. in most cases i am using the flathead jig with a 3- or 4-inch curly tail as an enticer.
ben and i started to catch one fish after another, but rarely were two fish in a row the same species. a few years ago, i got a major shock late in the season when fishing one of the backwater ponds with this setup. then, i had a hit and hooked a fish that tore line from the reel as it bolted along the bottom. this is why the bucktail jig is the more effective lure in a deep water channel or outflow when the fish are holding near the bottom. i always have a bunch around and at the ready. also look up the bait fish in your area and try to color coordinate, that helps too. drifting from a boat you can lift off the bottom much easier than casting and reeling.
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