John's Journal...

Bass-Fishing Tactics with Greg Hackney

Drag a Jig, and Drag in Bass

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Greg Hackney of Gonzalez, Louisiana, one of the hottest tournament fishermen on both pro circuits, has finished in the top-10 in four tournaments with nine more tournaments left to compete in this year. Hackney won the Lake Sam Rayburn Bass Tournament, and so far this year, he’s earned $192,000 on the Bassmaster circuit and is ranked No. 1 statistically on as of May, 2006.

Question: How else are you catching bass fishing slow at this time of year?

Hackney: I’m dragging a jig on the bottom.

Question: What color jig are you using?

Click to enlargeHackney: I like the bream pattern in blue, black-and-blue and even white. I like white because sometimes the bass are feeding on shad. I drag the jig like you will a Carolina-rigged worm or lizard. I drag it slowly across the bottom so that I can feel every rock or stump that it hits.

Question: What size jig are you using?

Hackney: I’m using a Denny Brauer 1/2- or 3/4-inch jig, depending on the water depth. If I’m fishing in 12 feet or less, I fish a 1/2-ounce jig. If I’m fishing deeper than that, I use a 3/4-ounce jig. The main reason I’m using the heavier jig in the deeper water is so that I can make sure the jig stays on the bottom and that I can feel the bottom.

Question: Are you using a trailer on the jig?

Click to enlargeHackney: Yes, I am. The size of the trailer varies depending on how active the bass are. If the bass are fairly inactive, I’ll be fishing a Strike King Denny Brauer Chunk Trailer. If the bass are more active, I want a Strike King Split Tail Trailer. This puts a lot of action on the back of the jig.

Question: On what kind of areas are you fishing the jig?

Hackney: I fish the jig on points, channel swings, humps out in the middle of the lake and any type of structure on which I think the bass may be holding. I’m dragging the jig really slowly with my rod tip. I want to feel it crawl over every stump and log, and drop in every hole in the bottom. You want to drag that bait really slowly.

Click to enlargeQuestion: How do the bass take the bait?

Hackney: The bass usually slack the line. The bass will come up behind the bait and hit the bait as they move forward, which usually throws slack in the line. So, to catch the bass when I see my line has slack in it, I usually reel down and try to feel the weight of the fish before I set the hook. Many times I’ll be casting 50 yards where there will be a lot of slack in my line, so if I don’t reel down before I set the hook, I won’t know I’ve got contact with the fish. I’ll actually pull the bait out of the fish’s mouth. When you’re using this tactic, always remember to reel down, feel the weight of the fish, and then set the hook. Most people don’t reel down before they try to set their hooks when they’re dragging jigs. This reason is why many people don’t catch the bass they should catch using this tactic. When you’re making a long cast and a bass takes your bait, you’ve got to make sure that you reel down and get that slack out of the line before you set the hook. I use fluorocarbon line when I’m fishing like this because the fluorocarbon has less stretch and puts much more power on the point of the hook than monofilament does under these conditions.

Question: Why are you making such long casts?

Hackney: I want to cover a lot of water and catch as many bass as I can. You may be fishing a point that runs from 5- to 15-feet deep, so I’m casting up into 5 feet of water and fishing that jig all the way out to 15 feet of water.

Question: What color jigs are your favorites?

Hackney: A black blue accent and a perch color, or something brown like a pumpkin green or a perch color are my favorite.

Tomorrow: Hop It If They Don’t Bite It Dragging

Check back each day this week for more about " Bass-Fishing Tactics with Greg Hackney"

Day 1: Fish Slow to Catch More Bass
Day 2: Finesse Fishing Pays Off
Day 3: Drag a Jig, and Drag in Bass
Day 4: Hop It If They Don’t Bite It Dragging
Day 5: Finally, Crank Them


Entry 356, Day 3