As we proceed to the beginning of the tournament season, many anglers will encounter the first competition primarily focused on the prespawn and staging fish. This typically means fish are leaving their winter haunts to press the shallows and feed before entering the spawn.
For the tidal Potomac, this typically means fish are locating themselves in the mouths of large bays that contains spawning grounds focusing on emerging new grass growth that houses an abundance of valuable nutrients.This time of year is typically when the largest weights are weighed in on this famous river as large school of large females are much easier to target based upon the quality and quantity of grass that is available for cover relatively close to zoned off or protected spawning areas.
Once found, you will not be alone this time of the year. Typically, along with constant large weights are large amounts of boats flocking “community” holes which creates a scenario frequently seen on the Potomac, boats on top of boats. The key to success this time of year to separate yourself from other anglers is to offer baits that are slightly different then every other lure buzzing by the bass’s lateral line.
Silence can be deadly, less can be more. My opinion to getting the bigger bites needed to out gun the competitions can be achieved by using the most natural approach possible. Lures such as swim jigs, which emit a more natural presentation without all the flash and rattling offer bass a slightly different temptation. Regardless of water clarity, for the most part, swim jigs offer a deadly combination of natural presentation, a natural vibration to the lateral line, and fishibility in heavy cover that is unmatched by other lures.
My preferences are a Dirty Jigs swim jig, along with home made J&J jigs, paired with an MHX Mountaineer Custom rod 7 foot, medium heavy, with 14lb Gamma Edge. This combination gives me the most confidence in offering a distinctly different lure to bass in the grass in prespawn situations.The use of a highly sensitive rod from Mountaineer, matched with the superior quality of Gamma Edge allows for the slightest strikes to be noticed when creating a reaction strike within the grass which hold the large schools of bass. The best areas for these swim jigs this time of year to have the best chance at a larger fish is to located deeper grass concentrations or grass adjacent to shell beds. Small J&J Jigs and Dirty Jigs paired with the correct trailers offer the natural and best presentation in my personal opinion. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you on your body of water! Tight lines.