Articles by John Neporadny Jr. - January
Hair Jigs for Cold Lake of the Ozarks Bass
By John Neporadny Jr.
During those halcyon days of bass fishing in
the 1960s, the bucktail jig and pork split tail eel was one of the deadliest
combos for Lake of the Ozarks bass.
Now the bucktail and other animal hair jigs
have been replaced by flipping, casting and finesse jigs adorned with silicone
or living rubber skirts and various soft plastic chunks, craws and grubs serve
as substitutes for the pork eel. Despite being replaced for most bass fishing
applications, the venerable hair jig still shines in cold-water situations for
FLW star Guido Hibdon on his home lake.
The Lake of the Ozarks pro has tried deer hair
in the past, but has found that the best material for his hair jig comes from
black bears. A co-angler from West Virginia has stocked up Hibdon with plenty of
bear hair, which he ties on a 1/8 – or 3/16-ounce ball or banana-shaped
jighead. Hibdon used to attach a pork split tail eel as a trailer for his hair
jig, but now he tips the jig with either a black 3-inch Luck “E” Strike Grub
or the tail section of a black plastic worm.
The hair jig shines for Hibdon whenever the
Lake of the Ozarks is at its coldest point during the winter. “I have thrown
it up on the edge of ice and whenever it would fall off and hit the bottom the
fish would get it,” recalls Hibdon. “You can fish it in mighty cold water.”
Since his hair jig best mimics a crawfish,
Hibdon throws the lure along rocks where bass forage on the crustaceans even in
the coldest water. Ledges and bluffs in the 15- to 18-foot range are Hibdon’s
favorite places to work the jig, and if he has to fish deeper, he will switch to
a different tactic.
While slowly reeling the jig along the bottom,
Hibdon tries to keep the lure bumping into the rocks. “I move it 2 or 3 feet
and then make a little hop with it,” Hibdon describes. “The majority of the
fish will hit it on that hop. I think they are following it around and when you
hop that jig it seems like that is when they really get after it.”
Hibdon casts his hair jig on a 6 1/2-foot
medium action spinning rod with a fast tip and a spinning reel filled with
8-pound fluorocarbon line.
For information on lodging and other
facilities at the Lake of the Ozarks or to receive a free vacation guide, call
the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-FUN-LAKE or
visit the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau web site at www.funlake.com.
Copies of John Neporadny's book,
"THE Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Guide" are available by calling
573/365-4296 or visiting the web site www.jnoutdoors.com.