Equipment

Ultra-light rod and reel

The rod and reel are one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can buy. Look for a rod with plenty of action in the tip to help bounce the jig through the water. Small ultra-light reels are perfect for the small line and light lures.

- Suggested Rods
     G.Loomis GL3 Spinning Rods 4’6’’-6’0’’
     St. Croix Premier Spinning Rods 4’6’’-6’0’’
     Pflueger 5’0’’-6’0’’’

- Suggested Reels
     Shimano Spinning Reels
     Tica Cetus Spinning Reels
     Pflueger Spinning Reels

0-2lb. test line

Due to the trout’s ability to see the fishing line, using the correct size is viewed by many to be more important than the fishing pole characteristics. Every fishing report for the local trout parks suggests using 0-2 lb. test line. The small line will also allow you to cast the light jigs further. There are a few manufactures that sell 4 lb. test line, with a smaller diameter than the standard 2 lb. test line. You get the best of both worlds with this type of line.

- Suggested Line
     4 lb. test Tectan Premium Plus (at Cabela’s only)
     4 lb. test P-Line

Polarized fishing glasses

This is one item that once you tried it, you will not go fishing without it. We have had success with the $10 glasses at Wal-Mart; however, the high-end brands definitely have their benefits. We typically use the Amber color lenses. See the sight fishing section below for more information.

Waders

Waders are not a complete necessity, but depending on where you are fishing they can make all the difference in the world. At most trout Parks, waders give you access to more places to fish, especially in a crowded section. Felt bottom boots greatly increase your stability on slippery surfaces in the water.

- Suggested Waders
     Simms Classic Guide Stockingfoot Waders: GORE-TEX
     Albright Breathable Waders

Rubber-Leg and Tinsel jigs

Many times over the years we have taught first time anglers of all ages how to trout fish using our jigs. These jigs do over half the work for you! The green and white Rubber-Leg works great in almost all fishing conditions. The Tinsel jigs are perfect for clear water, especially when the sun is shinning. For dingy water, browns and black are our color of choice. See the Techniques section below for more information.

Techniques

Tying the knot

We use a fairly simple knot for all of our jigs. Since the line is so small, it does take some practice to get it down. Practice makes perfect.

    - Here are the steps:
         1. Pass the line though the eye of the hook.
         2. Put a knot in the end of the line. You should have a little less than ¼” of line left after the knot.
         3. Make a closed loop with the knot and the rest of the line, leaving the jig dangling at that bottom of the loop.
         4. While holding the line and knot in place, twist the lure at least 5 times.
         5. Put the free end of the line, with the knot, though the first loop that you created in step 4, closest to the eye of the hook.
         6. Now pull the line tight, making sure the knot doesn’t go back through the loop from step 5. Keep pulling until
             the knot has made its way to the eye of the jig. You’re Done!

         These websites offers several options
            http://www.thejump.net/fishing-knots/fishing-knots.htm
            http://www.tnoutdoorsmen.com/knots.htm

Jigging

In order to catch fish with these jigs, learning how to make the lure “dance” in the water is KEY. The trick is to find the correct combination of movement and retrieval. You want to use a quick wrist “dancing” motion to attract the fish, while using the speed of the retrieval to keep the lure at the depth of the fish. Both Rubber-Leg and Tinsel jigs should be used the same way. Casting the jig out and running it slowly across the bottom without any type of jigging motion will greatly reduce the jig’s potential.

Landing the fish

A trout’s mouth is very soft, and most of the time they will only slightly nibble at your lure. When you feel a slight tug on your line, use the same quick wrist motion used for jigging to set the hook. To fully set the hook, the handle of your pole should be almost straight up and down, making a 90 degree angle with your fore-arm. Since the line is so small, it is extremely important to keep the rod tip “up” for the entire fight. As soon as you let the rod tip fall, you risk the chance of the fish coming un-hooked, or even worse, breaking your line. Many times we have netted a fish and as soon as the resistance is released, the jig simply falls right out of the fish’s mouth. You will also need to make sure the drag is set correctly. You should be able to grab the line near the reel and fairly easily pull out some line using the drag. It will be trial and error to see what suites you best. If you have too much drag, you are going to have a hard time setting the hook, while not enough drag will end up breaking your line.

Sight fishing

Using polarized glasses, you can typically see in the water much better than without them. It is amazing how well you can see the fish on certain days. This allows you to learn the depth of the fish much easier and see if the fish are coming after your jig. Instead of only relying on the slight tug in your line, you can also see when you should set the hook. If you happen to set the hook too quickly, don’t just reel in your line. Instead, let the jig slow down and drop back into place. Sometimes, this allows the fish to come around for another chance at your lure.

Resources

Where to fish

The locations that we frequent the most are here in Missouri.

     - Missouri Links

         Maramec Spring Park in St. James, Mo.
             http://www.missouritrout.com/maramec.html
         Montauk State Park, near Salem, Mo.
             http://www.mostateparks.com/montauk.htm
         Bennett Spring State Park, near Lebanon, Mo.
             http://www.bennettspringstatepark.com
         Lake Taneycomo in Branson, Mo.
             http://www.branson-missouri.com/lake-taneycomo.asp

     - Arkansas Links

         White River in Arkansas
             http://www.whiteriver.net/index.asp

 


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