Trophy bass fishing on world famous Lake Fork

Football Jigs (July Article) with Big Bass Pics

In the heat of the summer here in east Texas, trophy bass can be hard to come by with any measure of consistency. However, one technique comes to mind that has produced numerous double-digit sized bass for us during the summer months, and that is the football jig. While other techniques might put more fish in the boat, its hard to beat a football jig for quality fish. 

Football jigs are popular across the country. Most of the various brands of football jigs are designed for lakes with less cover and smaller fish than what we’re used to here in east Texas. Many come with a light weedguard and a light wire hook. While these characteristics are great for the hookup ratio in deeper water, they’re not ideal for the size fish and cover here. That is why I choose to fish football jigs made with our bodies of water in mind.

My favorite jig is the M-Pack Lures jig. M-Pack Lures offers a fantastic flipping jig, but their football jig is the one I use most this time of year. One of the most frustrating things about jig fishing is getting hung up. The M-Pack Lures football jig has the structure guard weedguard which is very convenient when fishing heavy cover because it doesn’t hang up nearly as often as other jigs.

The first thing I look at when choosing a football jig is the hook. I like a big, sharp, beefy hook because we’re dealing with big fish here on Lake Fork. The last thing you want is to lose a giant bass because the gap wasn’t big enough or the hook straightened out. The M-Pack Lures jig features a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook which is more than enough to handle the biggest fish our lakes have to offer. 

Choosing the right equipment is very important as well. I use 20lb test fluorocarbon line and a long, heavy action rod. The fluorocarbon line is a bit more sensitive than monofilament line. You’ll need all the added sensitivity you can get when you get a light bite in deep water. As for the rod, I prefer a long rod so I can quickly take up slack on the hookset. When fishing the bottom in 25-30′ of water, there’s going to be a significant bow in the line. A longer rod will help make up for this. The rod I’m using now is 7’9”, and I feel like it is just right.

My color selection is pretty simple. I feel like many of us put too much emphasis on subtle color variations. During the summer, I like to stay with natural colors. Shades of green pumpkin, watermelon, and brown are great choices. M-Pack Lures offers a wide variety of great summertime colors. If I had to choose only one, it would probably be “mean green”.

I use two types of retrieves with a football jig. If the fish are on or near the bottom I simply drag the jig back slowly. I feel like the rocks and roots along the bottom impart plenty of action, so I rarely do much with my rod other than a slow, steady crawl. The other retrieve I use is a “stroking” retrieve. Stroking a jig is ideal when fish are suspended a few feet off the bottom, or when its necessary to trigger a reaction bite. When stroking a jig, I snap the rod upwards on semi-slack line. I repeat this all the way back to the boat. The structure guard on the M-Pack Lures jig comes in handy here because it allows you to fish the jig much more aggressively through cover without burying the hook in timber. I’ll usually try both retrieves when fishing an area. 

There are some days when you can load the boat with good numbers of quality fish on a football jig. However, to me its a tool for bigger fish. There’s always at least one rigged up on my deck during the summer months. Hopefully this will give you some ideas that will help you put a few more big bass in the boat this summer. 

Here are some nice fish we’ve caught recently on Lake Fork guide trips.