I like to modify my structure bugs and jigs when I’m fishing boat docks in sunny conditions when the fish aren’t biting.
Today, it’s right after a big tournament and there were thousands of people fishing here earlier this week. It also rained a lot earlier in the week.
When it’s been raining and the water is still pretty dirty, I like to power fish. I like to throw 20lb line on a big rod and reel, like the Lew’s BB1 Pro Series in the 8.0:1 gear ratio. I throw the 8.0:1 when I want to take up line and move my jig quickly and make more casts throughout the day.
In these conditions, with sun and boat docks and in the wake of lots of activity, I like to make some modifications to get more bites. I’ll take my jigs and trim down the bulk to make a more finesse-like jig, even though I’ll still power throw it.
I trim the top but keep the bottom of the skirt. It ends up looking like the jig has a collar. This gives the jig a thinner profile that might get more bites.
I also modify my structure bugs. I like them for them to have a smaller profile and legs. I take the antennas off the structure bug and trim everything on it—the sides and the top—to give it a lower profile. The Rage Craw has bigger pinchers on it, but the Bug is faster and more subtle.
The final set-up is not as bulky as a normal big jig you’d flip with. It still has the big hook and it’s still ½ oz and I can still power fish. That way I can make a couple thousands casts a day.
This smaller profile jig will help get more fish in the boat when there are variables working against you, like a high-pressure system with a lot of docks and sun.