To most bass fishermen, January is synonymous with jig fishing.
Jigs are the perfect lure to imitate crawdads, the key food source for bass as they enter the prespawn period.
There are several tools that will make fishing with jigs more successful.
My arsenal for fishing jigs includes a heavy action 7-foot rod and a high-speed reel that takes up a lot of line quickly. This allows you to make solid hook sets and keep up with fast moving fish as they try to throw the lure.
If I'm targeting nearby cover with short casts, I sometimes upgrade to a 7-foot, 6-inch rod for a little extra leverage to get fish out of the cover.
The line choices can get complicated depending on the type of cover and the depth that I'm fishing.
I usually choose a line that has good abrasion resistance in the 15- to 20-pound range, but I sometimes switch to heavier braided line in thick cover.
The final ingredient is the jig itself.
For shallow, short-range casts, I prefer a rubber flipping-style jig like a Sweetwater jig.
For deep water structure probing, I prefer a football-style jig like a Yamamoto jig.
The best thing about fishing a jig is the results. Be sure to take a camera along, because the fish you catch are generally good ones.
For any of your tackle needs, or to go fishing with Clifford Pirch, call (928) 978-3518.
High Country Bassmasters
For information about the High Country Bassmasters club, call Kyle Sawyer at 474-5359, or Frank Love at 479-3221.
Apache: Fishing is slow. Jigging spoons and tailspinners have been working well on all species, especially yellow bass. Inline spinners continue to work well for smallmouth in shallow water.
Canyon: Fishing is fair. Yellow bass continue to be the most active fish. Jigging spoons and tailspinners are working best. Some giant largemouth have been falling for Castaic Trout swimbaits. The lake is scheduled to receive another trout stocking this coming week.
Pleasant: Fishing is fair to good. Drop shot rigs and spoons are working well for bass. Also, try soft jerkbaits in coves. White bass have been falling for slow trolled minnows.
Roosevelt: Fishing is fair. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished shallow are still producing bass. Caroline rigged worms and lizards have also been working. Fishing for crappies should start to pick up soon.
Saguaro: Fishing is slow. Some trout have been falling for small spinners like Panther Martins or Don's Dragonfly near the boat ramps. Bass fishermen have had some success with worms on points and ledges. An 8 pound, 8 ounce largemouth was caught at Saguaro this week trolling a Castaic Trout swimbait.
Other Arizona lakes
Angler's Note: Check the weather and road conditions. Expect ice. Colder weather at night will cause the higher elevation lakes to freeze over.
Chevelon Canyon: Winter conditions prevail.
Bear Canyon: Winter conditions prevail.
Black Canyon: Winter conditions prevail.
Willow Springs: Check before going. The gate was open prior to the storm, but snow could result in it being closed. Winter conditions prevail.
Woods Canyon: Winter conditions prevail.
Green Valley Lake: Fishing has been good to excellent, with most anglers catching limits of feisty trout. This fishery is part of the urban fishing program and requires an urban fishing license. The lake contains rainbow trout, bluegills, and catfish. Power Bait, salmon eggs and worms are effective. Try Crappie jigs, small Rapalas, crankbaits, and small spoons.
Chevelon Creek: Winter conditions prevail.
Northern Arizona waters
Kaibab: Lake is frozen..
Cataract: Lake is frozen.
City Reservoir: Closed.
Dogtown: Lake is frozen.
Whitehorse: Lake is frozen and is also being drained for renovation.
JD Dam: Lake is frozen.