Years ago, when I first started fishing, I was in need of a reason to get out of town and enjoy the outdoors. I grew up working outside on a dairy farm but after college I worked indoors seated at a drafting table all week. It didn't take long to realize how much I missed the outdoors. I had fished a little as a child in a small creek by our house so I figured fishing would be a fun hobby to pursue. I imagined sitting on a warm sunny bank with a string from a bobber tied to my toe. The kind of situation where you almost hope the fish don't bite so as to not interrupt the current half-asleep daydream. I have yet to fully experience that vision...
You see, it was one of the first times I went fishing with my new Shakespeare Ugly Stick, "new-fangled" spinning reel, and a 1/8 oz jig spinner with a 3" white Mister Twister. Suddenly my view of what fishing was all about was rudely interrupted by a 13" brown, football-shaped, torpedo that dug for the depths, rocketed skyward, and danced on the surface - all in one short-lived period of time that will ever be etched in memory.
In that one glorious instant, my sleepy vision was transformed! Fishing quickly became goal oriented, no longer passive, but rather an active pursuit. There was purpose to fishing. Puzzles to solve, hidden doors to unlock, secrets to reveal, all with the intent of re-experiencing the "bite and fight".
It is a drug, you know. I mean this thing we call bass fishing. It increases heart rate and respiration. It makes one feel as though he could walk on water! But it also brings us down, even humiliates. At times one wonders why we do it — only to find oneself planning and scheming for more. I wouldn't be surprised to one day find it has been determined to be a disability — a disability that employers must take into account and accommodate. OK, so now I am dreaming.
But to get to my point. Last year I looked back and realized how crazy my addiction has become. Tackle and baits have totally taken over my recently built home office. I have so much stuff to fish with that I felt it was actually hurting my fishing. I decided to go back to the basics. I remembered that little beetle spin/Mister Twister that started it all. I put together a small box that has helped me out a lot in tough situations. It consists of a variety of jig heads, jig spinners and grubs.
The jig spinners I use are from Hildebrandt Co. located in Logansport, Indiana. Their quality is unmatched, especially the 24k gold plated blades. I use #3.5, #4 and #4.5 spinners. These are definitely an under-used and over-looked product, in my opinion. You'd be amazed at the options this opens up for a variety of jigs. Tube jigs and I've heard some even use them on crankbaits!
The jigs in my box are all Little Pek™ jigs from RedShad.com. These range from 1/8 oz to 3/8 oz and have a dual wire weed guard that protects the sharp 3/0 Gamakatsu hook without affecting action or appearance. When fished on a jig spinner, the weed guard allows me the extra confidence to fish this slowly in and through cover. Little Pek™ jigs can be found here.
I complete my jig spin box with various Yamamoto Single Tail Grubs. I like Yamamotos simply because of the wide variety of colors available. Yamamoto grubs can be found here: 3" #30 series, 4" #40 series and 5" #18 series. Some of my favorite colors are #031 Blue Pearl/Silver Flake, #169 Chartreuse/Large Green and Chartreuse Flake and my little secret color: #168 Clear/Large Gold and Silver Flake.
If you are feeling your tackle box has gotten too complicated, take a jig for a spin. You'll find jig spinners to be very basic, very simple, but extremely versatile. And they catch fish.