It might be old-school, but a jigging spoon is still one of the best techniques there is for fishing deep lakes with shad in winter and early prespawn. The shad will collect around deeper structure such as ditches, creek bends and that sort of thing during the day and bass will stay under them and feed from time to time. The bass might be close to the bottom, or suspended in between somewhere, but either way they’ll go after a jigging spoon that looks like a struggling shad.
Sometimes the trick is finding where the bass are suspended, but with the electronics we’ve got now, that’s not a big problem. I recall a tournament on Lake Ouachita that I won where I saw fish suspended 32 feet down in water that was 85 feet deep. I’d drop the spoon, pop it straight up two or three times and let it flutter back down in their faces; and they’d hit it almost every time.
When you’re jigging a spoon – or fishing any other type of vertical bait for that matter – it saves a lot of time if you’ve got your line marked for the depth you want to be fishing. To do that, I use a little Gizmo bobber stopper that goes through the line guides easily. It can be pushed up or down the line, but it stays put unless you want to move it when you go to another spot. If I want my spoon at 30-feet deep, I adjust the bobber stopper so that it winds up somewhere between the reel and the first guide when the bait gets to where it needs to be.
---- Folger’s pro Scott Suggs, Bryant, Ark.