MEEGS JIGS MAY BE THE ONLY LURE YOU NEED THIS WINTER
Scroll to the bottom for everything you need to know to catch whitefish this winter.
If you have a body of water that has gobies and you're targeting Lake Whitefish, you already know you need to be bouncing the bottom of the lake with a goby style presentation.
There's plenty of bottom bouncing baits that will do the job but the Meegs Jig is one of those baits you had better not be overlooking. If you're looking to increase your chances of catching whitefish on the Meegs Jig, then keep reading, I'm going to show you everything I've been taught about this bait.
Not only am I going to show you how to use this lure to its full potential but I'm also going to show you areas around the lake that you can target with it and catch whitefish this winter too!
We'll spend a few minutes talking about why you should already have this lure but as a quick overview, you should know that this lure
- Is perfectly designed to give the hook the best chance for penetration
- Has a flatter bottom than most baits to let it sit straight up
- Is perfectly weighted to allow the lure to rock instead of bounce
- Can also be used to attract missed fish back, without the need of a second line
If you've already watched the video above, you probably have a good handle on how this bait works, how to get it rigged and how to catch a fish with it but let's go into a bit more depth.
WHAT ROD AND REEL SHOULD I USE?
Everyone has their own choice of equipment so there's no golden rule. Some folks like longer rods, some like shorter ones. I personally think shorter rods make the Meegs Jig easier to feel and also gives you the opportunity to be a little slower on the hookset.
When I say shorter, I personally choose a Fenwick Aetos 32" MH rod. Now again, that's not set in stone either as every rod manufacturer makes their rods different. What you're looking for is the tip of the rod to bend only about 1/4 of the way down, the rest being relatively stiff. This type of rod setup gives a flexible tip to play the fish and "bounce" that Meegs Jig off bottom.
Let's talk reels though. There's a TON to choose from out there and everyone has their favorite. Personally, I like to make sure it has a smooth drag. You can test this at the store by setting the drag and turning the spool with your hand. You don't want something stiff feeling or with a large gap between the clicks you feel. If you're unsure, ask to see a really expensive reel and a really cheap reel. Doing this on both reels, you'll easily be able to feel a difference. The reel I was put on, and really enjoy is the Pflueger President 35. It's not too big and not too small and has an amazing drag system on a reel that's not going to break the bank.
The last thing we need to worry about is line. This part is easy, I keep the setup the same as most of my other rod and reels, both summer and winter. 8lb braid to 8lb flouro. For braid, try the Daiwa J-Braid or PowerPro. Make sure to put "backing" on your reel before you put on the braid.
Backing can be a simple coat of the spool with mono, or you can just use a sticker or tape to tape down the braid on the spool directly. If you don't do the backing or the sticker, the line will spin around on your spool and you won't be able to reel in the fish.
As for the Flouro, pick your favorite but I personally love the Seaguar Inviz-X
SO WHICH ONE SHOULD I BUY?
This part is a touchy subject because, just like everything in fishing, different people swear by different colors. If you've seen my videos or livestreams where I talk about baits, I always say: "If you're unsure, you can't go wrong with natural colors". It's also the reason why I'm offering mostly natural colors here.
We're fishing crystal clear waters here, these fish can tell when you show them something weird. Then again, there's that catch 22 where if they see the same thing over and over and get used to knowing that's going to get them hooked, you may want to switch it up.
Your next question was probably the same as mine: What weight should I get? There's three main sizes and now a new mini size too. Personally, I'd tell you to start with the 1/2 oz. The 1/4 oz needs a bit more of an equipment change, as does the 3/4 oz. The 1/2 oz is that perfect weight for this particular setup.
WHERE SHOULD I GO?
Let's hope I don't get into trouble for this. Spot sharing is frowned on by pretty much everyone. If you've seen my videos I've shared a few spots that I've found, please feel free to use them, but please - be courteous and keep it clean and available for everyone.
If you want the excitement of finding your own spot and catching that fish from start to finish without ANY help, I'll get you started.
If you have a snowmobile this will be easier but if you keep your eye out, you might be able to find a few close to shore. What I'm talking about are shoals, or main lake humps. Whitefish tend to visit these shoals through the day and usually have some peak times in the morning and late afternoon.
To help find these shoals, go to the Navionics Web App go into the menu and under Map Options, set the safety depth to about 14'. This should highlight some shoals for you to check out. Play with that depth and you should be able to find some others that might be a bit more hidden.
Another thing to look for, which is going to help you folks who are stuck in the walking predicament (like me), is drop offs. Drop offs are usually closer to shore and give the fish quick access to deeper water but also an area to come up and feed in.
Personally, I've found drop offs that drop off quickly into 30 or 40 feet then slowly taper work well. Not that other areas like it won't - in fact there's been times where it seems like I'm marking fish no matter where I drop down.
LET'S GET YOU THAT FISH!
For the presentation, it's all about the "feel".. or should I say LACK of feel. Let me explain.
What's you're feeling for is the bait resting on the bottom, but not on a slack line. If you want to hear an amazing lesson on this feeling, scroll back up and watch the video where Steve helps me understand what it should feel like.
Once you get the position and feel for the line being tight, without moving the bait off the bottom, get a feeling for the "rocking" of the bait. The slight movement you'll be doing to get those fish to bite. Again, Steve does an awesome job of explaining and showing how this is done in the above video.
Usually when I'm first going out, I have a little ritual of bringing the bait up two or three feet, then dropping it back down to find bottom. I'll do the rocking motion and then repeat this until I'm comfortable with how the bait feels.
Like I said before, you're going to be looking for a LACK of feeling. In order to find that, you need to know what the "feeling" feels like, which is what we just did. Now all you need to do is call in some fish and watch for them on your fish finder.
Calling them in can be a loud bait like a lipless crankbait or a spoon but you can also do it with the Meegs Jig itself. Simply lift the rod up and get the bait a few feet above bottom. Wave it up and down in a smooth up and down motion. Once you see that fish on the screen though - drop it STRAIGHT down into that memory feel you were practicing before.
Now we wiggle, bounce, whatever you want to call it. It's a subtle move, don't go crazy here. What you're trying to do is entice. Keep doing it while you see that fish on screen and keep that line tight. What you're waiting for is that "feeling" to go away. It just disappears. You're waiting to tick bottom with the wiggle and suddenly bottom's gone! Or the line goes slack and maybe you might even feel that fish pin the lure to the bottom - whatever it is, you'll know it when you feel it. Lift up fast! Set the hook and get that fish in the hut!
Congratulations! Look at you smashing Whitefish on the Meegs! I hope you're as excited as I was when I first got mine. Celebrate with friends, grab some pix and tag me in them on social media! I'd love to see what you get and share that fish catch with everyone too.