Posted by Kerry Grissett on November 06, 2002 at 20:29:42:
In Reply to: Alex posted by Bill Jenkins on November 06, 2002 at 16:21:13:
Thanks for the kind words in your first post. I see that Alex responded to it while I was out fishing Smith lake.
You are correct about the light twitches, but it can be worked numerous ways. Usually I let the fish determine how I work it, but in general if I am tightlining deep water I do exactly like you said: light twitches paying close attention to the line as the jig falls back. Any twitch on the line is likely a hit, set the hook immediately. Don't wait like you might with bass since the crappie usually take it with the first "thump". A flick of the wrist is all that is usually needed to set the hook. Don't set it like a bass or catfish!
Sometimes they want a slow steady retrieve or may hit it on the drop without working the jig at all. Becoming a line watcher is essential and I can't stress this enough. I used to go strictly by feeling the hit, but many times the hit won't be felt but can be seen if you are watching the line closely.
The twitching or steady retrieve methods work either under a cork or tightline. When using a cork the same rule applies as to setting the hook. The least twitch of the cork and set the hook, but not too hard!
Vertical jigging laydowns and treetops is simply a matter of slowing everything down and forget the twitches. I simply lower the jig into the structure and VERY slowly work it up and down sometimes letting it fall all the way to the bottom and working it back up or slowly lowering it working different depths as it SLOWLY goes down further. The key here is to be SLOW and SMOOTH. Otherwise you will hang up much more often. The hit is usually a definite single "thump". Since I work it so slowly, I rarely have slack line vertical jigging and usually feel the hit, but not always. Sometimes the line just goes slack like the jig has hit bottom too soon. Again, simply flick the wrist to set the hook. I can't count the times I have seen folks fishing the same area where I was tearing up the crappie and the main problem someone nearby was having was that they set the hook too hard.
Some folks like jigheads that are rigged snag/weedless, but I prefer very light wire hooks which will bend easily if I accidentally set one on a tree limb or stump. EagleClaw #1350, size 4, if you pour your own jigs and can find the hooks! The only place I know that carries them is Simmons Sporting Goods in Bessemer, Alabama.
Good luck and good fishin'
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