Part 2 of our Q & A session with Mike to get inside tips on some of Zoom’s most effective products.
Zoom: You mentioned you love to throw the football head jig. Talk about the Zoom trailers that you use or how you fish that bait this time of year.
Not to say that plastics have not played a dominant or major role in what a lot of guys have done earlier this year, but typically when you get into the post spawn period, this is where plastics really start jumping out. There is going to be the opportunity to Carolina rig anything from Zoom Brush Hogs to the Centipede. The array of baits that starts getting used this time of year just opens up.
That’s what is so awesome about being tied in with a company like Zoom. You have anything and everything you could potentially need as far as plastics. This time of the year when you get one of those days with slick blue bird conditions, you can pick up a Finesse or a Shakey Head worm or possibly even a Magnum Finesse worm. I look forward to this, not only because of Carolina rigging and Texas rigging, but football jig fishing is when those fish start feeding out. They get more aggressive and you can really start bulking the bait up. I like to take that 3/8 to 5/8 ounce football jig and beef it up either with a super speed craw, super chunk, or the full size super chunk. When it comes to really bulking that bait up, a Zoom Brush Hog is one of my favorite baits.
Zoom: What are the colors you focus on?
For me, the colors depend a little bit on the region that we are fishing. Typically this time of year, I like to stay in the natural realm. Anything green, pumpkin, watermelon, but I like the different colors added. Zoom has done a phenomenal job of making bait that looks so naturalistic now.
I am not one of these guys that is going to have 15 bags of green pumpkin Brush Hogs or Finesse worms in my boat. I like all of the variations. You have green pumpkin green and green pumpkin blue, etc. I like to mix and match those colors with my jig to whatever the predominant colored foliage is in the particular lake. There are times, maybe more in the Southeast, where you get into the tan and clear water. That’s when I feel like the Zoom june bug, red bugs and the darker colored hues really come into favor.
Fishing lakes in the Midwest and the South, you just can’t go wrong with green pumpkin or a watermelon. Use the variations of different colors. The “magic” colors that Zoom came out with over the past couple of years have just been phenomenal with the added metal flaking in the blue.
Zoom: Talk just a little bit more about how you fish the football jig for someone who is just learning that technique. Do you alternate that football jig with something else? What else do you have tied on at that same time?
Yeah, this time of year when it comes to throwing Zoom plastics, there are several things I am going to be doing to utilize them.
I will be using a jewel football jig with a Zoom plastics with a lot of different variations or a Carolina rig. To me, this is the time of year where you have to cover a lot of water in trying to establish a pattern. Once you establish a pattern, that’s when I start alternating between the two baits to try to figure out which one is going to be predominant throughout a day or possibly only a few hours.
There are a lot of situations where I pick up a football jig when fishing these offshore, main lake points, main lake channel ledges and things of that nature. This time of year whether it is a Carolina rig or a football jig with a Brush Hog, a Super Hog, or a variation of different plastics, you want to keep that bait in contact with the bottom as much as you possibly can until you catch a fish or two and get a school of fish activated.
This is so exciting to me since typically you are not fishing for one fish here or there. These fish are coming out of the spawning areas. They are grouping back up and you are finding schools of bass that could be wolf packs of eight or ten fish or up to schools of maybe 50 to 100.
You can sit there and alternate between a Carolina rig and a jig giving those fish a different look and getting them fired up. Once the school of fish gets fired up, I can start hopping the jig a lot more and get a lot more aggressive bites. In the beginning when I am looking for fish, the Carolina jig presentation is more of a slow presentation keeping it in contact with the bottom. Once those fish are fired up, I start hopping or stroking that football jig with a bulky trailer like a Brush Hog or a Baby Brush Hog or possibly the Zoom Super Speed Craw.
I want something that creates a lot of commotion and a lot of action in the water. If I can’t get them to bite the jig hopping it, a lot of times I will throw the Carolina rig on a bigger jewel Carolina rig weight, which is called the Rock. I may go from a half ounce up to a ¾ or a 1 ounce. Basically, I keep that Carolina rig moving all the time rather than throwing it out there, dragging it and stopping it. Essentially, I will throw it and just almost wind it like you were digging or dredging a crank bait on the bottom. I am slowly rolling that Carolina rig by just keeping it coming through the rocks and the gravel. Once you get those schools of fish fired up, you can definitely put the hurt on them that way.
When it comes to the tougher days, then you have to employ the spinning tackle. You pick up the Zoom Finesse worm or a Magnum Finesse worm and, either shaking it or, if the fish get out deeper than 14-18 feet of water, you can employ a drop shot rig on them as well. You have to utilize the day that you are given to employ whatever tactic it is to catch these fish in the post spawn period. When you get those bright, slick, bluebird days without a breath of wind blowing and you are fishing clear water, you better get the spinning rod out and figure out a way to finesse the biting.