Too Light….Too Bad

Too Light….Too Bad
Oscar Peraza and his 10 pound redfish he caught under the birds while fishing Sabine Lake.
Light, light, light, it's all you hear from anglers, tackle manufacturers, rod makers and anybody else associated with the world of fishing. We are consumed with reducing weight like clients at Jenny Craig. Now the big push for getting slim, small, or skinny comes from our lower coast brothers, they think anything heavier than a 1/8 ounce jig head may as well be a decoy weight. I can buy that line of thinking because they stay in some mighty shallow water and anything heavier would just not do the job. Now as you move up the coast the water gets a little deeper on average but the mindset stays the same, lighter is better. Well that's all fine and dandy but if you buy into that concept you will find yourself on the short end of the
stick before very long.

Upper coast fishermen know there are times that you need to fish in some water that does not qualify as "skinny"; this is where 90% of the average fishermen lose confidence. It doesn't matter if you fish fresh or salt; you get deeper than 6 or 8 feet and most folks don't have a clue because they just don't fish that kind of water. We are all so dialed in to catching fish in a thimble full of water that we leave a ton of water untouched. With the right combination of jig heads and weights you can conquer any depth of water.

If you look in the average tackle box you will find plenty of 1/8 ounce and 1/4 ounce jig heads, and probably a few of the 1/16 ounce models just for good measure. What you won't find most of the time is anything heavier, heaven forbid you have a 3/8 or 1/2 ounce because only "weekend warriors" and "amateurs" use stuff like that. Nothing could be farther from truth; here are some prime examples why you need the heavy stuff.

Fall fishing means chasing the birds on open water while speckled trout and redfish dine on shrimp or shad below the surface. Heavier jig heads will enable anglers to reach these flocks of birds from greater distances, which in turn means more fish per set of birds. In windy conditions you may not get but a handful of casts at a group of diving gulls so the farther away you can reach them the better, it may be the difference between catching just one fish or catching several fish. Also the heavier jigs will get down faster below the school of trout and give you more hook ups on the redfish cleaning up the mess at the bottom. This is a tactic that we live by on Sabine and Calcasieu, those redfish will just hang around under the school trout and unless you get down where they are you won't catch them nearly as often.

Example #2 comes to us in the winter and early spring as fish tend to gang up in deeper locales looking for more consistent temperatures and salinity. Fishing deep drops in a channel or river is nearly impossible with light jigs; factors such as wind and current make it difficult to stay in contact with your lure if the weight is too light. By bulking up on your tackle you can cover these situations and catch more fish as well as have more confidence in fishing all depths of water. If you can master the deep stuff you will be surprised how much water you will have to yourself because most folks just won't give it a try. The first step is to have the right gear for the job and that means beef up on the jig heads, don't be afraid because I guarantee you the results will be well worth the time and effort.