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Carroll Outdoors: Rethinking jig fishing

For the longest time I fished bass jigs traditionally, pounding cover with an endless drop-lift-drop-lift routine. And, while I caught fish, I didn't fully grasp how very versatile jigs are - and how they can be fished in ways that can crack conditioned bass when everything else fails.

My "Eureka" moment came on a Bay fishing trip with rockfish master, the late Keith Walters, who suggested that I burn the bait back to the boat. I began drag racing the lure and all of a sudden an 8-pound rockfish grabs the jig. I would never have fished a jig that fast on my own accord. A little later I did the same thing while fishing for largemouth bass on Mattawoman Creek with guide Dale Knupp.With great results!

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Bass are typically released after they are caught, which means a percentage of them have been "conditioned." That's why fishing with a new bait, color, or design are essential for staying ahead of the curve.

We've been taught to fish the three main jig styles according to head design. For example, round head designs are usually flipped to cover on heavy braid, while a football head is typically dragged over the bottom. The keel head (swim jig) is designed to slither through grass and other cover, usually in the higher-water column on a steady retrieve.

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But a round-head jig can be used as a punch bait to penetrate thick vegetation. Likewise, a football head can be fished on a steady retrieve, even burned back to the boat.

Of all the three major designs, the keel head is probably the most versatile. I don't often fish them with the rod tip close to the water, using a slow, steady retrieve. I like to activate the trailer tail by swimming it three or four feet and letting it glide back to the bottom, then repeating until the bait is back to the boat.

Excessive handgun application periods
In response to my last column detailing the excessively long wait I have endured for state police approval of my ourchase of a .38 Special chambered Colt Single Action Army, Gary Bowman, of Westminster writes, "I ordered a Glock 19 from the Cop Shop, in Baltimore on "January 27, 2013 and as of July 22nd, still haven't received it. ... The state police have had my application for almost 90 days now and no gun, yet!!!"
I submitted my application through Continental Arms, in Timonium, on May 10 and still no gun. The staff there informed me this past week that it is taking 12 to 14 weeks for police approval. I'm hoping for approval and possession of my revolver within two weeks.
These, in my opinion, are excessive waiting periods being enforced upon law-abiding citizens and it's well past time for our dim-witted representatives to do something about. They have managed to make it far easier to buy a gun illegally. What a bunch of short-sighted idiots!! Let them know how YOU feel, now, before their dumb new gun law takes effect in October.
Lonny Weaver is a Times outdoors writer. His column appears every other Sunday. Reach him at 410-857-7896 or sports@carrollcountytimes.com.

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