Jigs comprise one of the most diverse lure families in bass fishing. And while a good many models are made for big, bold displays, there’s plenty of room for dialed-down “finesse” presentations.
The warm season sees its share of finesse scenarios, but when winter has the fish leaning to the lethargic side, a slimmer profile with a less bulky display is often just the ticket.
Bassmaster Elite pro Kevin Hawk points out that a lot of bass are relating to rock this time of year for warmth, but they also find crawfish meals scooting throughout the hard stuff. Jigs do a good job of mimicking this favored forage, and a small package that looks like an easy catch doubly appeals to cold-weary fish.
Hawk, who designed a signature series 5/16-ounce ball head jig for 4×4 Bass Jigs will employ a finesse presentation anytime he thinks the fish need a less intrusive look. One of his favorite scenarios is prespawn staging over rocky breaks and shell bottom, where he walks the jig across depth variances.
On his Tennessee River home waters, northern Alabama guide Jimmy Mason also embraces the finesse jig concept for the late winter-early spring period. He’s given to throwing a Booyah Baby Boo jig or Boo Bug with a YUM Craw Papi for bass holding on vertical structure like bluff walls—particularly the ends where the rock tapers into angled banks before flattening out.
Here, Mason said, the fish don’t have to move far to find a comfortable depth/temperature range. Walking a finesse jig along the structure presents an easy crawfish target for bass that just don’t feel like exerting much energy.
In addition to jig size, Hawk said anglers can develop the finesse look by thinning out the jig skirt, trimming the collar strands, and streamlining the trailer. With the latter, subtle designs like a Yamamoto Double Tail Grub fit the bill, but shortening a trailer by pinching a half-inch off the body or snipping off side appendages on more detailed baits also helps.