Across America the jig-and-chunk has gained a well-deserved reputation as a big- fish bait, and without question is called on more times for a kicker fish than any other lure. And even though new baits continue to be developed and touted, the old reliable jig-n-pig continues to be a mainstay on the BASSMASTER and FLW tours.

One of the foremost jigging experts on tour is David Walker, and in the following he shares a few insights about his main lure.

  • "The jig is my go-to bait, and I really try to keep my selection simple," he says. "I basically look at 3 colors: black, brown and black/blue. These colors seem to work well across the country, and rather than spending time trying to figure out what color they'll bite, I spend my time fishing." He notes that a jig "is a pretty simple thing. You just put it in front of them, and they bite it."

  • "I've found that fishing for shallow-water, heavy-cover bass means I need to go heavy," he says. "I use 20-30 pound line, a 3/4- to 1-ounce Lake Fork Tackle Mega-Weight Jig. The density of the Mega-Weight Jig allows me to use a smaller-profile bait without losing the weight I like. The trailer is usually plastic. I used to use pork, but it seems to dry out really fast even on a short run, and taking off that half-dried greasy glob of leather can be a real pain. Large pinchers are a must, and I generally trim both the skirt and the weed-guard." (He also uses a G. Loomis flipping stick that weighs a mere 9 ounces, and a matched magnesium reel.)

  • "The heavy line doesn't seem to matter, and the heavier jig allows me to fish it at all depths. With 25-pound line, a 3/4-ounce jig falls at basically the same rate as a 3/8-ounce jig on 20-pound or lighter line, so it's not much of a negative factor even in clearer water. I may downsize to 20-pound line in super-clear water, but I feel that if I get a fish to bite, I want him to take a boat ride with me. So the strength of the line is crucial, and with 25-pound line, break-offs are reduced."

  • Defining the pattern, dialing in on what the bass are telling you, and utilizing the jig-and-chunk more often will increase your success. Putting it simply, Walker says: "It takes over 20 pounds a day now in most of the water we fish to get a sniff at a check. I feel the jig gives me the best chance to catch at least that amount. I know of no other bait that does that."
Power Tips

> A jig is the base of Walker's power-fishing arsenal. "I usually concentrate on 3 baits: the jig, a spinnerbait and a crankbait," he says. "Most conditions that we fish are usually conducive to catching bass on one of these three lure types. Where the fish are in the seasonal pattern determines which one I use."

> In his pre-fishing, he starts shallow and moves out. "I usually start in inches of water and move deep – to 2 feet or so," he says. "Fish live shallow all the time, and I feel I can dial them in better in shallow water. I recently learned to dropshot, but will leave that to experts like Aaron Martens. I've caught fish on it, but it seemed kind of wimpy to me. I guess I'm relegated to the power techniques."