AZ Lakes, AZ Pros – Gregg Warne At Roosevelt

Football Head Jig Works Well For Night Fishing

Years ago, pro bass angler Gregg Warne took us out to Roosevelt for some night fishing one August and taught us how to fish a football head jig at night. A football head jig is just what it sounds like – the lead is shaped like a football and they are usually pretty heavy.

We usually fish a one-ounce jig at night, and everyone calls them “one-tonners”. On the beefy hook, you rig a Yamamoto Hula Grub, which is a soft plastic bait with a skirt at the top that snugs up against the jighead, a chubby little body full of salt, and two tails that wave enticingly in the water. You can also buy just the Yamamoto Twin Tail Grub and use it on a jig that already has a skirt.

Go-To Color

Gregg’s go-to color on Roosevelt is smoke gray with sparkles – color numbers 150, 157, 176, or 238 are all good, but really any dark Hula Grubs you can get your hands on will work. They have unmatched action and are loaded with salt so the fish really hang on to them.

Rig it up on heavy line – 15-pound-test Berkley Big Game line or some heavy fluorocarbon or braid. I usually use heavy mono because fishing with braid at night frustrates me. Heavy mono doesn’t stretch too much, so it’s good.

Gregg drags the jigs over rocks on the bottom on points and structure near deep channels. The bite is just shaking or even the line will just go slack because the fish has picked it up and is heading toward you with it. A fast reel is helpful so you can catch up.

Need A Heavy Rod

Your rod should be very heavy and have a fast tip, because the hooks are big and you need a lot of power to set the hook. Once you can feel the fish, set the hook hard and keep reeling so you keep pressure on the fish and the line taut. If you give him too much slack, he can use the weight of the jighead to shake it free.

If he’s fishing shallow (less than 20 feet deep), Gregg prefers a 3/8-ounce football head because he’ll be dragging it very slowly and the smaller one seems to go over the rocks more easily. With the lighter jigs, he uses lighter line – like 12-pound-test.

The best places to fish a jig at night are places where there is a nice deep area that the fish can use during the day, with a channel that goes past a point or into a deep cove. The bass like to look around rocks for crawfish, so rocky rip-rap is great too, especially if there is deep water nearby.

Get A Good Map

Get a good map of the lake and look for long points, especially if they have a flat area somewhere. If you find one with a rock pile as well, it’s a bonus. About halfway up the Tonto end on the far side of the lake there is a long ridge that runs out from a cove so it has a creek channel on one side and another on the main lake side.

There are shallow flats on the left of it and the cove is on the right, and this thing has a rock pile right at the end. We must have caught two dozen nice bass off that rock pile. Look for places like that on any lake at night and you can drop a big jig down there and catch bass.

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