> This time of year, panfish begin pulling away from weedlines and start making their way towards winter haunts. But first they spend time suspending on breaklines between the weedbeds and drop-offs into deeper water.
> As the weeds start to die off, you’ll find big schools of fish adjacent to weedlines. They’ll suspend 10′, 15′, 20′ down on those breaks…that’s really where Jigging Raps shine.
> I’ll drive around with my big motor to mark schools and figure out what depth they’re at before I even drop the trolling motor….
> I fish vertically right underneath my graph on my bow. Jigging Raps are so dense…show up really well on sonar, so you can drop it down just above a school and watch fish come up to the bait and strike – just like you do ice fishing.
Tony likes braided main line with a 2′ fluoro leader attached using a small swivel to reduce line twist:
> You’re not ripping it aggressively…it’s more of a vertical-hover presentation. I might jig it to get them to come up, but then I’ll slow it down – just like ice fishing – where I barely raise that bait and allow those fish to come up and strike it.
> Fish a little bit higher in the water column…the fish at the top of the school seem to be more aggressive – especially when they’re bunched up in a big group. Don’t just drop it right in their face…try to slow the presentation down 2′ or 3′ before it gets to the fish, allowing them to come up to the bait.
Favorite clear-water colors: Natural patterns like “perch” and “chrome blue.”
Stained-water colors: “Orange tiger UV,” the “glow yellow perch,” and BIG crappies especially love them some “pink tiger UV!”