Pro smallmouth secret revealed: The incredible marabou jig

The jig is up

Tiny marabou hair jigs are one of the hottest secrets on the pro bass circuit—until now

Talk about pressured fish. Imagine trying to catch one of the 17 bass cooped up and on display in the glass Mega Tank at Toronto’s annual Spring Fishing and Boat Show. For four days, the fish are kept under bright lights and bombarded by a steady stream of fishing lures presented by some of the finest bass anglers on the planet.

With no place to swim away to or hide, the fish become so nervous, stressed out and tight-lipped that the last thing they’re thinking about is biting a lure. That’s what I was up against as I climbed up the ladder to the top of the tank to give one of my seminars at the show two years ago. And how many bass do you think I hooked by the end of my presentations? Twenty-seven, to be exact—I caught every bass in the tank once, and at least 10 of them twice!

When I climbed back down the ladder at the end of each seminar, I thought I was going to be crushed by the mob that rushed the podium wanting to get a closer look at the lure. And what was the secret bait I was throwing? A simple, 1/16-ounce marabou hair jig.

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