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JACK WOLLITZ Inches might as well be miles



Published: Sun, August 26, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



One mistake made all too frequently by anglers is missing their target.

Inches might as well be miles if that is the distance by which you miss with a fly laid out for a trout or a jig pitched to a bass. Accuracy frequently is the difference between an angler generating a bite and just getting exercise.

It's all about presentation and it's made more complicated by the fact that your target often is invisible.

In fly fishing, the caster may spook a trout by landing the fly in such away that the fish judges it to be bogus. Successful fishers know they must make the perfect cast the first time or they are likely to spoil a chance at hook-up.

Largemouth bass typically are not as fussy as rainbows in crystal clear water, but they can be shut off by a sloppy pitch or ignore a lure that doesn't drop within an inch of their mouth.

Creatures of murky water, bass often are not visible to the angler. But they do tend to locate in predictable places on the cover. Thus experience danglers can guess accurately where to put their lure.

Imagine a bank that has two or three logs jutting into the water. You know the fish will hold in a shady spot that offers protection. If the bass has a choice, it will opt for cover that conceals its body on two or three sides.

They can hide: So if the log you are targeting has a fork where limbs join the trunk, that means the bass can rest in such a way that its back and both flanks are hidden.

Guess where you pitch your jig?.

But say you miss that fork by even a couple of inches. Unless the fish is totally dialed into attack-and-eat behavior, it won't swim out to strike.

Or worse, you spook the bass (it gets a good look and judges the lure to be fake).

If your accuracy is bad, you have choices: Quit fishing and take up another hobby or find tackle that enables you to at least look like a pro when you're casting.

Balanced and smooth-operating rods and reels are very important to those seeking accuracy. Pick an outfit that enables you to delicately lay your lure in places others hit only accidentally. Then match your lure to your rod and reel, and practice, practice, practice.

Soon you will be hitting your target regularly - and catching a lot more fish.

New from Terminator: Bass anglers looking for a solution to the problem of keeping soft plastic trailers firmly in place on their flipping and pitching jigs will want to check out Terminator's new lure.

Dubbed Pro's Top Secret Jig, the new offering was discovered by 10-time BASSMasters Classic qualifier Rob Kilby of Arkansas.

"After fishing it for two years, I was convinced ... this jig had the most flawless design and superior fish-catching ability of any jig I'd ever tied on," Kilby said. "I let fellow pros Skeet Reese and Jimmy Houston in on my secret jig.".

Reese went on to win $80,000 on the lure and Kilby was able to persuade Terminator to market it.

The new jig features a titanium wire that secures a plastic trailer to the shank of the large Mustad hook, minimizing the tendency for the trailer to slip back and block the point from finding a solid grip in a bass's mouth.

The horizontal line-tie is built into the head of the jig, thus protecting the knot from abrasion, and the lure features a noisy rattle system.




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