The jig is up for Rapala pro Randall Tharp. Thought a nod to a verse from a Styx song might brighten your day. Now, let's focus on flippin's sticks instead. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Tharp, who is a former Forrest Wood Cup champ and now a winner on the Elite Series, is well known as a lover of the bass jig. Specifically the rubber-legged jig with a chunk of stuff on the back.
So, why such a love for the jig? Well, Tharp took a few moments to explain his affinity to this basic bait.
"I learned to fish a jig years ago in Alabama," said Tharp. "The majority of tournaments at Lake Guntersville were won by someone using a jig in some form or fashion.
"I learned the basics of jig fishing on the Coosa, Warrior and Tennessee Rivers. I learned there is no better way to catch bigger bass on average than with a jig. I've stuck with it all these years."
Confidence & Versatility
"I'm really confident when I am fishing with a jig rod and jig in hand," said Tharp. "I can make a jig impersonate a shad, crawfish, bluegill, just about any food source the bass have.
"You can fish a jig from 6-inches of water down to 40 feet. It's so versatile. You can flip it, pitch it, swim it, drag it. So many techniques."
Big Fish Eat Big Jigs
"Whether you're fishing Okeechobee in Florida, Bull Shoals in Arkansas or a northern or western fishery, jigs attract the big bass," said Tharp. "I generally use a ½-ounce or 5/8-ounce with a big trailer.
"I stick with braided line when I am fishing a jig around vegetation. I use fluorocarbon around wood and rock.
"In the Elite Series tournament I won on Norfork and Bull Shoals, I used 16-pound Gamma fluorocarbon. You have to have heavy enough gear to work those big jigs and land the big bass."
Gear Rundown for Tharp's Jig Assault
"My approach is pretty simple, but really effective," said Tharp. "I use my Randall Tharp 4x4 jig in three colors, Golden Craw, Green Pumpkin or Black and Blue.
"I use a Zoom Big Salty chunk. Really old school. Looks like the old Uncle Josh Number 1 frog.
"I use a Halo 7'6" flipping stick with a Team Lew's Magnesium with a 7.5:1 gear ratio.
"That's it. Basic. Effective. I won an Elite Series tournament fishing against the best pro bass fishing field out there using a jig."
The news is out.....