Land of the giants: Winter whopper land

Land of the giants: Winter whopper land

Jason Williamson — Impoundment

BAIT: 1/2-ounce Buckeye Lures mop jig with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer
WHY: It represents a big, juicy crawfish
WHERE: Natural or man-made rock structure

Knowing the fish’s seasonal preference for crawfish, Williamson puts his faith in a hefty 1/2-ounce Buckeye Lures mop jig. Complementing the jig’s living rubber skirt with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer creates the substantial profile that entices big fish.

“If we have clear water, I choose the natural colors — brown or green pumpkin — but as it gets more stained, you go to your darker colors, like black and blue,” Williamson said.

During the cold months, Williamson’s usually fishing in 12 to 25 feet and targeting natural or man-made rock, which keeps him in the right neighborhoods for crawfish impersonations. The rocks are typically some of the warmest habitat that crawfish and bass can find this time of year, so that’s where the action centers.

Fishing his jig on a 7-foot, 7-inch heavy J-Will series Taipan rod and 20-pound Gamma fluorocarbon, Williamson favors a presentation that sounds like the formula for a good brisket: low and slow. Lethargic fish rarely chase, so moving his jig at a glacial pace gives that bulky skirt plenty of time to work its wiles on fish looking for an easy belly-filler.

“Crawdads are one of their main forage items this time of year, and nothing can beat a really big jig presented really slowly,” Williamson said.

The air’s chilly, you’re looking at your breath, and those fish aren’t loving the lower water temps, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for dismal days and dinky catches. Big fish may be few and far between, but follow the advice from these Bassmaster Elite Series pros and you’ll enjoy more shots at ­legitimate winter space heaters.

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