Jeremy Smith breaks down how he goes about jigging for largemouth bass through the ice utilizing Humminbird’s MEGA Live.
Jigging largemouth bass is a fun way to spend the day on the ice and if you haven’t tired it yet you need to give it a shot!
Jigging Largemouth Bass Using MEGA Live
Although they are incredibly popular throughout the open water season largemouth bass are often overlooked and under appreciated during the winter months.
It’s a big mistake made by a lot of ice anglers, because they provide a great fight, can be found in large schools and can be caught fairly easily.
Locating wintering largemouth bass is simple. Look for shallow water wed beds with bluegills, baitfish or other forage present. Generally, these fish tend to favor weed beds that are in less than fifteen feet of water. If you can find standing green weeds that’s going to be the best habitat, but even sparse or dead weeds will hold some fish in winter.
Humminbird’s MEGA Live is a huge help when targeting and locating largemouth through the ice. This forward facing sonar allows you to locate bass, baitfish, and the weed line by simply turning the transducer.
You can watch your bait in real time and see how the bass are reacting to your jigging presentation. Humminbird MEGA Live helps you catch more fish and is a must have for ice anglers.
Jigging Largemouth Bass Presentations / Baits
When targeting winter largemouths your baits and presentations are going to be drastically different compared to the summer months.
During the winter months their metabolism slows down and instead of using 1/2 ounce football head jigs you’ll make the switch to micro tungsten jigs between 1/16 and 1/32 ounce paired with small plastics or wax worms.
Occasionally, if they are really aggressive small hard baits like the Rapala Slab Rap or Ultra Light Rippin Rap will produce numbers of nice largemouths.
When jigging largemouth bass during the winter months it’s important to not work the bait too aggressively. These fish don’t want to chase baits down. The best way to trigger strikes is to barely move your bait and sometimes not moving it at all can be the ticket.
Rod / Reel / Line
If you target panfish during the winter I can almost guarantee you have the right gear and setup to jig for largemouth bass. There are three keys to the setup.
The first is a sensitive rod that allows you to detect those light bites. Rods like the St. Croix Tundra 30″ light extra fast are great, because you can feel your light presentation and sensitive bites. It also loads up into enough backbone to handle four and five pound largemouth bass.
The second key when jigging largemouth bass is to use light line. Sufix Advance Ice Monofilament in a four pound test works great for largemouth. Occasionally you can bump it up to six pound test if you are using bigger baits. If you go any heavier than that you’ll loose the sensitivity you need to feel the small baits and light strikes.
The third key to your setup is to have a reel with a solid drag. There are a lot of lakes across the ice belt that can produce a five pound plus-sized largemouth bass and it’s crucial you have a reel that can handle those larger fish.
Two good options are the Daiwa Revros LT and the Daiwa Regal LT. Both offer a super smooth drag system that is perfect for largemouth bass.
Jigging largemouth bass is easy to do and can produce some of your best days out on the ice. Utilize Humminbird MEGA Live to scan the shallow water weed beds, looking for bass, baitfish, and other forage. Deploy small tungsten jigs and paired with light line and sensitive rods. It’s simple, easy, and a ton of fun!