Quetico and the Boundary Waters Fishing
Jigs and plastic grubs or twister tails:
grubs or twister tails are usually high on most fishermen's lists
of tackle to bring to Canada. On my list, as you can see, they fall
somewhere near the bottom. It's not that they don't catch fish; in
fact when I'm motorboat fishing they are my favorite lure. But in
a canoe there are some difficulties with the jig presentation. A proper
presentation of the jig generally relies on holding the boat in a
steady position; casting and slowly jigging the lure back to the boat
or by remaining vertical over a “hotspot” jigging it straight down
in deeper water both methods are often difficult in a canoe. Jig
fishing is mostly a slow presentation and very prone to snagging.
Most good fish holding areas are a jumble of rocks and boulders that
will swallow up bottom bouncing jigs as fast as you can tie them on.
Therefore, the only time I will rig and use a jig and plastic is when
I have already found fish and am reasonably certain that I can coax
a few more into biting with the slower jig presentation. Most of the
time in the BWCAW/Q, there are enough aggressive fish available that
jig fishing is not necessary.
Jig fishing relies greatly on feel your ability to distinguish between
rocks, wood, weeds or a fish biting at the end of your line will determine
your skill at hooking fish. All good fishermen are good jig fishermen.
There is great satisfaction in coaxing a fish to bite a jig, feeling
the tell tale tap and setting the hook into a big fish. Do play around
with them if you get a chance especially from shore at camp and below
fast moving water. You may be surprised at what you can catch, just
be prepared to lose a few. Tie the jig directly to the line using a
Palomar knot with no leader or swivel. Start by casting and retrieving
steadily without letting it touch bottom. On successive casts let it
sink closer to the bottom during the retrieve until it bumps occasionally.
And lastly, (when your ready to tie on a new one), lift and pause your
retrieve seductively along the bottom allowing the jig to explore all
of the nooks and crannies along the way.