The blade makes the grade

Elite pro Timmy Horton has watched a lot of anglers fooling bass with bladed jigs during the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. He’s also a fan of this bait; especially this time of year.

“One thing that’s happening this year is that there’s a lot of cover in the water that’s normally not there and those fish are up there using it,” Horton said of Hartwell’s high water level. “When you’re at two weeks before the fish move up to spawn, they’re more aggressive than they’re going to be all year long. You take a lure that’s also aggressive and it’s just a great combination.”

For this time of year, Horton offers a couple of tips for bladed jig success: “When I’m going through the area where I know they are, this is the 50-yard stretch of catching them, I’m going with a 3/8-ounce Chatterbait with a big trailer so I can slow it down. I really want to be methodical in those areas.

“If I’m looking for fish in a new area, I’m probably going to go to a 1/2-ounce and a smaller trailer so I can cover more water until I start finding a few fish.”

Horton also notes that after a couple days of heavy fishing pressure, shallow fish become accustomed to hearing certain baits, like bladed jigs. If bites trail off, he’d suggest mixing in a couple different baits like jigs or other slower presentations.