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Cold water finesse jigs

On the coldest days, Mueller said when you think your retrieve is slow enough, it often pays to slow down more.

A majority of Bassmaster Elite Series pros would probably say that a jig-and-pig is their “desert island” lure, the one they’d take with them if plopped down on a random water at a random time. Despite that fact, no Elite Series tournament situation is random, and few if any of them would employ the same 1-ounce double-weedguard jig they use in weedy Florida to drag a Kentucky Lake ledge, any more than they’d use the tiny marabou jig that excels for Mille Lacs smallmouth to probe deep rockpiles on Clear Lake.

For every jig, there is a season, and each season usually requires more than one. When it’s cold out, and the fish are extra finicky, the choice is extra critical. Elite Series pros Paul Mueller and Chad Pipkens hail from Connecticut and Michigan, respectively, so they’ve spent as much time fishing in long johns as they have in shorts and flip flops.