Jason Johnson

4 min to read

Jason Johnson on Finesse Fishing

Category : BACK DECK

JJ cover photo

-By Jason Johnson-

First thing I can say to any co angler or anyone thinking about becoming a co angler, is to show your boater RESPECT and he will give it back to you 10 folds! The best compliment I can get is “you’ve been the best co angler I’ve ever drawn.”

I’m fortunate to have my own boat and fish local tournaments from the front, so initially stepping to the back last year when I fished my first Tour event was different to say the least. I was used to fishing the primary spot with the primary lure. It took some getting use to, but what it did in turn was told me how many fish I’m leaving behind when I’m in my boat fishing a tournament. There are always what I call roamers–fish that don’t stay with the school. I’ve often thought maybe those fish are the dominant and usually bigger fish within the school. As a co, these are the fish you must target. These fish can be a little deeper or farther off the structure your pro is fishing. When we make a stop, my first cast is usually over the back of the motor! That’s water I know without a doubt that the pro hasn’t or is not gonna throw his lure to.

So here’s what baits have helped me from the back and almost won me the Beaver Lake event on April 11-14, 2013–Finesse Finesse Finesse. When you’re trying to get bites behind a pro, it’s always a good idea to go smaller–smaller worms, smaller line, smaller weights, smaller hard baits, you get the picture… My two primary lures at any event from shallow water to gin clear deep is a finesse worm on either a Texas rig or shaky head, and a drop shot rig. I use 5-7lb Sunline Sniper on the drop shot and 8 lb Sniper on my shakey head. Obviously, this isn’t all you should carry and throw, but these are lures I am confident in for not only Largemouth, but also Spots and Smallmouth.

A lot of people think a drop shot is only a vertical technique, and that you have to be “video game” fishing on the electronics to use it! I’ve learned from fishing Lake Lanier (a clear finesse lake) that casting it and working it back like a shaky head is just as deadly. As far as retrieve goes, you have to pay attention to what the fish tell you. Sometimes, you can constantly shake it with the rod tip up to get bit. Other times, you just drag it like a Carolina rig. Then times like at the recent Beaver Lake FLW Tour event, I figured out that after several seconds of shaking it, they wanted it dead sticked! Dead sticking is simply leaving your bait absolutely still. Each lake and day is different, but a few bites will key you in on how they want it presented. Personally, I prefer using a 1/4 ounce weight whether I am deep or shallow. I have grown familiar with using this weight, and I have confidence in it. I suggest trying different weights to figure out which one you can feel the best with, and stick to that! I always tend to use a Roboworm rebarb hook and texas rig my worm. Some nose hook them, but the light wire rebarb penetrate the fish without much pressure and stays stuck better than any hook I’ve ever used. Fishing brush or timber with the worm texas rigged will cut down on hang ups tremendously Also, I tie the normal palamor knot with a 10 to 18″ leader.

When the fish are related closer to the bottom, I pick up my shaky head or texas rig. After a front with high skies and pressure is one of the better times for this. One aspect of shaky head fishing that I have noticed, is that most people over-shake their baits. With the boat moving and wind blowing, it doesn’t take much to make the worm squirm around. After testing it in a pool, I have noticed that a little movement of the rod goes a long way with the jig. I will only move my shaky head or texas rig a lot if I think the fish are more aggressive. Other times, however, I like to dead stick or drag it.

I hope these tips help you. This is what works for me, so I suggest taking it and adapting it to your style of fishing and the waters you fish. I also want to encourage anyone that is thinking about fishing as a co angler to try it. You will learn a lot of valuable information fishing behind other anglers, while having the time of your life!


Circuits Fished: Flw Tour

Years Co: 1

Favorite Technique: Anything in Deep clear water –Topwater fishing and video game fishing (drop shotting) are my 2 favorite

Hobbies away from Fishing: Working to support my fishing addiction, bow hunting, and snowboarding

Sponsors: Hammond’s Fishing Center, Ranger Boats, Gambler Lures, Davis Baits, Typhoon

Jason Johnson Bio

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