Pre-Spawn the Ned Rig
The Ned Rig is associated with a finesse presentation and times when fishing can be tough like late summer and fall. Yes, those are good times for the Ned Rig but the pre-spawn can be a major time to catch fish at a very high rate.
Let’s look at an example of when I took notice about the Ned Rig get bite during this overlooked time of year
My eyes got opened to this situation early in 2019 at a BASS Open in Florida. I haven’t fished a BASS Open in over 10 years, but I follow them like every other major tournament. One of my friends, Carl Jocumsen, had a good tournament. He got a check but it was what I heard him mention about a change a friend made. The bite was total pre-spawn. Big bags were being caught offshore on hard spots and around grass lines. Chatterbaits were the bait order of the week. Carl’s friend caught a good bag on day one but his co-angler caught just as much throwing a Ned Rig in open water hydrilla. He came in a told Carl about it. When Carl’s and his friend’s chatterbait bite died on day two, they both switched to Ned Rigs in the same areas and caught good limits on day two.
Since then, I have kept it in my mind and close on deck. My confidence in this technique is still growing. This year in the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville, I had the Ned Rig close at hand. I caught a few decent fish on it in practice, including a 5 pounder. I had one fish pull off on it during the tournament in limited action. Throwing it more is one of the very few things I wish I could do over in route to a 6th place finish.
Let’s take a look at the rig before we talk about the type of places to throw it.
My standard setup for a Ned Rig is going to be generally the same year round. I start with the Cashion Fishing Rods Micro Jig rod. It is a 7’1” medium fast action rod. I use a 3000 size spinning reel and my current choice is a Daiwa Tatula LT. My line combo is a 12 pound Sunline X-Plasma braid main line with a 8 pound Sunline Sniper fluorocarbon line leader. The Missile Baits Ned Bomb is my bait of choice since it glides perfectly on a Ned head and comes in over 20 colors. The head is one that I have struggled with but I do like the Gamakatsu Finesse head in 3/32 or 1/8 ounce.
Once you get armed, you need to know what type places to take advantage of this Ned secret time.
As I mentioned earlier, Florida is one of the last places you would not think of throwing a Ned Rig in the pre-spawn. The water there at the Harris Chain has about a 6” visibility where they were fishing it. Don’t let stained water deter you! I would say you may need about 6” of visibility or more but that is pretty stained.
Any place you are catching bass that are pre-spawn can be fished with a Ned Rig to catch these plump bass. Grass lines, secondary points, under docks, on gravel banks, and road beds are all places that I am going to keep this Ned Rig in mind.
Remember the Ned Rig is a Ned Rig. You don’t drag it like a shaky head. You don’t shake the thing in one place like a drop shot. You are going to mostly lift and glide it. For a full video of Ned Rig Basics, click here: https://youtu.be/N-zm5Ld2GKAKeep the Ned Rig in mind and take advantage of those fat hungry bass looking for an easier meal to eat than anyone else is probably throwing.