Modify Your Jigs
One way bass enthusiasts tweak their jigs is by hooking on a pork rind trailer. This technique has become so popular that "jig and pig" is a common term for a bass fishing jig. The pork rind is cut into wedges to resemble a frog or strips to look like an eel. Always use a light rind with a light-colored jig and a dark rind with a dark-colored one. Small trailers seem to get more bites, but large ones are more likely to attract hawg bass. Plastic crawfish also make good trailers since the claws stick up when the jig's on the bottom. Hook your crawfish by the tail to get this result, and use a small crawfish in a color that's the same shade as your jig.
Modify Your Lures
Even the best lures can have flaws or characteristics that keep them from reaching their potential. That's where you come in. You can alter your lures to meet your needs by changing the finish, adding weight or carving the lips. Adding weight can help you fish deeper, cast farther or turn a quiet lure into a noisemaker. Tape BB's to your lure for testing purposes and put the BB's in a drilled hole followed by hot glue to make your changes permanent. If a color or pattern is catching fish in your area but you can't find a lure that has it, use sandpaper, model car enamel and a small airbrush to give one of your lures a new finish. You can also alter the diving lips of your crankbaits to put them where you want them. To make your crankbait run shallow, you can shorten its lip; to get it to go deeper, you can reduce the water resistance by filing it thinner.
Keep Your Hooks Sharp
Checking the hooks on a jig or lure is something everyone should do, but not many take the time. If you're getting bites but coming up empty, this might be the reason. Even new hooks can be dull if the plating is poor. You should check for sharpness by pressing your hook's point against a thumbnail. If it sticks, you have a winner. Keep a file handy to sharpen hooks that need it, and always check your hooks after dragging them through structure.
Fish the Zone
Big bass are found at different depths depending on the time of year and water conditions, but they seem to favor an 8-foot depth. To work this area, use a slider worm that's rigged on a slider head and sweep it along the bottom to mimic the movement of bottom dwellers, like darters and sculpins. You can also cast a watermelon-colored, paddle-tailed brewer's grub and slowly retrieve it to maximize the lifelike movement of its tail. A weightless Texas rig is lethal when you dead stick it by casting and letting it drop to 8 feet, then waiting till a lunker finds it. Five-inch Senko worms are a good bait for this method, and you can rig them Texas or wacky style.