With the triple-digit dog days of summertime upon the Lone Star State as this is being written, most Texas bass anglers are going deep.

With the triple-digit dog days of summertime upon the Lone Star State as this is being written, most Texas bass anglers are going deep.


Both into their bag of fishing tricks and into the shadowy depths of a reservoir, all in the hopes of tempting a lethargic and moody bass into striking.


For many anglers, that means that it’s time to toss a big flutter spoon or get a magnum crankbait down deep in front of a bass hanging tight to offshore structure.


Most days, Texas lunkers are more than willing to take an occasional swat at such super-sized lures.


But not every day, mind you.


When bass turn their noses up at such offerings, what is an enterprising Texas angler to do? Simple says FLW Tour pro and Major League Fishing angler Pete Ponds - just tell those bass what the preacher said.


And that is by fishing a Pete’s Preacher Jig, a hand-tied concoction of extra long bucktail fibers created by Talon Custom Lures.


"On the preacher jig, when the school stops biting (crankbaits and such), all you do is cast it out there and crank it five or six times and stop, let your line fall down and let the bait hit the bottom," said Ponds, a former Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Mississippi.


"As soon as it hits the bottom, start cranking it again, five or six times and stop again."


Oftentimes, that’s all it takes to fire up a lethargic summertime bass into striking the big jig tied at the end of Pond’s heavy-action Duckett Fishing rod.


"Normally those fish are going to hit it on the fall," said Ponds.


And usually, it’s not a small, young-of-the-year bass either.


"Absolutely," said Ponds. "That’s one of the reasons that I like to throw it, especially in tournament situations, because usually you’re going to catch a bigger fish on that than you do on most jigs."


Ponds notes that there is a second method that he will often employ with a Pete’s Preacher Jig, one that mimics a method used to fish soft plastic baits.


"The other way is to cast it out there and hold your rod up much in the fashion like when you would use a Texas-rigged worm," said Ponds. "Watch it and as soon as it hits the bottom — this is real important — as soon as that bait touches the bottom, hop it up, wait for it to fall and then hop it up again."


In both situations, Ponds said that an angler will want to use lighter line for the preacher jig presentation: "I use Vicious fluorocarbon line in the 10- to 12-pound-test range," he said, noting that he will stick with jigs tied in natural colors that are either all white or a combination of white with a " … little bit of chartreuse tied in."


One key to the lure’s effectiveness is the longer hair that is tied in to make up the jig.


"The longer the hair, the better," said Ponds. "There are some (bucktails) out there that are seven to seven and a half inches long. That’s so hard to find, but it’s out there."


Why do bass hit a preacher jig?


Ponds has an idea: "Deer hair is hollow in the middle and whenever you stop it, it (just) flutters out."


Usually in a fashion that a sluggish summertime bass lurking in the depths of a reservoir simply can’t stand, ambushing the tasty looking morsel before the fish can talk itself out of it.


While such a technique may not be known to some bass anglers across the country, for Ponds, it’s standard summertime fare.


"This is nothing new," he said. "My dad, when we used to fish Ross Barnett (Reservoir in Mississippi), he’d tie up 20 green bucktail jigs and use it on a marble head. I still remember that to this day. That’s all that we’d take fishing and we’d fish them in the same fashion."


While those boyhood trips were often good, Ponds said that today’s preacher jigs make the action even better: "We’ve learned since then that the longer the hair, the better the bite," he said. "But even back then, we’d take 15 to 20 bucktail jigs and we’d go out there and fish the edge of the river and slaughter them."


Even during the triple digit dog days of summertime.