a bitterly cold day in early December
I met Melvin Jiggets on Lake Anna's
hotside for another Day On The Water.
With heavy overcast, a light breeze
and air temperature of 36 degrees,
keeping warm was as important as catching
fish. The 28-year-old Jiggets fishes
mostly American Bass Angler tournaments
from a Gambler Intimidator and calls
LaCrosse, Virginia home, not far from
Lake Gaston. Jiggets is a Doc Waters
pro staffer and came equipped with
an arsenal of specialized gear for
fishing clear water - the only thing
he knew about his day. Here's how
a.m. - Once in the Gambler, I let
Melvin know the parameters of the
day on a GMCO Lake Anna Pro Series
map. A brief and chilling, high-speed
ride brings us to the area, where
Jiggets shuts down his 150 XRI Mercury
and consults the GMCO.
begins fishing where we stop, a main
lake point (Moss') with a firetiger
Fat Free Guppy rigged on a Berkley
6' Cherrywood rod and Quantum XL reel.
The boat is in 12' and he is casting
to the point.
a.m. - Jiggets puts down the crankbait
and picks up a Carolina rig. "Now
we are going to use gloves!"
he jokes as he puts a pair on. The
Carolina rig consists of a Water Gremlin
adjustable sinker and is tipped with
a Big Sow floating jig. Melvin takes
a moment to "put some Stink"
on the bait using a unique Doc Waters
roll-on applicator bottle. The entire
rig is slung toward the point.
p.m. - Down goes the Carolina rig
and out comes a drop shot rig. Melvin
has it rigged with a Big Sow 4"
worm not only on the hook, but also
on the weight. He does this by using
a Doc Waters Swivel Hook as the weight,
and threads a worm on the hook, too.
He calls this his "Western-style
p.m. - With no bites, Jiggets announces
we are "going to look a little
bit," firing up the Mercury.
p.m. - Melvin is idling around the
Elk Creek bridge consulting the map
and watching his Lowrance LMS-350.
He stops in front of the bridge opening
and drops the trolling motor, moving
over to a nearby roadbed running parallel
to the bridge. The water temperature
is 67 degrees. He starts casting the
crankbait toward the deep end of the
p.m. - We have fished most of the
road bed with no bites and moved to
the back side of the bridge and Melvin
is now fishing the western-style drop
p.m. - Switches over to Carolina rig,
still on the back side of the bridge.
There is a lot of current present.
"I know there's a fish here,"
says Jiggets. The water is 28' deep.
p.m. - The Doc Waters pro staffer
misses a bite on the Carolina rig.
He notes a bunch of bait present on
the front Garmin 160 Fish Finder,
just behind the middle pilings.
p.m. - Looses a fish on the drop shot.
It comes off just after the hook set.
p.m. - Saying he wants to try something
completely different, Jiggets rigs
up a 9", Texas-rigged worm on
a Doc Waters Shark Shank hook. "This
hook is perfect for soft plastics
because it holds them with the two
barbs,"he says as he shows me
the red hook. He begins pitching the
worm to the rip rap on the back left
of the bridge. The 1/2-oz. weight
proves too heavy and quickly snags
in the rocks. He takes a moment to
retie and notes the water is five
degrees cooler behind the bridge.
p.m. - "Back at the store I noticed
they were out of smoke grubs, so I
chose this Doc Water Spider Grub (salt
and pepper) and removed the skirt,"
explains Jiggets. He rigs the grub
Texas-style and begins fishing the
rip rap again with a 3/8-oz. weight.
Within several casts he feels a fish
pick up the bait but misses on the
p.m. - He sets the hook again and
comes up with half a grub. On the
next cast he hangs the rig and breaks
it off. "I think these are small
fish," notes Melvin as he again
consults the GMCO map. Jiggets notes
another road bed on the map and idles
back through the bridge and stops
just on the other side on the right.
The Garmin reveals a sharp ditch below
the boat in line with a road coming
off the bank. The Gambler is in 23'
and the top of the road is 15' Down
goes the specialized drop shot.
p.m. - After fishing most of the road
bed with no luck, Jiggets again looks
at his map and notes another road
bed about a quarter mile away. We
roar off to fish it.
p.m. - Using a spinning rod and a
6" Doc Waters Helix Worm rigged
on a Doc Waters Shark Shank Hook,
Jiggets starts casting toward the
road bed. This one comes right off
the bank, straight at us. The boat
is in 14' and he is casting to the
bank. There is a lot of current washing
across the road bed.
p.m. - Small bass are chasing bait
on the road bed by nothing bites.
Frustrated, Jiggets checks the GMCO
and we move again, through the bridge,
toward the rear of the Elk Creek and
the back end of our fishing area.
p.m. - A duck blind on a hump marks
the limit of the day's water. Ten
or so sea gulls are cruising a dozen
feet above the water. Melvin cuts
off the Mercury and watches intently.
"This looks like something is
happening," he notes. We watch
as several large fish swirl on bait.
Jiggets is up quickly on the trolling
motor and moving into the area toward
the duck blind.
p.m. - The depth finder reads just
10 feet about 20 yards from the duck
blind and the water temperature has
dropped to 60 degrees. Fish are feeding
on the flat evidenced by their noisy
swirls. Jiggets launches a Dock Waters
Helix Worm toward one and lets the
bait sink. He feels the line jump,
reels in the slack and sets the hook
on a fish way out on the flat. It
jumps once, revealing itself to be
a nice largemouth. Jiggets lands it
and a Berkley hand-held digital scale
reads 3.1 pounds. "Now that's
what I'm talking about," says
Jiggets with a big smile.
p.m. - On his next cast, Jiggets catches
another bass on the Spider Grub. This
one is slightly smaller on the hand-held
at 2.3 pounds. The fish continue to
break, but are moving away from the
boat and duck blind toward deeper
p.m. - Jiggets is still casting the
Helix Worm and has had several hits
as it sinks, but no hook ups. He theorizes
out loud that perhaps small stripers
or white perch have moved into the
area. He continues to follow the now
dwindling instances of breaking fish
toward deeper water. The gulls are
p.m. - Switches to casting crankbait.
p.m. - Sees school of fish in 22'
on Garmin and sends down the drop
p.m. - The sky is completely overcast
and the weather turns colder. Ice
begins to form in the rod guides.
Jiggets is cold, but continues to
fish. "Looks like we hit the
tail end of a good feed," he
comments between presentations with
the drop shot.
p.m. - Jiggets moves the Gambler to
a nearby main river point. The drop
off is sheer on one side, from the
bank into about 22'. He is casting
the big Doc Waters Spider Grub. On
his first presentation a 14"
bass inhales the grub and he brings
it boatside for release. On his next
cast he catches another, same size,
same lure. "Did you see the other
two following that one?" he asked
excitedly and casts back to the drop.
p.m. - The grub has been cast to the
bank at least 20 more times with no
takers. There is still no sign of
the sun and it feels much colder that
p.m. - Happy with our results, and
not willing to put up with the cold
any more, Jiggets and I agree to throw
in the towel for a warm truck. By
the time we are back at the ramp,
it is getting dark and our fingers
The afternoon's total is two keepers
of 5.4 pounds and two slotties. Jiggets
admits he's not much of a clear water
angler and says it was difficult to
pattern the fish on Anna's hot side.
I had it to do over again, I'd wear
warmer shoes and run around more on
the big motor looking for schooling
action like we found late," he
notes with a broad grin.