Drought conditions and higher temperatures have called for finesse presentations when targeting our Florida-strain largemouth bass as of recently. The Ned Rig has been a consistent producer using a Z-Man TRD in orange/green pumpkin, junebug or black/blue flake rigged on a 1/10 ounce ShroomZ finesse jig head, depending on light and water conditions. I’ve generally been starting out with darker colors during low light conditions (overcast days or early morning hours), switching over to the orange/green pumpkin during later in the day or in clearer water.
One important tip when fishing these thinner finesse hooks is to make sure you double check your drag. Set it light because you’ll see frequent pulled or straightened hooks if you’re set too tight.
I ask my anglers to apply the swim-glide-shake Midwest Finesse retrieve technique, working drop-offs or along the outside of emergent vegetation. Casting accuracy is important when fishing this rig due to the exposed hook, you’ll spend a good part of the day getting hung up if you’re careful. The risk is definitely worth the reward in terms of higher catch rates, however. We’re still seeing 30 fish mornings on average.