Zoneloc On Tour: Alton Jones Jr.'s favorite techniques
Dave Landahl Published January 13, 2017
What are the best bass fishing techniques to use when you make a living as a tournament fishing professional? Some may say they don't care what top anglers use, but realistically, using the methods and techniques the pros use will generally translate into more bass catching for the rest of the folks.
So in that spirit, BassFIRST asked Zoneloc pro and Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Alton Jones Jr. what his Top 3 techniques are for catching bass when money is on the line.
Alton Jones Jr. (Joel Shangle/BassFIRST)
"My most productive and also favorite way to fish for bass during tournaments is punching mats," said Jones. "And really, I'll find any sort of thick overhead cover or canopy the bass use, whether it's vegetation like hydrilla and milfoil or even trash that has piled up like a log jam.
"The canopy is like a thermal blanket and is an excellent location for finding bass under various conditions. Early on in the season or when it's cold, the canopy keeps a little more heat there attracting bass.
"During the heat of the summer, it is generally slightly cooler under the mats providing relief for the bass."
Jones' favorite offerings when punching mats are a heavy casting gear with 65-pound braid threaded through a heavy bullet weight and a Zoneloc Flippin' Hook tied on with a compact soft plastic threaded on the Zoneloc.
"I actually use drop-shotting a little differently than most anglers think you would," said Jones. "I use it a lot for suspended bass. I call it video gaming.
"You need to pay close attention to your graph and can actually watch your lure go down to the fish and then watch the fish move toward your lure. Then a second later, you have a fish on.
"The drop-shot weight size I use varies, but I prefer the Zoneloc Wide Gap Circle hook for this. Usually the 2/0 size. If there is heavier cover like tree tops, then I use the Zoneloc Offset Worm Hook in 1/0 to Texas rig to prevent snagging.
"I use 8-pound line for this type of drop-shotting and my favorite lure for this is a Yum Warning Shot."
"During the colder weather, tossing a small crankbait in the shallows is really effective for me," said Jones. Of course crankbaits are effective throughout the year, as well as under the right circumstance. I usually use a Bandit crankbait in one of the crawfish colors.
"I key in on areas of transition, like banks where they go from steep to more gradual, mud to rocks, or any transition. Those types of areas usually hold some fish."