All credit for popularizing this slick technique goes to the great tournament pro Aaron Martens, who died of brain cancer in November. Like many of his bass fishing methods, this one is simple but deadly.
All you need is one of these slick jigheads rigged with a willow blade underneath, paired with a small finesse swimbait. It’s one of my most effective ways to catch fish all around the country—and you can probably see why. You can fish this at any speed at any depth, around structure or in wide open water. And it's usefulness isn't limited to bass; walleye, pike, crappie, trout, and a variety of others will readily eat this. The blade and the tail create a lot of action on their own, so you can just cast out and retrieve—or experiment with cadence and twitches as your heart desires.
I like to fish this rig on a light baitcast or spinning setup with braided line to a fluorocarbon leader. The bites are often rather soft, especially during the winter, so you don’t want to swing hard like you’re trying to slam a muskie. Rather, you should just increase your reeling speed until you feel the rod load. With a good hook point, that’s usually enough.