This post is about one of my favorite bass fishing techniques, Jig fishing. This is one of my confidence technique’s. I know every time I throw a jig I’m going to catch bass, and chances are, big ones at that.
I’ll start out talking about the different types and styles of jigs. First I’ll cover the lead head.
You’ve got weedless ones. All this means is they have a little fiber brush guard sticking up in front of the hook therefore when you pull the jig say through a tree the guard will deflect off the branch and usually not get hung up. I always modify the fiber guard to allow for easier hook sets. The way I modify mine is I first off I’ll trim them down so the tips are inline with the hook. Then I fan out the guard and thin it out some. I want to leave enough fibers to keep the jig weedless but not so it will interfere with the hookup.Of course one without the brush guard wouldn’t be considered weedless. While these jigs are designed for more open water applications they can be used around structure if fished slowly.
Next you’ve got the “Stand Up” jig heads. These generally have a flat bottom which is to say, if you drop the jig it should land on the flat side causing the hook to stand upright. Then you have the casting jigs which have a tapered style head. You have the basic round head. Then you have my favorite type, the football head. These are designed so when your jig bumps against a rock or some kind of structure they roll upward resembling a crawfish in a defensive position when you slowly raise your rod tip slightly.
Of course being out here in California I have to mention the finesse jigs. These little buggers can be down right deadly. About the only requirement a jig has to be considered a finesse jug is they have to be smaller or lighter than the standard bass jig. Most finesse jigs then to be made with round living rubber instead of the standard flat rubber or silicone. To the best of my knowledge the original CA finesse jigs were the Skinny Bear jigs. I still have a box full of them and use them when the conditions call for them.
As far as colors of the jig heads, most people will say that it does not matter if their painted or not and for the most part its probably true, however, me personally, if I’m not fishing with a painted jig head I lack the confidence in it so therefore chances are I will not take the time to present it right. That’s why I prefer the painted ones, chances are its all in my head but I want my whole jig to look good.
The hook in the head is a very important part. Make sure your hook is sharp. I like the Revenge football heads with the Mustad Ultra Point hooks. These hooks are very strong and come stickey sharp right out of the package. If your jig hooks are dull make sure to sharpen them! Trust me, it will make a huge difference when you attempt to set the hook into the hard boney jaw of Mr. Bass.
Now I’ll cover the different styles of skirts and trailers. On the skirts there of course are the good old fashioned rubber ones, the silicone ones, living rubber and the spider type rubber. For the trailers there are of course the soft plastic ones as well as the pork frogs.
One of my favorite jigs is a modified spider grub on a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce weedless football head. In my opinion this is a one very deadly combination. I like to take a Yamamoto Skirt in one color and put a twin tail grub behind it in a different color. I feel that this different color combo tends to appear more natural in the water. There is no perfect color, black. blue, purple, watermelon, brown and of course pumpkin are always good choices to consider.
As far as a rattle goes, this is yet another issue that is up for debate. Some say yes, some say no. As for me, I say sometimes. If I’m fishing in clear water there really is no need for one however in dirty water where visibility is not very good then I say yes. I like the small glass rattle inserts that you push into the body. The sound is kind of muffled yet it is audible so the bass can gear the sound, locate the lure, take a look at it and eat it..
Scent. I say yes! I even use crawfish scent on my jigs. Is it really needed? Again, some say no but I don’t care. I do know that the scent does mask the human odor. Does the bass know exactly what human odor is? I really don’t think so but I do feel that it is not a natural smell to them. A smell that is not naturally in their environment, so it might make them leery of your offering. I also believe that with scent the bass will hold onto your jig longer giving you more time to set the hook.
One way I like to fish jigs in “Open” water is to toss them out to that “Secret” rock pile or that bend in the old river channel and slowly crawl them back and shake them along the way. Every now and then hop them but for the most part, it’s a slow crawl and shake, like a crawfish crawling along the bottom. The shaking is when I come in contact with some structure, remember I mentioned that I like using the football head style jig heads.
Another way I enjoy using them is around trees or brush. Here you want to resemble a crawfish crawling around in a tree or trying to root in the mud down around the base of the tree.
So far all I have been discussing concerning jigs has been directed at imitating crawfish. There is however another use for jigs and that’s imitating baitfish and swimming the jig. When imitating bait fish I’ll use a white jig head, white or a silver/white combination to imitate shad and a chartruse/white combination to resemble perch or sunfish and the same color trailers except I prefer the single tail grub versus the twin tail that I use when imitating crayfish. The technique here is you want to toss your jig out and swim it back, pause and go, etc, until you figure out just how the bass want it.
I have found that most jig bites tend to be very light, most time all you feel is pressure, sometimes the bass will swim out of the structure towards you and all of the sudden you have allot of slack in the line. Then there are times when all you’ll see is your line jump and start to move off. Don’t be asleep at the reel! Take up the slack and set the hook hard enough to cross his eyes.
Give jigs a try. I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy with the results.
Until Next Time, Good Luck and Tight Lines To Ya!