How To Fish A Jig

Learn how to fish a jig from professional bass fishing guide Gene Jensen in this informative video!
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My name is Gene Jensen with, and we're going to continue the series on jigs.  I'm out here on my lake in North Carolina, and I'm going to show you how to fish a jig.

What I've got here is my living rubber jig that I make for myself, specifically made for this lake in this color. 

Basically with a jig you've got several different casts you can make.  You can make your low side arm cast, anything like you would with a Texas Rig.  And the other, the cast that people always ask about is your flipping and pitching.  Okay, so I'm going to go over those real quick.

To start off learning how to flip a bait.  Basically what you do, is you start off with your lure at the level of your reel.  And you bring line out as far as you can reach out and make sure your lure is still at that level.  About right there, just like this.  So you've got all this line out off on your left hand, go ahead and trip your bail and get everything else ready. 

Okay and then with flipping all it is, is it's like a pendulum.  You never hit the button and you let it fall down, okay. Same thing.  Bring it back and you're doing that all day long. 

So it's just a short cast, soft entry, just like that.  Okay. 

Now watch my reel.  My reel, when I release it, my reel is handles are either pointing up or pointing down, depending on how you're holding your left hand your right hand.  That's all it is, okay? 

And a lot of people what they'll try to do is they try to cast it with this.  They'll do this and they'll hit the button and they'll do this number, and look what happens.  You get a back lash.  Okay?  Or as we like to call it, a professional overrun.

Now, the other kind of cast is a pitch.  People always ask about how to pitch.  Same sort of deal.  Start off with your reel and your lure at the same level.  Your lure right here at your reel.  And it's a pendulum but you're going to push the button and release, okay.  And the faster you lift your rod, the further it's going to go.  So it's a let go and lift your rod.  And that was a horrible, let's try that again.  I hit the side of the boat. 

It's a, you let go, pitch it right out, and let it sit on out, okay?  Same sort of thing. 

You lift your rod tip up, the faster you lift it up the further it's going to go.  And you lift it up to the side where your handle's either pointing up or pointing down, okay? 

I'm getting to the point where I do it with both hands.  But as you're starting start with your dominant hand, however you want to cast it.  Don't hold the hook of course, just let it fall right on out on target, okay?

And what I do is I don't wait till I get to the lake to learn this.  When I'm in my backyard I have these little discs that I put in my backyard.  And I pitch to them. I'll make hundreds of casts a day. 

Set yourself up a little range in your backyard, a little target range. 

And have four or five of those spread out and sit there on your back porch or anything in your backyard and just pitch it into these little cups.  And I took, what it was 4 inch PVC pipe I cut into little cups about that big around, about that tall, and I just put them out in my yard.

Okay, now let's talk about how you work a jig.  I'm going to go over the basic way of working a jig. 

First of all, what is a jig?  What are you trying to make it look like?  It could look like a bluegill or it can look like a crawfish. 

So what does a crawfish do when it's sitting on the bottom and a bass comes up to it and the crawfish sees the bass and the crawfish tries to get away.  The crawfish doesn't start, it may start to crawl away but usually what it does is it swims away. 

So a crawfish swims backwards and it goes like this, and it has a little double kick to get away.  It gets away further that way. 

So when I'm doing that, I'm pitching out, I'm letting it sink to the bottom and I'm visualizing what is that bait looking like on the bottom?  And I'm letting it sit on the bottom and then when I hop it I do a double hop. 

And it's just a tap, tap with the top of your rod.  It's not very far at all, you're only moving it about this far, okay?  So it's a tap, tap and I let it fall, and a tap, tap and I let it fall.  That's the way I fish a jig on the bottom.
So let's go over the whole sequence. 

Little pitch, same thing.  Watch my reel, just going to go out just like that, I'm making a good nice accurate cast onto the brush pile.  I'm following it down, I'm making sure I keep that semi-slack line as it's falling. Let it sit there for just a few seconds because that skirt starting to open up and starting to undulate. 

And what happens is it's falling down on that brush pile, if it passes a suspended bass the bass is either going to bite it right then or it's going to follow it down to the bottom and kind of nose it, what I call nosing it, or just look at it. 

So you let it sit for a few seconds and then you just shake it.  Don't lift it, just shake it. 

And if the bass has got his nose down on it and he's looking at it and all of a sudden that thing shakes, the bass just grabs a hold of that jig and you set the hook. So that's the whole object of that.

So you start off with, make your cast into the spot, follow it down with your rod till it hits the bottom, okay, it's on the bottom.  It's been sitting there for about three seconds, I shake it, not there. 

I let it sit for a couple of two three more seconds, and then I do that double hop that I was talking about, little hop, hop, little hop, hop.

And I feel like right now with the sun high and everything else that the bass are not far away from their cover.  So I'm about four feet away from the cover now, I'm just going to pull it back in and make another cast somewhere else, okay?  Making a little bit longer cast, nice sidearm low cast, make it hit the water soft. 

Once again semi-slack line, let it follow down, okay? 

And the jig is all about an accurate cast. If you can't make an accurate cast you can't, you usually can't do very good on a jig when you're pitching to targets.

I've got a little bit of grass.  Alright, bring it back in, I'm going to make another cast to another thing.
Let me talk to you a little bit about grass.  Okay, when you feel your jig coming through grass and you feel like it's hung in the grass, there's a little. 

Hold on, I just got a bite.  Right behind the boat.  There we go.  This nice little fish, boy he's pale.  Okay. 

And that's exactly what happened. 

The bait went down, fell vertical all the way down on it, it hit the bottom and it set there for a second.  As it was sitting that fish had followed it down and he thumped it.  And all I saw, because it was on that semi-slack line, all I saw was my line jump and a little bitty tap on the end of my rod is all I felt.  You catch nice big fish like this.  Not bad.

All right. I'm going to show you a little trick with grass.  This trick goes with jigs, Texas Rigs, spinnerbaits if you know what you're doing.  I'll explain it later on a spinnerbait video. 

But say you cast out, see if I can find some grass real quick.  I cast out.  Set hook on that fish a second ago.  Okay.  Cast out, let it fall all the way down to the bottom and your starting to get it hung up in the grass and the way you rip it out of the grass where you don't do as, a lot of people you'll see them reel it all the way in with the grass on it. 

When they reel it in it's got a whole bunch of grass and they just ruined the whole entire cast.

Well, the trick of it is you get hung in the grass, drop your rod tip to a slack line and pop it.  Okay, you can do it that way, you can do it this way.  Anything. And it will rip it out of the grass and you can go back to fishing.  That's how you get it out of the grass.  That's also a good way of target or triggering an instinct strike. 

You can do that with crankbaits, crankbaits are a little bit different.  Say you take your crank bait and throw it out, reel it in and you get caught in the grass.  You got that light line, I like to go pop, pop.  Real quick, really big whip, and it will whip it right out. And that's the trick with grass, is you go to a slack line and you rip it out, and you pop it out and it won't move very far so you didn't ruin a cast.  And usually depending on the type of grass it is usually it comes loose.

Okay, right now we're going to talk about what I use for pitching, and actually pitching and flipping.  And I use a Dobyns Extreme.  It's a DX744C, so it's a heavy, fast-action rod.  You can use any rod; the specs on this one it's a 7 foot 4.  It holds ten to twenty pound test line.  And it's good for bait between a quarter and an ounce.  And that's right in the ballpark of the jigs that I throw. 

And I'm going to pitch right over here to this Cypress tree.  I'm going to let it sink down behind it, beside it.  And hopefully I catch a fish and I can show you the whole thing. 

See he hit it right when I shook it. Here it comes.  Digging down, he wants to go back down to the bottom.  Ow, he cut my thumb. 

That's what happens, guys.  Hold this a second.  Good fish, nice little 4 pounder. Put him back in. 

That's kind of the sequence.  It's not that difficult.  It just takes a little bit, you let it sit a little bit longer then you would a Texas Rig.  You let those tentacles off of that skirt work and flex and just shake.  Just let that jig work its job and have fun doing it. 

And hopefully you learned something from this video.  Wow, that fish got me good, stuck me with the hook.

Anyway, have fun fishing a jig.  Just remember it catches big fish so hang on tight.

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