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Jig Fishing Question

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Ive caught a few fish now with jigs. This caught my attention while I was showing my nephew how to fish. (Father and Grand Father Dont Fish). I was just playing around with a jig off the dock and saw a bass swim up to the jig and just barely hit it enough(Like a taste test) to where I could feel him. Water is clear at Lake Murray so I could see the fish. It felt the same way when you fish the jig and go across brush piles, trees, stumps and etc.

My question is, how in the world do I know if its a fish or not? The few bass ive caught on a jig have all ran with the bait. Keep in mind ive only been using a jig for about a month now so im new to it. Any help would be great. thanks

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Also let me add this. When you fish a jig, do you want it hopping the bottom or off the bottom the entire time?

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When in doubt, set the hook. Always try to keep a little tension on the line. Bass like to pick them up and swim with them. Watch your line. As far as fishing them, try hopping them, dragging them, swimming them, or whatever seems to work on that particular day. Nothing is set in stone.

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Might try dead sticking it also.

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Here is what works for me, I am by far no pro, but I only seems to toss either jigs, spinners, or soft plastics.

If you are going to toss that baby into heavy cover, under a overhang etc, dead stick it for a bit, usually if there is a bass in the cover you will get a hit immediately, no mistaking it. I always pitch it in, maintain a somewhat time line and give a slight pull, if there is anything out of the norm I will snap set the hook. Don't need a hard set, with good tuned jigs (weed guard, sharp hook) the hook wont need much to set. If there is no hit I will slowly retrieve, dragging sometimes hopping. Either way always slow.

If I am swimming a jig I just use a steady retrieve, speed depends on what the fish like, I always start off 'normal' and will go slower or faster accordingly, but warm days and water will call for faster return.

Don't be shy to set the hook whenever you might think you have a fish, this is how I usually catch them, I set the hook when I feel like I know there should be a strike, and often that is when I connect, sounds odd, but once you fish jigs a lot you sort of know what to expect.

Also, if you have issues with bass jumping off the hook, make sure you are not setting too hard as this will rip the hook insert.

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I didn't make this up. I heard it at some seminar I went to. The idea is after several casts you probably know what no hit feels like. So, any time your bait feels any different than that you set the hook. Keep in mind that hook sets are free. No one is going to charge you anything if you set the hook and there isn't any fish.

I'm not really good at jig fishing, so I'm not the final answer to this, but I know that it isn't all line watching and it isn't all feeling the jig, but it is a combination of both. I'm at that stage of the learning curve where I'm trying to make myself fish the jig more, with mixed results. By the end of the summer I might be a better jig fisherman than I am now, maybe.

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Jig fishing takes time, check out the videos page and watch Glenn's vid on jig fishing, probably one of the best I have seen

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try throwing your jig on braid if you got grass around to help with the feeling.

Sometimes you just feel the "tick" as the bass inhales it.

If you feel anything "unnatural" set the hook

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Denny Brauer said try fishing your jig in a swimming pool that you are POSITIVE there are no fish in. That is what your bait feels like when nothing is happening to it. When you are fishing, when and if it DOESN'T feel like that anymore, hook set.

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Ive caught a few fish now with jigs. This caught my attention while I was showing my nephew how to fish. (Father and Grand Father Dont Fish). I was just playing around with a jig off the dock and saw a bass swim up to the jig and just barely hit it enough(Like a taste test) to where I could feel him. Water is clear at Lake Murray so I could see the fish. It felt the same way when you fish the jig and go across brush piles, trees, stumps and etc.

My question is, how in the world do I know if its a fish or not? The few bass ive caught on a jig have all ran with the bait. Keep in mind ive only been using a jig for about a month now so im new to it. Any help would be great. thanks

Like everyone else said, when in doubt set the hook. I'd say that more than half the time when you fell the "tap tap" you have him, there are times they hit it and spit it just as quick, this is when I like to use a scent of some kind. If they are picking it up and you are missing them you can do the wait method, you see pros do it, you feel the bite and you wait until the fish hits it a second time or it runs with the bait, more often than not it will swim with it and then just reel in the slack and set the hook. It takes practice but you will get better.

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I'm still just a fledgling jig fisherman as well, but I'd recommend 2 things:

1) throw your jig in areas you know has rocks, gravel, trees, grass, etc just to see how it feels in known cover

2) when in doubt, set the hook

With more time throwing the jig, you'll get more used to what a bite may feel like.

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Try the count down method with your jig to see what depth you are fishing in. By determining the rate of fall you will have an idea of how long it takes to reach the bottom.

I mention this because, very often, a bass will grab it on the fall. If the jig stops falling before the usual time it takes in your current bottom depth, pop 'em good.

One more thing, bass will often suck in the jig on the fly and start swimming towards deeper water immediately. When you set the hook and feel slack in the line, it is probably because he is swimming straight at you and then under the boat. Reel your line in as fast as you can, to catch up to the bass. Lunkers are notorious for this, because they do not share well with others.

hookset on 3

P.S. mine is a very fast 3 count. Drop the rod tip, reel up the slack, set the...

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Might try dead sticking it also.

not sure what dead sticking is. about to google it lol

Jig fishing takes time, check out the videos page and watch flukemasters vid on jig fishing, probably one of the best I have seen

about to go watch this video now.

Denny Brauer said try fishing your jig in a swimming pool that you are POSITIVE there are no fish in. That is what your bait feels like when nothing is happening to it. When you are fishing, when and if it DOESN'T feel like that anymore, hook set.

if you play around with it in a swimming pool, there isnt logs and so on in the pool. i could still be going across logs on the bottom thinking its a fish and try to set the hook. i guess this is where the time factor comes into play.

thanks for all the replys guys!

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Try the count down method with your jig to see what depth you are fishing in. By determining the rate of fall you will have an idea of how long it takes to reach the bottom.

I mention this because, very often, a bass will grab it on the fall. If the jig stops falling before the usual time it takes in your current bottom depth, pop 'em good.

One more thing, bass will often suck in the jig on the fly and start swimming towards deeper water immediately. When you set the hook and feel slack in the line, it is probably because he is swimming straight at you and then under the boat. Reel your line in as fast as you can, to catch up to the bass. Lunkers are notorious for this, because they do not share well with others.

hookset on 3

P.S. mine is a very fast 3 count. Drop the rod tip, reel up the slack, set the...

thats a good idea about counting the fall until it hits the bottom. ill half to try this next time i got fishing! thanks for the idea.

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The best way to learn to fish with a jig is to only bring your jig rod and jigs!

You will learn how to fish a jig by catching fish with a jig. I know that sounds stupid but I tried fishing a jig MANNY times and would give up and fish something else.

First find several spots you know have fish. Don't try to learn how to fish a jig in "new" locations start with known places you've caught fish in before.

Let me be clear on this, If you catch fish within 6' of the shore that's were you need to learn to fish a jig.

Don't get me wrong a jig is the ultimate bait to catch the monsters out deep in the middle of the lake but that's not a good place to learn. Learn to catch the 16'' dinks that have better numbers then go target the big girls.

I'd start with a 1/2oz Green Pumpkin or a Black/Blue with a matching Rage crawl.

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not sure what dead sticking is. about to google it lol

about to go watch this video now.

if you play around with it in a swimming pool, there isnt logs and so on in the pool. i could still be going across logs on the bottom thinking its a fish and try to set the hook. i guess this is where the time factor comes into play.

thanks for all the replys guys!

Dead sticking is you cast it out and let it just sit there...Don't move, twitch or shake it..

Good Luck and do what what these guys have posted. I was like you not too long ago. It'll come

Mike

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Jig fishing is my bread and butter I usually have 2-3 jigs on at all times, and everyone nailed it swing if it feels different I set about 20-30 hooks a day on nothing in 8+ hours of jig fishin for me it's just part of the fun. Some days they will inhale your jig and pull immediately on your line and someways your line stays slack when they pick it up.

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Here is a good example of the usual senario for myself. I was fishing in a spot that I know has to have fish, there is a tree line, with over hangs and a few holes. After a few higher casts into the trees, with the jig coming out short of where I wanted it I changed casting style and go it right under the overhang in the hole, a perfect cast, it dropped, maybe 1-2 foot of water maybe some more, I paused, and set immediately, and had a good sized bass.

When you toss a jig into the basses home, they will hit it right away on reaction, when tossing like that into cover I pause a second and just go for a snap set, most often you will have a fish.

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