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Jig Fishing Questions

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I am new to Jig fishing.  I purchased some jigs in hopes to learn how to properly fish them.

I have a couple of questions,

When is the proper time to use a jig?

How do I work the lure?

Are trailers required? and What advantages do they add?

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

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When is the proper time to use a jig? Year Round IMO

How do I work the lure? For me 75% of the time they hit it on the intitial fall. So make a good presentation and thats half the battle. If not let it settle to the bottom. Lift the Jig off the bottom and let it settle again.  Some people swim these baits but I have very little experience in that.

Are trailers required? and What advantages do they add? I always use trailers. Different size ones in different situations but always use them. It makes the jig drop slower which keeps it in front of the Bass' nose for a longer period of time. Not to mention the movement of the trailer creats more vibrations in the water.

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Good advice above, but another thought (especially this time of year) is to drop the jig right in the middle of the brush pile or drop it right down the tree trunk.  When fish are holding tight to cover you want to get it right in there with 'em.

Swimming a jig can be a very good technique, but it doesn't work in every situation.  You have to have some visability in the water for the fish to see it.  Try parallelling the bank, weed line or rock line.  If the water is pretty dingy try brighter colors for jigs (white or chartruese) - you may be surprised.

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Time to fish: any time you're fishing. Seriously, the only time I don't fish a jig is when the fish are really keyed in on hard baits in the early spring (jerkbaits, traps, cb's). If they're really aggressive and keyed in on shad, I will do that. Also, sometimes in the Fall when fish are chasing shad, you can't put down a trap or topwater.

I fish jigs year round when fishing fairly slow (shallow, deep, and in between).

I usually fish it slow (90% of time). Only exceptions are:

1. swimming a jig around boat docks.

2. stroking a jig on structure (ripping it off the bottom to trigger a fish).

3. Hopping a jig or speed dragging a big football jig on drop offs.

Trailers are mandatory IMO. As a matter of fact I usually trim the skirt back in line with the bottom of the hook to show off the trailer more. The trailer gives it the crawfish look. My favorite trailer is a Zoom Super Chunk (Super Chunk, Jr for finnesse jigs like the Bitsy Bug). I also like the Zoom Super Speed Craw and Sweet Beavers as trailers.

Best way to develop confidence in a jig:

Leave everything else at home. Take three different sizes and go fish it in cover or on deeper rocky banks. The Bitsy Bug is a great place to start, b/c you will get tons of bites on it, giving you a feel for the bite, and helping to build your confidence.

Keep colors simple. Black n blue and some shade of green or pumpkin brown will cover it 90% of the time.

Good luck, and stick with it.

SC

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Jigs have got to be an under-rated bait.  Me and my partner do not catch many fish but if anyone catches a fish at all....it will be him and he will use a jig to catch it.

I've tried jigs.  I have a whole box with them.  I have yet to catch a bass on a jig though.

After reading the post above by Joe S., I'm determined to not let him show me up anymore.  I think I know what I've been doing wrong now.  Not watching the line close enough, not counting, not dragging and bumping like a crawfish, and fishing the jig too fast.  I also don't fish cover thoroughly enough.

Great posts guys!  

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Joe.S was the person that taught me the jig...he describes what to do perfectly.

Without his description i'd still be dumber than a bass on how to work a jig. ;D

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Wow....

I didn't expect such a response to the questions that I had.  You all have answered all of my questions and then some!!!!  I appreciate all of the help guys.

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Great write up Joe, I am going to try using a jig for the first time tomorrow. I now feel like I will at least have an idea of what I need to do in order to have a chance in catching a bass with one. There is a great drop off in the Occoquan river that I have been meaning to try, this will give me that opportunity to really hit the deep water (15-20 feet) hard. I have blue, black green and brown jigs and have three different color crawfish ue to use (red, blue and black). Any suggestions on the color crawfish or do I need to buy another color to use. Once again, thanks for the great write up, that is why I love this forum.

Ron

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Thanks guys, sorry I didn't see your Q until now my home pc is toast bought a new one and need to send that one back  >:D

I would just match the color to the water your fishing, If I'm fishing deeper than 12 ft and the water is even slighlty stained I will usually 99% of the time go with a black Jig for the visibilty factor :D

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Great post Joe. S

8-)

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Well I think this whole "need to learn a jig" has been cured.  Good post dudes.  Lots of great info. 8-)

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WOW awsome article .... what magazine do you work for ... oh wait none thats kuz its better than what they could write

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I tend to use a 1/2 oz jig from 12 ft to 1 ft depth. I'll tell you why when you take a 1/2 oz jig and crash it into a spot you give the bass little time to deside to hit your bait. What your doing is making the fish bite when it don't want to. 3/8 oz jig is the most popular weight and the bass see jigs fall at the same rate all the time. Don't be afraid to go light or the other extreme. I have gone behind other boats in tournaments and knocked the socks off the fish by power fishing the used water. If you know a fish is there make a bunch of pitches to the same spot sometimes you can tick the fish off to hit the jig. Always hit the sweet spot first then pick it apart then go back to pick it apart some more giving the area time to chill out for awhile. If the spot is stacked fish will move up in the area and is worth the effert to hit it again. Swimming a jig is an art form that is a killer way to pick up fish. Shad color for clear to stained water, black/chart or black/blue for stained to muddy. Fish it like a spinnerbait but give the bass a sec before setting the hook. Fall through winter this technique is killer just remember to slow it down as the water gets cold. :D

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Great post Joe, extremely informative and detailed. Swim'em, pitch'em, flip'em, drag'em, twitch'em, hop'em, drop'em, bounce'em, burn'em, punch'em, rip'em, soak'em or just make'em dance a JIG.....it's all good   :D

And the key to becoming a true Jig-a-Maniac is "stay with it and learn it", it'll do you proud. Could be the most versatile big fish bait ever. I know it is for us Jig-a-Maniacs.

Big O

www.ragetail.com

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Maintain contact with your lure at all times, allow the lure to free-fall unrestricted, but without letting slack form in the line; follow your lures down with your rod tip.

Pay close attention to the depth you're fishing, any sudden change in the amount of line you're using could mean you've been bit. For instance, if you're fishing 10 feet of water and the lure suddenly stops at the 7 depth, it's possible a bass has taken the bait. If you're fishing 5 feet of water and 8 feet of line sinks, chances are good a bass is traveling with the bait. This is extremely true on the initial cast and no line movement maybe noticed.

Strikes will sometimes be so subtle with no line movement that they can go unnoticed if you feel is a spongy sensation, as if the line suddenly got heavy set the hook

Always remember bottom contact is critical!  :D

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This is a great thread, I'm glad it resurfaced.  From what I've seen recently, a good attractant would up the ante.

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After reading this I wanna jig fish lol. I decides this year to try to fish a jig, I very rarely fish one.

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Hmm...

Most guy's big fish presentation.

I rarely fish a jig unless I'm fishing for big bass,

but I never fish for anything else!

:baseball-066:

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I have one on a rod all the time. If I ever switch it is b/c I'm punching mats and need to go to a straight shank hook craw.

Throw it in pads, brush, weeds, anywhere.

Take a fishing trip and don't put down the jig rod. Once you get a few bites you will be hooked (is that a pun?)

Be creative with it and have some fun!

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check out this video of craws moving around and how fast/far they can dart off if they want to, then keep is in mind when youre figuring out the retrieve they want.

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JOE S thanks for the most detailed and helpful reply about jig fishing i have ever read. you obviously like to fish with jigs and have inspired me to continue to practice and get better at fishing with them myself. i remember the first fish i caught with a jig, it was on the fall and it was truly exciting. i had not had much luck with jigs and had all but given up on them when i had caught that fish, and you reminded me just how much fun that was. thanks.

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