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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.

pre- spawn 45-60 degrees.

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I like to use the jig and trailer during pre-spawn in stained water and heavy cover.In clear water I use space monkeys and chigger craws most of the time.

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Space Monkeys? I've never heard of those?

One of the more versatile baits in the lineup:

http://www.ragetail.com/news/03/rage-tail-space-monkey-comments/

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I realize that supporting the sponsors on this site are important and the jigs and Strike King Rage Tail by site sponsors are good products, however they are not the only jigs and trailers to consider when jig fishing.

Date this thread and those specific products may not exist, time has a way of changing how we look at specific brands.

When you look at a jig trailer it represents a crawdad, bait fish or they are creatures. Single and double tails with or without appendage. Mister Twister was the first curl tail soft plastic and they offered curl tails in grubs and worms, some with multiple tail appendages that were good jig trailers 40 years ago!

Reading this thread I was impressed with Catts post; short and to the point; keep in contact with your jig and know exactly what is going on at all times.

Tom

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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

i like your idea of getting your speed right to make the fish bite. but, here is a question. what do you do when you need the speed of your 1/2oz jig, but the bass will not hit the bigger profile of the 1/2oz., as opposed the smaller profile of the 3/8oz.??? that is the thing with jigs. the heavier the weight of the jig, the bigger the profile gets because the head size is bigger. the solution to the problem is to use a 1/4oz. jig with a slip sinker added to your line to get the fall rate you desire. you are still maintaining the smaller profile, but can attain the correct fall rate.

bo

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Do you really believe that a bass can differentiate that 1/8 oz. difference in the size of the head? I mean, really the profile is the same because it's formed through the skirt and trailer, not the jig head.

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WOW! Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks...

Some of you may find this unbelievable, but I rarely catch fish on the drop.

Almost all my fish are caught working the bottom, a specific piece of cover

or structure. Swim jigs are another animal, but with traditional jigs, I have never

really considered the speed of the fall.

:xmasicon_razz:

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How deep are you usually fishing? That can make a difference. I'd say 90% of my jig fish are on the drop, and not much more than 15'. I rarely leave a jig on the bottom for more than a couple seconds. If I need to work a piece of deep structure, a vertical drop shot is a better tool for me. If there's too much weed cover for that, I use a jika rigged craw.

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How deep are you usually fishing? That can make a difference. I'd say 90% of my jig fish are on the drop, and not much more than 15'. I rarely leave a jig on the bottom for more than a couple seconds. If I need to work a piece of deep structure, a vertical drop shot is a better tool for me. If there's too much weed cover for that, I use a jika rigged craw.

Most of mine are 1-3 hops. Fish probably follow it down.

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Most of mine are on the bottom as well. The main time they are not are when you pull over something, and then the strike happens. Hardly ever on the initial drop.

Jeff

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Do you really believe that a bass can differentiate that 1/8 oz. difference in the size of the head? I mean, really the profile is the same because it's formed through the skirt and trailer, not the jig head.

from my many years of fishing experience yes they can. each head size gets bigger as they get heavier. just take any brand of jig and set a 1/4oz. next to the 3/8oz. model. there is quite a difference in the head profile. often time here on table rock, my partner and i will start out with one using a 1/4oz jig with a 1/4oz slip sinker, and the other will start out with a 3/8oz jig with an 1/8oz sinker to see which set up the bass like the best. a bigger percentage of the time, one set up will get bit, and the other one will not, necessitating one of us to change. the last time i was at falcon, i started out with a 1/2oz jig and was not getting any bites. i changed to a 1/4oz jig with a 1/4oz. slip sinker and just wore them out. i did not change areas in between, but refished where i did not have a bite on the 1/2oz jig. used the same skirt and trailer on both setups. so, yes, the look of the profile of the bait you are using does make a difference to the bass, in my opinion.

bo

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WOW! Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks...

Some of you may find this unbelievable, but I rarely catch fish on the drop.

Almost all my fish are caught working the bottom, a specific piece of cover

or structure. Swim jigs are another animal, but with traditional jigs, I have never

really considered the speed of the fall.

:xmasicon_razz:

catching most of your bass right in the bottom and not on the fall can be from a number of factors. topography of the waters you fish can be a factor. and species of bass you are targeting can be a factor. brownies are most often caught on the bottom, and they like to pin their prey to the bottom first many times. kentuckies caught on the bottom on flatter terrain will often times pin the bait to the bottom initially also. when the bass are pinning the bait to the bottom first, that is when you have to develop a knack of knowing that is what they are doing, and wait for the second feel to set the hook. on lakes with vertical bluffs, and or trees, bass using these types of structure will most often be caught with the bait falling. they catch the bait instead of picking it up. even most brownies i catch on bluffs catch the bait on the fall.

bo

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I will try these techniques. I fish from shore so I don't know how much diff that makes, but I tend to fish a jig like a worm but dont get the same results

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I rarely catch jig fish on the initial drop, now with that said, when I am hopping it on the bottom, more times than not, they hit when it is dropping from the height of each single hop.

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In my opinion its mainly the type of water your fishing as to weather bass primarily hit on the fall or on the bottom. For instance on the delta (primarily shallow with vegitation) most of the hits come on the fall. When I fish Berryessa (deep rocky resivoir) its a totally different game in most cases. The majority of the bites come on the bottom.

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I tried jig fishing for the first time recently and had decent success (3 keeper fish in about 1.5 hours).

I treated it more like a jerk bait and visualized the jig as a crawfish slowly walking on the bottom and then swimming off rapidly in 2-3 quick movements.

So it went something like: Reel veeeery slowly then JERK - JERK! The fish took it usually on the "jerk" and it felt "mushy". The 3rd fish I caught almost felt like weeds or a hang up because it was so close to the boat and it just felt that way. To my surprise, the weeds turned out to be the biggest bass of the day (and my personal best).

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i like your idea of getting your speed right to make the fish bite. but, here is a question. what do you do when you need the speed of your 1/2oz jig, but the bass will not hit the bigger profile of the 1/2oz., as opposed the smaller profile of the 3/8oz.??? that is the thing with jigs. the heavier the weight of the jig, the bigger the profile gets because the head size is bigger. the solution to the problem is to use a 1/4oz. jig with a slip sinker added to your line to get the fall rate you desire. you are still maintaining the smaller profile, but can attain the correct fall rate.

bo

Change the bulk of the skirt to get a faster fall rate or change the trailer to a trailer that is more streamline. To me it isn't the head size that really maters fish at times key into the fall rate or they key into a overall profile size or bulk of the jig. Sometimes just a change in line size can help with speeding up the fall rate along with the other things I mentioned. Something else to consider is when you add a slip sinker to a jig you also change how the jig reacts to cover when it comes in contact with it. the weight might be changing the action of the jig because it slightly hangs on weeds or the it acts like a slip sinker worm and the bait is in one area and the weight in another. When your crashing cover think of it like crashing cover with a crankbait but verically. Each branch changes the direction of the jig slightly much like a crankbait or spinnerbait would. That change in direction along with speed causes a reaction bite. When you make a few pitches and the bait acts different on each pitch because how it is deflecting off of the cover it sends a signal to the bass of live prey. In heavy weeded areas I tend to pitch a flipping tube because it will change directions on the fall much in the same way is a jig does in hard cover. I am not a big fan of throwing jigs in weed cover because I feel that plastics do a better job....but that's just me.

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What Bo is saying that a 1/4 oz jig fall slower than. 3/8 is absolutely a fact because the lead weight is 50% heavier and no skirt or trailer will slow down a jig that weighs more. The same is true for a 3/8 oz verses a 1/2 oz, that sighs 33% more, weight is the major factor; line size, trailer water resistance and skirt balk have minor affect, compared to weight.

You should be detecting strikes before the jig hits bottom about 50% of the ime, if not you are probably missing those strikes!

As a general rule expect the bass to strike a jig on the fall as it approaches 5' zone above the bottom to about 6" off the boom. In standing timber or dock pilings the bass can be anywhere along the tree or post. Rocky strucrue is similar to standing wood and can be anywhere holding next to the structure.

The biggest mistake most jig anglers make is waiting until the jigs hits bottom to begin "fishing" the jig.

Tom

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Google Strike King Rage Tail Space Monkey.

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ok go look up so-slo jigs wrb http://soslo.com/triggerthestrike.html point is those other parts of the jig to include line that are a factor and if you know what your doing can be a major factor in the fall rate and how to tune up what the fish want. With a jig it is all about balance and counter balance meaning your either balancing out the jig for size (over all profile) to what the bass wants and or counter balancing the weight to get the fall rate you need. Btw that is a jig that suspends up in that link.

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Chris I am not trying to promote any product, just sharing over 50 years of jig fishing for bass experience. The jig trailer that has worked for me is now nearly obsolete; pork rind with no claws, 3" to 4" long, 1" wide, 1/8" thick with a split tail. No jig trailer on the market today or in the past works better to attract strikes from big bass; simple and very effective. The fall rate with a 7/16 to 1/2 oz, deer hair, living rubber or silicone skirt to depths of 25' has proven to be extremely effective and perfectly balanced using 10 to 14 lb FC or mono line.

I haven't tried Bo's trick to add a 1/8 to 1/4 oz bullet weight to a smaller 1/4 or 3/8 oz jig, but believe it should work at times. I do down size trailers on some lakes like Castiac for example because Castiac bass prefer 11/2 to 2" trailers, where nearly every other lake in California the larger size trailers work better.

Today's lures must look life like, be colorful and have a swimming appeal to be marketable or like the fish catching pork rind, will not sell. Keep in mind bass will not eat a dead crawdad or any prey, it must have some movement, even a slight movement provokes strikes like a Senko slowly falling with tiny movements can be deadly.

Tom

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But if you put a chunk of a floating worm ahead of you pork chunk to keep the chunk from slipping up the hook it also helps slow down the jig. The link speaks volumes to what counter balancing can do to a jig and saves me typing so easier to post then to type. Personally I have never owned that product and I have known about it since the 80's but I do take the lesson learned from the concept and use it.

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The 3/4" piece of soft plastic finesse worm is used to keep the pork trailer up into the hook bend so ithe pork doesn't foul the jig hook point. The worm piece adds scent, some color, helps the skirt to flare out and very little buoyancy, but is an important component with the old jig & pig.

What is important for any jig angler is knowing the fall rate of the jig they are fishing, so you instinctively know how deep it should be for each second it is falling down. If you don't concentrate on this factor, you will miss strikes, unless the bass is so hot it eats and runs off with it!

Tom

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Great thread. To those of you fish jigs deep by casting (not pitching/flipping)...what kind of line you favor? I've switched from Fluorocarbon to braid, but starting to think I might be missing some strike on semi-slack line.

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