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Jig Fishing Questions

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i just remember the nzme of the gentleman that did the film of the bass taking the crankbait in, glen lau. i would also guess that glen has viewed more big bass up close and personal than the rest of us.

bo

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What you call cast/drag, I call horizontal jigging; casting a jig like you would a T-rigged plastic worm. The difference is a T-rigged plastic worm floats off the bottom slightly and the hook isn't molded onto the weight.

When a bass strikes a T-rigged worm, the weight can slide away from the worm and a bass will hold onto the worm or swallow the worm given enough slack line. A jig different, the weight is molded onto the hook and covers about 1/3rd of the hook shank, so the weight goes into the basses mouth all the way back to the crunchers and the bass then clamps down onto the jig. The jig doesn't feel right and out it goes! The bigger the bass is, the quicker it is rejected. It doesn't matter if the bass is in Texas, California or anywhere else, the bigger the bass, the more difficult it is to get a hook set. What is different in California is our gin clear water and small size lakes in SoCal, Nor Cal the lakes are larger, the water off color and good cover, more like bass water across the country.

I logged my first 100 DD bass in '73 and stopped fishing with live bait and bed fishing in '71, both personal choices and have strong commitment to fish lures for bass. I have been blessed to catch several FLMB over 15 lbs on jigs and 2 that exceed theTexas state record; 19.3 & 18.6, both on jigs. For me it has been very challenging to catch DD bass on jigs and have spent well over 40 years trying to detect the very suttle strikes. So we have very different experiences. I have had a few freight train strikes on jigs, 2 that I can recall. Most strikes are a light tick, some are nothing, like the jig line was cut off...you must stay focused!

Tom

PS; night bass fishing is very different, most jig strikes at night are aggressive and easy to detect!

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tom

sometimes the bite at night can be where you get that nice tick everytime, but that is not often. most of my big bass at night are nothing bites. a lot of them, just the pressure of the line, as the jig is falling or swinging will change. that is why i say that most people never even know that just happened to them. especially when anyone is holding the rod behind the reel or even palming to some extent. holding the rod in front of the reel with the line under the thumb or between thumb and index finger like you do, gives anyone much better feel. also, when holding the rood in front of the reel, you have the weight of the reel behind you hand to help provide speed and leverage in setting the hook.

bo

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95% of all my biggest bass, have been on jigs, and I can say, that I felt a hit on all of them, except maybe one or two. I mostly fish jigs "horizontally", and always feel a thwack, especially when swimming a jig. Must be peoples' diferent styles of fishing for sucess one way or the other. Not saying I don't miss hits, because I know I have, and I'm sure I'll miss some more.

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My night bass fishing is limited due to the fact our small local trophy bass lakes were closed to fishing from 7:30 PM to 6:30 AM year around, no night fishing! This changed back in 1995 and the lakes were at the end of the boom period of big bass. The only way you could fish was during a charity tournament the first few years, then the tournaments expanded to about 6 events a year during the summer months; start time 8 PM to 1 AM.

My first night tournament I caught 58 lbs for 5 bass, all on jigs, it was like fishing a private lake the bass were stupid and very aggressive! That all changed as the bass became educated to night fishing, but they are still more aggressive at night then the day time and tend to be up in 3' to 15' of water. May be I should have fished deeper to 35' and probably missed some big bass by fishing too shallow! Deeper bass are a lot more difficult to feel the strike for several reasons, mostly water pressure creating more line drag.

The advantage at night is your senses are heightened and sense of feel is sharp because you can't see very well, a tick becomes a thump!

I know for a fact that most bass anglers miss strikes from big bass often. I have taken out some very skilled bass tournament anglers to teach them how to fish a casting jig and watched nearly all of those anglers miss strikes.

Tom

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Another Classic Thread and Joe S.

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If your jig setup closely resembles this image or profile... chances are you're going to feel the bite ;) This is always the basic look and angle that I try to produce when fishing Jig n Craws. I rarely fish a Jig at much more than a SLOW pace, trying to touch every inch of the bottom between where it lands on the cast all the way to the boat, with several pauses along the way to invite the confrontation. If there is a drop into the channel or deeper water, let it fall on a slack line and watch your line for a pause or small jump prior to hitting the bottom. I most often fish down the slope toward deeper water allowing the jig to fall over each step on the way or parallel the structure at a certain depth after the fish have signaled their preferred depth. Many of the seemingly insignificant steps or drops are often where it happens so take your time.

For those of you who are having a hard time feeling a jig bite, there are many factors involved to provide more sensitivity, especially the rod, the rod angle in relation to the waters surface and keeping as much bow out of your line as possible. This gives you as much feel or more direct contact to your bait as possible. Don't be afraid to go BIG... Slightly heavier jigs, line with less stretch and shorter casts will improve your sensitivity substantially. Avoid crosswinds when at all possible and make your casts WITH or directly INTO the wind for improving your ability to feel the bite.

basscrawstandoff.jpg

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I love jigs

I can tell you that a fish can inhale and exhale a bait faster than you ever could react. When I was guiding people learning to fish nymphs on a fly rod I often had them set the hook at random times just to prove this point. I cant tell you how many hundreds of trout I have hooked on a nymph where there was never even the slightest detection of a strike on a 100% drag free czech style drift with 5x fluorocarbon.

Fish mouth stuff just to see what it is. Theyre like a kid with no hands.

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Jigs are great winter time baits.  Just slow down!

 

Jeff

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One of the most telling video's I saw was KVD fishing cranks on Hook and Look. Multiple times the bass would inhale the crankbait and KVD felt nothing. This was a moving bait, jig bites would be even harder to detect, and the last I checked KVD was a pretty good fisherman.

 

With that said, Big O is making some great suggestions on improving bite detection. The saying "hook sets are free" holds very true for jigs. If you feel or see anything odd, set the hook.

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Jigs are great winter time baits.  Just slow down!

 

Jeff

My winter isn't like your winter.  As I've mentioned before I'm not a bass jig & trailer fisherman, but I've been using them the last 2 days.  Yesterday was ok 4-5 in about 75 minutes, not great but ok.  Today I struggled for close to an hour with about 3 fish, then it dawned on me.....a fish is a fish and  how is it different than a snook, I started to swim my jigs with a wavering motion like I do for snook.   It took a few minutes to get comfortable with my cadence,  then I was on fire, didn't count but there could have been 12 -15 fish landed over the next 45 minutes quite a few 4-5 #.  All this in a 1/4 mile stretch of a canal on foot.  

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I've been enjoying the Nichols 1/2 oz watermelon red jig with a sweet mama in watermelon red trailer. 

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Amazing post from some of the best fisherman out there. Seeing how they differ in opinion is great, shows that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Take what you want from each and make your own way. I learned how to jig fish from this forum and always have one tied on and usually fish it more than anything else. I would love to fish with Big O, Cat, and WRB. These three have told countless tales and tips to help the everyday fisherman for years on this forum.  They each have their own style, each fish a different part of the lake or different part of the country. Each learned from trial and error on what works from them. This discussion shed more light on jig fishing than most could learn in a lifetime of weekend fishing. Thank you all for your contributions to this post and please add more.

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I'm new to jig fishing, one of my goals this year is to be come better at it and be able to throw them with confidence. Right now, I'm not there by any stretch.

 

One question I do have is this - what makes you decide between a finesse style jig vs. a a normal casting/flipping jig? Are you supposed to fish a finesse jig in a different manner vs. a normal jig (other then just lighter line/rod action)? I noticed on most finesse jigs, the skirt flares out at the head of the jig, where most normal jigs it's flush. Not sure why that is ...

 

When i'm not in my kayak on the river, I'm usually fishing from the bank on my local lakes/ponds in no more then 6 feet of water. My gut is telling me I should be throwing a finesse style jig for a more subtle presentation, but I'm not sure. They're not heavily pressured lakes/ponds.

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The reason a finesse jig flares at that top is it causes the skirt to fold back and slow the fall rate of the jig. Finesse jigs are built for tough conditions and feeding strikes vs reaction strikes.

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When is proper time to use a jig? Well jigs are a very good choice for all times of the year. In the winter i like a football jig crawled over rocks, in the prespawn i will swim jigs around shallow grass but will also flip them around docks and grass. They are great for skippin docks in the summer and I also love to use them around vegitation and matted grass. i like to use jigs in the 3/8, 1/2 and 3/4 oz sizes. then in the fall i will look for harder cover like wood or any living vegitation.

 

How do you work the lure? you can pop jigs through grass, crawl football jigs around rock, but i usually just pick the jig up and drop it for most applictions. I catch probably 40% of my fish on jigs and they are very deadly at all times of the year. you can also swim jigs arund shallow grass and ocationally jerk it during the retreive.

 

Trailers are required they add action and bulk to the jig but you will haveto experiment with sizes and styles to find what you prefer. i like more action in the summer and less in the spring winter and fall. My favorite trailers are SK rage craws, Berkley chigger craws and Sk chunks for my non swiming jigs. for my swimming jigs i like grubs and rage tail craws.

 

i hope this is helpfull!

 

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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i like flipping jigs for most applications. But when you get cold fronts and colder water temps which slow down the fish i will go with the finesse jig.

Fish this type of jig slower with longer pauses and less agresive pops adn you will be sucsesfull. But just experiment with both of them to gain confidence. 

 

I'm new to jig fishing, one of my goals this year is to be come better at it and be able to throw them with confidence. Right now, I'm not there by any stretch.

 

One question I do have is this - what makes you decide between a finesse style jig vs. a a normal casting/flipping jig? Are you supposed to fish a finesse jig in a different manner vs. a normal jig (other then just lighter line/rod action)? I noticed on most finesse jigs, the skirt flares out at the head of the jig, where most normal jigs it's flush. Not sure why that is ...

 

When i'm not in my kayak on the river, I'm usually fishing from the bank on my local lakes/ponds in no more then 6 feet of water. My gut is telling me I should be throwing a finesse style jig for a more subtle presentation, but I'm not sure. They're not heavily pressured lakes/ponds.

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Do you have a max weight jig per certain lb test?

 

Example is you have 12lb test on your reel, do you not throw over a 3/8 or 1/2 oz?

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Do you have a max weight jig per certain lb test?

 

Example is you have 12lb test on your reel, do you not throw over a 3/8 or 1/2 oz?

Kind of. It's more of one of those situations that if you are fishing an area that requires a heavier jig weight you are already using heavier line. i.e punching grass, pitching brush, etc. 

 

As long as you aren't using a dud of a line, 12lb (i'm assuming fluoro) would be fine for open water or light cover 3/8 and 1/2oz jigs but i would prefer and use 15lb for those situations. 15 will be a better choice for more moderate cover as well.

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Do you have a max weight jig per certain lb test?

 

Example is you have 12lb test on your reel, do you not throw over a 3/8 or 1/2 oz?

 

If I'm throwing a light jig, I won't use a heavy fluoro.  That's sort of the opposite of what you asked.

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I have 12lb flouro and hybrid on most reels

 

1 reel with 50lb braid and 1 with 65

 

I have jigs ranging up to finesse?? to 1.5 oz. 

 

I fish mainly with the 12lb test fluoro reel on MH rods

 

The rods I have seem to max out at 1oz and feel a bit overpowered with some of the heavier jigs with trailers, I will step it up to a Heavy powered rod shortly

 

 

Ill probably stick to the 3/8th and under on them then until I beef up the line and gear. Thanks 

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I've just read this entire thread and first and foremost I need to say thank you to all the experienced anglers. This thread is perfect for new guys and has made decide to dedicate myself to jig fishing. Hit or miss, I'll give it my best and hopefully learn along the way.

 

I have a stupid question. If I'm fishing a jig with a trailer (let's say a Strike King Craw) can I leave the bait on the jig and use it over and over or should I remove it or use only one per "session".

 

Thanks for a fantastic site and advice.

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For the last several weeks I'm using 1 outfit about 95% of the time for my Florida canal fishing, Med 7' 8/17 spinning rod with 12# Supercast line.  It's been working well and with the water dropping weeds and slop are coming more into play.

If the jig is not damaged I don't see any reason to discard it.

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joe I really liked your write up. I have been fishing jigs for over 60 yrs over 90% of my fishing is with either a jig or a plastic worm. Only difference between you and me is I throw lighter jigs in the spring when the fish are running on the channel banks. All the way down to 3/16 on 10 lb mono. I use mono on everything because I can detect line wear real easy. Here on Lake of the Ozark's that is a something you need to do a lot because you fish over dock hardware such as steel cables and beam a awful lot.

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