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Jig Fishing Questions

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What a great thread, I've fished jigs some but can't wait to try some of the info I've gathered here.

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On ‎2‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 2:06 PM, J Francho said:

Sometimes you feel it.  Sometimes you don't, but the line does something weird.  Sometimes you don't,but it stopped sinking before it got to bottom.  Feel, concentrate, and count your bait down.  Once it's down there, imagine everything the bait is doing and running into.  Anything that doesn't add up, it's probably a fish.

Reminds me of a time my brother and I were casting jigs in deep structure. No sooner had my jig went in when my line took off across the surface and all I did was stand there with my mouth open watching it. It was my brother yelling, "Swing, swing...!" that finally brought me back to Earth. Yes, it was weird.

 

Good thread.

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Jigs are great during the middle

of the day when it’s really hot and the bass are hanging out under heavy cover. Just flip a jig in heavy cover and twitch twitch boom! Make sure the trailer matches the jig color. IMO 

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This is a great thread with a ton of good info. I’ve been fishing for 30 years but this year I have really just come to appreciate how effective a jig can be. It’s a Lure I never used to use because I had no confidence in it. The lakes where I live can be tough, like 1-2 keepers and 3-4 pounds wins a 25 boat tournament tough, so it was hard to throw anything different to learn and gain confidence in it. I took my yearly trip to Guntersville with my dad this May and after the morning bite would die I would make myself throw a jig. Man did it ever make me a believer. The jig got so many bites and caught so many quality fish that I have had one tied on every day that I have gone

out since then. I learned how to use it and the jig had gone from a Lure that I wouldn’t throw to one of my confidence baits. 

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what is the head shape on a bitsy bug jig considered? For whatever reason these are the only jigs I can fish without hanging up in the ponds I throw them at. I’d like more variety and sizes of jigs, but am not totally sure what this head shape is called? Finesse flipping jig maybe? I tried ballhead jigs and it was terrible, same with footballs, so those are out of the question. 

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1 hour ago, Mike F said:

what is the head shape on a bitsy bug jig considered? For whatever reason these are the only jigs I can fish without hanging up in the ponds I throw them at. I’d like more variety and sizes of jigs, but am not totally sure what this head shape is called? Finesse flipping jig maybe? I tried ballhead jigs and it was terrible, same with footballs, so those are out of the question. 

Finesse jig. Siebert Outdoors calls it a Sniper jig.

Tom

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Good, I just ordered some of those actually! The nomenclature for jigs is confusing for a beginner because a lot of times a finesse jig is a ball head jig with a finesse cut and other times it’s something else entirely. I really like that grass/brush style head on the bitsy bugs. In your experience is it beneficial to have the line tie parallel with the hook? I feel like it is, but have not been fishing jigs long enough to form a solid opinion.

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Becoming a grownup, there can start to be fewer and fewer mysteries to think about, including ironically, sasquatch and things like this. The more experts I have been exposed to, the more certain I have become that there's not one...or any! That was a huge bummer for me. Another mystery, destroyed!

 

But this jig fishing topic is something to bring back some mystery. Although a lot if this can't be proven other than anecdotally (video is proof, yes. I'm referring to the idea that maybe you missed something that you didn't know you missed and the only way to know SOMEtimes is to set the hook...whether you actually feel anything or not!) this seems to be a rabbit hole that seems worth going down!

 

For right now, I'm casting jigs, long casts from the bank. "Swim jigs", grass jigs and arky jigs. My football heads and standups have been in their box for a long time because on MOST places I fish, they're less than ideal. I'm using 50lb braid. I'm catching fish. I know for sure that there are parts of the cast where I may not be feeling the other end because I'm doing something that isn't ideal, making these very long casts. This isn't my go-to set up but it's what I'm doing now because of the season change, trying to reach water I can't walk to access and because its a skill I am trying to improve. I have so many places I can fish that I can't even count but one particular spot, an old quarry lake, is where I'm doing this. I usually don't do this on the lakes or rivers but this quarry seems like a no-brainer and it's been working well. 

 

I'm mostly dragging an arky jig. Very slow. What other recommendations would you make or change about this setup, given what I'm trying to do? What about trying to drag a jig from the bank, uphill? Does everyone agree that a worm (specifically a big worm?), worked similarly, would be better? 

 

Thanks!

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On 11/8/2013 at 4:12 PM, WRB said:

If the bass is a largemouth they tend to engulf the jig fully into their mouth and crunch it between the tongue and top of the mouth. Look into a basses mouth and in the back on the top of the mouth are a set of crunchers used to kill prey. Largemouth use their lips to prevent prey from escaping, not usually to bite with. The tap you feel is the jig hitting the back of the bass mouth, the second tap is often the jig being spit out.

You can't set too fast on largemouth bass. Smallmouth and spots often grab a crawdad by it's claws and shake it, before taking it info the mouth, so a hesitation works OK. More than likely the bass swam directly at you and simply spit the jig without being hook well.

Better hook set will help.

Tom

Exactly what you need to understand for the timing in bites you actually feel. After a couple of fish where I felt that and set it after the second, I had some not hooked well and about as many missed. They were gone. I thought about how they eat for just a minute and decided to set fast on the first feel and the hookups were better and fish not lost. 

 

I wanted to confirm this so I asked specifically the other day. Seems this time of year is slow for comments! Luckily, I found this old thread, read every comment on it, 8 pages worth so far, and found exactly the answer I was looking for!

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On 8/9/2018 at 5:16 PM, Harold Scoggins said:

Reminds me of a time my brother and I were casting jigs in deep structure. No sooner had my jig went in when my line took off across the surface and all I did was stand there with my mouth open watching it. It was my brother yelling, "Swing, swing...!" that finally brought me back to Earth. Yes, it was weird.

 

Good thread.

This happens to me quite a bit. The biggest bass I've caught on a jig sucked it in before it hit bottom. It wasn't moving but it didn't feel right so I set the hook and it took off into overhanging brush. I had to reel up to it because ti was deep in the brush. I got close then it took off to deeper water, breaking all the limbs. Thank goodness for 30# braid.

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On 12/14/2016 at 12:26 PM, Glenn said:

19 pages loaded with information, and you want to tell somebody to go somewhere else "for the most help"?  Seriously?

YouTube has been helpful also but supplemental to this thread. I have watched videos or even experienced certain things fishing and not fully understood them, or they didn't stand out, and after a thread like this The light bulb comes on. It can work in reverse but from what I've seen, if you don't understand or haven't heard the things about jigs before, and watch a video, because of the format most of the importance of the detail will be lost on you if you even realize it was anything other than just some words. 

 

But yeah, fish, read, watch, read...watch again if you want. Keep fishing. 

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On 2/14/2018 at 2:42 PM, Lottabass said:

This is all great info.  My 2 cents worth will be short.  If you fish a jig all day and catch the five fish that you felt bite it, then you missed the other fifty that bit without you knowing it.....

Dah! Stop saying that! Ha, ha, that enough people say it isn't what's compelling about solving something like this, it's the believable experiences of people with decades of experience and visual proof and logical reasons related to bass behavior.

 

I don't know about anybody else but I fish from the bank and don't use any kind of electronics. To me, putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together and catching the fish that are supposed to be in a specific spot, with a specific technique, in specific conditions is the best part of fishing for me, any more. Jigs do get bigger bites, you can use them any where, any time and you will never have it mastered. There's still a challenge with a big payoff to it. 

 

All that said, I've been beating up all my @Siebert Outdoors jigs and jig heads this fall and catching good numbers of good fish. Their colors are great, the hooks stick 'em and I never feel like I'm wondering if I will have a good hook up. 

 

Yes, I've read all 22 pages of this post, the cited posts in this one and every page of the other years-long threads on this subject. Mostly because of the "what if?" I guess I've been turned into a little kid a week before Christmas thinking about throwing some jigs around. You can catch a few fish if you read a few pages but you're missing out if you stop there. 

 

I've gotten pretty decent at catching fish nearly any where I decide to go but I have to say, that since I've really decided to throw only jigs, the size of my average fish have gone up considerably. And for ME, this fall, I haven't gotten fewer bites that were bigger, I've actually gotten more. 

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What i would do is in the winter i would let it hit the bottom and reel it slowly like let it drag on the bottom if u see my point and when the water starts to warm up u just let it hit the bottom use it like a rubber worm. You will catch some hogs like that

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I really want to get more into jig fishing this year, so I'm looking to buy some that I can use nearly year round in most conditions just to gain some confidence and make all of the jig head and trailer options a little less complex. I'm thinking of using 3/8 oz Arky jigs with Rage Craw trailers, do you guys think that should fit my needs?

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Yes

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On 1/22/2019 at 9:50 AM, JFlynn97 said:

I really want to get more into jig fishing this year, so I'm looking to buy some that I can use nearly year round in most conditions just to gain some confidence and make all of the jig head and trailer options a little less complex. I'm thinking of using 3/8 oz Arky jigs with Rage Craw trailers, do you guys think that should fit my needs?

Absolutely. My favorite jigs.

 

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I guess if I read these all again I would, for sure, see something that would click that didn't last year.

 

Can anybody try and get more specific on the different ways that they like to affect what the jig does, or what they're presenting, other than only reduce/increase this or that? There are things that I have figured out that I could try to go into detail on to explain or I could just say use a smaller jig or, slow down, or use a different trailer. There are people who definitely know more than I do who might be able to explain some of the details in how they like to do these things. 

 

The more I use them and get familiar with all that could be done with them, the more I realize that there still is to the subject. Maybe there are some critical details a few might be willing to share in regards to these things?

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I always have a jig tied on from pre spawn to ice. I love throwing the jig for my kicker fish, to add some size to my day. Not that i haven't caught 1-2lb fish on a jig, because I absolutely have, but more often than not a fish willing to commit to the jig will be decent size. Theoretically, you use to jig to imitate crawdads, but you can also pair it up with a Paddletail and swim it, or pair it up with a beaver or creature style trailer to imitate just about everything. 

 

I found there is a very key detail to jig fishing that i don't hear many talking about, and will help you decide when to use a craw style trailer vs. anything else. Start following the moon cycle and know what phase the moon is in before you go fishing. Crawdads tend to become more active during the fuller moon phases where they can see and look for food at night. If you are trying to start jig fishing, or are just trying to get more bites, this is a more productive time to do it, though they'll work any time. 

 

There are tons of shapes and styles of jig heads, but if I had to pick one or two for a beginner it would be the casting jig, or the pitching jig (even if you don't plan on pitching). In my experience these to styles of jig have the most versatility in terms of coming through cover without getting stuck. Also, the finesse jig is a good place to start for beginners because it builds confidence. Typically, when you fish a jig as opposed to a t-rig, you downsize the amount of fish you catch in hopes of upsizing your catch size. But a finesse jig is a happy medium and lighter wire hooks will make for an easier hook set than jacking it with a 5/0 gamakatsu. 

 

Colors are simple for me, black blue, watermelon, green pumpkin. That being said I fish a black and blue jig 90% of the time I am jig fishing, but I fish a lot of stained areas. For trailers, don't stress about it too much, it's much less important than say your presentation or your placement, but get a couple with a few appendages and a more aggressive action like the Rage Craw, and a few with a dead action like the Zoom super chunk. As a rule of thumb when you believe the bass are relying more on sight than on feel you should fish a dead action trailer, and when the water is murky and you need them to feel your jig in the water pick something with a lot of action.  

 

For me, jigs really shine when they are targeted casts as opposed to being used as a search bait. take some time to learn how to pitch and flip and you will see a significant increase in bites. The vase majority of my biggest bass have been hauled in on a big ole jig and i guaruntee if you start chucking it around you'll stick your PB. 

 

Oh and I highly recommend dirty jigs, ALL of my jigging techniques. Thanks to Matt Allen from tactical bassing I converted over to them a couple year's back and they are DIRTY. Tungsten jig heads, Gamakatsu hooks, 3 layer skirt paint job and they paint the jig head to match it. I fish them EXCLUSIVELY now and refuse to tie on another jig.But that being said I got my start with the 2 dollar eagle claw jigs from walmart and I still stuck 4's and 5's on them so it doesn't super matter. 

 

tight lines

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On 4/20/2019 at 10:52 PM, Fishingintheweeds said:

I guess if I read these all again I would, for sure, see something that would click that didn't last year.

 

Can anybody try and get more specific on the different ways that they like to affect what the jig does, or what they're presenting, other than only reduce/increase this or that? There are things that I have figured out that I could try to go into detail on to explain or I could just say use a smaller jig or, slow down, or use a different trailer. There are people who definitely know more than I do who might be able to explain some of the details in how they like to do these things. 

 

The more I use them and get familiar with all that could be done with them, the more I realize that there still is to the subject. Maybe there are some critical details a few might be willing to share in regards to these things?

So, a lot like most other parts of bass fishing, don't overthink it. Stick a trailer on and forget about it. Like I said in my other reply, use trailers with more action when you think fish are relying on their lateral line (feeling vibration) and dead action trailers when they are using sight. But that being said I've caught fish doing the exact opposite. 

 

What you should put a majority of your focus into is how you are presenting your jig, not what it looks like. People Typically use these retrieves

  • Swimming- Chuck and wind almost, usually with a Paddletail on the back, but a craw can also sometimes be effective (craws swim backwards when fleeing predators so it makes more sense than you think). Works great when your bass are feeding on baitfish, or if you are using it as a search bait to locate where they could be. 
  • Dragging- I typically reserve this retrieve for my football head jigs but pitching jigs, flipping jigs, even casting jigs can work about as well. I like doing this typically on a sand or mud bottom that will stir up clouds of dirt. These dirt clouds will attract fish and will swim over curios to look at your bait. 
  • Hopping- This is probably my most common retrieve, most anglers will work it the same they would a senko which I do like to do, but when the water is warmer (70+) I like to do a double rod twitch upward retrieve sort of like a "hop" "hop" retrieve. I do this to imitate  when a crawdad is spooked they will jump straight up off the bottom of the water and then with jet off in two separate motions. hence "hop" "hop"
  • Shaking- This is really typically reserved for flipping and punching techniques. Basically just flip to a hole or a point you think a bass may be, give the rod a *shakeshake* *shakeshakeshake* pause *shake shake* and then reel in and pitch another hole. Simple but effective, just stirring up commotion. Remember to try different levels of aggression with your shakes, and in some cases, no shake at all is very effective. 

 

Try out a bunch of things to really work through an area and see what the bass are doing and what they are looking for and adjust accordingly from their. Remember, whether throwing you jigs on a spinnning set up or baitcasting, always keep a finger on the line to feel not only for subtle bites (like the bigger bass will do, one *gulp* as opposed to a *tap tap* on your line) but also to feel the structure on the bottom. Jigs are incredible for just getting a better idea of what's down there and what the fish might be doing. 

 

Keep at it and don't get frustrated. You will catch less fish typically on a jig than on a texas rig so just be prepared for that. If you are really struggling downsize your profile. Take an inch off the back of your trailer (i always trim mine so the claws or appendages begin where the skirt ends) or even pick up a finesse jig until you get more comfortable with he feeling of jigs. 

 

Tight lines

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On 2/14/2018 at 1:58 PM, bobbyg said:

I am having trouble realizing how I would feel a bass hit a jig on the initial fall unless it just hammers it or runs with it. I am thinking that when you cast the line is usually slack when it hits the water and unless you are fishing deep, it would be on the bottom before I would have my line taught. So how do you feel the initial hit if the line is slack?

It's very helpful to use yellow braid and watch watch watch your line as soon as your jig hits the water.

Lots of jig bites on the fall can't really be felt (other than it feeling weird, instead of a thump) but you can see the line move......set the hook!

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Rule #1 when fishing a jig: Don't be afraid to get stuck

 

When i first started jig fishing it was boring to me mainly because it was slow and didn't get as many bites as I would on a trick worm or lizard texas rigged but I knew it was going to get me bigger fish. So I started swimming a jig to build a little more confidence in a jig fishing. I knew I could cover more water and it would help me get more bites this way. I bought a few Dirty Jigs swim jigs and put on a Paca Craw. Tons of action. I would get bit swimming the jig past structure, log, brush pile etc and if I didn't land the fish that hit I would simply just flip it into where i got bit and just tease it till it bit. This helped me build confidence. A jig is something you don't master over night. I think people try to fish them too slow. Flip that thing up by the bank and let it hit the bottom and sit for maybe three seconds and then start hopping it through where looks to be the place you would most likely get bit once your past it swim it back to the boat and hold on, you will often get bit like this. You need to go out one day with nothing but a jig and just make yourself fish it and tinker with it until you get a bite. 

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Retrospect,

Thinking back on my bass fishing the one lure that I can't remember ever being out fished using by a partner or in a tournament is the jig.

My record speaks for itself regarding giant bass over 15 lbs so I ask myself why? Why jigs?

I love to bass fish and use everything so why jigs? 

I don't know. It could be when I tie a jig on my line my focus changes all my concentration narrows down to what the jig is doing every moment. Worms and other lures I know the bass will hold onto or strike harder then a jig so my concentration tends to wonder looking around instead of focusing every moment. Jig fishing for me is total concentration and demanding, no talking all business.

I check and feel my line every cast and check the jig for any debris or hook point sharpness every cast.

Jig strikes are the most difficult to detect requiring total consentration and that I believe is the difference between all other lures.

Tom

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Jigs can be fished at any time during the year, and they catch big bass. Many people catch their PB in early spring on a Jig. Traditional flipping-style jigs work great around brush, while football head jigs will be superior around rock and offshore humps. These style jigs are mainly dragged slowly on the bottom to imitate a crawfish. There are also swim jigs and vibrating jigs which are made to be steadily retrieved and fished horizontally to imitate baitfish/sunfish. In my opinion, a trailer is an absolute must!

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Trying to get into jig fishing and have a question about the presentation of it. Do you pretty much always need to fish it to/into structure and such? Just short flips or somewhat vertical targets? Or can you be out on a flat, fan cast around but obviously a much slower presentation? Or is is specifically a deal associated with cover? Can you jig fish from the bank or much more a boat application?

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10 hours ago, pauldconyers said:

Trying to get into jig fishing and have a question about the presentation of it. Do you pretty much always need to fish it to/into structure and such? Just short flips or somewhat vertical targets? Or can you be out on a flat, fan cast around but obviously a much slower presentation? Or is is specifically a deal associated with cover? Can you jig fish from the bank or much more a boat application?

And here lies your answer.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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