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Preytorien

Hair jigs in spring/summer?

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I have some really nice hair jigs I use for fall smallmouth fishing. 

Was wondering if anyone had used hair jigs in spring and summer with any kind of luck for largemouth - and if so, how you fished them?

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I throw traditional hair jigs in the spring a ton around here - my #1 bait while the water is still cold. I don't throw them near as much in the summer because other baits become as (or more) effective in many cases, but I will use the larger giant hair jigs that are designed to imitate shad for open water structure fishing. Both Bassmaster and FLW have recently posted videos on fishing the latter bait. Here is a great post by smalljaw67 on fishing the more traditional hair jig in cooler water (spring/fall/winter):

 

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CJ designed these for ledge fishing:

 

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This topic comes up every now and again and I'll explain how I do it. I've been tying hair and fishing with it close to 20 years and here is what I've found during that time. Hair is used in cold water because the cold water has little to no affect on the movement like how it use to make older soft plastic baits stiff and it even slows down silicone, but that is a good thing. Anyway, bucktail is uses a lot because when tied right, the profile it produces is a perfect match for a minnow, and the only movement comes from the very tips of the hair and it mimics the small movements of tail fins during that time. The same hair will work in warm water, but I find other presentation are better,, jigs made with rubber and silicone offer a larger profile at a time when the bass' metabolism is at its highest and every other fish as well so the fish are conditioned to seeing things move faster. I have a few bodies of water that I fish which have springs undground and they typically keep the water cooler in summer and the water is clear, rabbit hair jigs work well there in summer as does marabou so hair that has more movement would generally be better, even craft fur works.  When I started tying and got to the point I was doing well with my hair jigs, I got on a kick where that was all I fished for 2 years and it is when I learned that I have much better results from late winter to mid spring and again in mid to late fall. If you have clear or lightly stained water you can fish a hair jig, or if you want to try the preacher type jigs that are being used for ledge fishing they will also work, but if you watch some of the guys that are good at the preacher jig, most will say that they fish the schools of fish they marked with cranks, jigs and worms before going to the hair as the smaller fish tend to be the ones that hit that during the summer, KVD, JT.Kenny, and Jacob wheeler all seem to agree that the hair jig is the last thing they throw if they know there are more fish in the area and can't get them to hit anything else. As it was mentioned in a post a long while ago, there is no rule that says you can't throw the hair in warm water or that it doesn't work because it does work, but other presentations will give you higher percentage of success, you just have to decide if you want to take the time and try a hair jig or keep them for use during the period they are most effective.

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They still work just as well as they do when the water is cold. The only piece that may come into play is the amount of vegetation. Our lakes tend to get quite weedy during the summer so I tend to opt for swimjigs to combat them. If your lakes are mostly clear rock/sand oriented lakes with little to no weed growth I don't see why I wouldn't throw them.

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The reason hair jigs are not popular with the general fishing public is they do not have sale appeal, no glitter and few colors, they appear very bland. I don't use hair jigs with soft plastic trailers very often, prefer living rubber or silicone skirts. I do fish hair jigs year around under all conditions with pork rind trailers and there lies the biggest reason they are unpopular.

When anglers think of hair jigs small 1/8 to 1/4 oz jigs come to mind. Recently heavier 1/2 to 1 oz white hair jigs have become popular because of success from tournament anglers ledge fishing Tennessee lakes and catching big bass feeding on larger baitfish.

Why do big bass like hair jigs?

Several reasons; life like movement , texture and natural colors that don't give off anything negative. Anglers tend to look at lures like hair jigs and want action with lots of movement and don't see what they are looking. I grew up fishing hair jigs with pork trailers and know what to look for. Pork swims as it falls down through the water column with slow natural movement and so does the hair. When the jig hits bottom the pork floats upright and the hair flares and to bass watching the jig look life like resulting in a strike. When the bass has the hair jig with pork trailer it taste and feel life like giving the angler time to set the hook.

The only way you will ever know how good hair jigs can be is fish them. Unfortunately today very few good quality hair jigs are available commercially and fewer sources for good high floatation soft pork trailers.

Tom

 

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I use a Gapen Crawfish jig all summer tipped with a little piece of crawler.Smallies tear it up.

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Not a hair jig but I am working on a few drop shot rabbit zonker leech patterns to try this summer. Undecided on how to finish the head.

Black Zonker Leech.jpg

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