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ETX92

Tell me about swim jigs

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I want to start fishing swim jigs more because they seem like an effective way to cover water faster. I know lots of people that catch them good on them but I just have not fished them much and have had limited success when I do. A few questions I have:

 

Do you do better on swim jigs when the bass are keyed in on a particular kind of forage or during a certain time of year? What kind of cover do you typically throw a swim jig around?

 

What jig do you prefer and why? What size do you typically throw? What trailer do you like?

 

 

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Warmer weather for me. Usually summertime. I like a 1/4 oz with a rage craw, or 1/2 oz with a rage lobster. Swim it, pop it etc. 

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I haven’t been throwing them very long but I’ve had good success when I have. I use @Siebert Outdoors jigs, www.siebertoutdoors.com 

grab a couple, and get some trailers, I like boot tail swimbaits, but you can use anything you want. 

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I like swimjigs from spring through fall. Bluegill is the primary forage in many of the lakes I fish so a swimjig with a kietech fat impact makes an awesome imitator. It's a little more natural than a spinnerbait so I have confidence in it from muddy water (although I prefer a bladed jig in really dirty water) to really clear, and you can fish them through pretty much any cover you want. I personally like the eco pro tungsten sick boy's. I use 1/4 to 1/2 oz depending on the profile I want (I'll pair the 4.8 kietech with the 1/2 oz) and how deep I am fishing. There's really no wrong way to fish them, but try and make contact with cover if you can almost like a crankbait. 

 

I use the sick boy's because they are tungsten to stay in accordance with the MA lead law, but if you don't have to worry about that then there are some other great choices out there. My favorite one for grass is the lethal weapon IV, very pointed profile, thin weed gaurd, will come through almost any grass but not as great around wood since the weedgaurd compresses easily, and the hook is pretty light wire. For wood or heavy cover the dirty jigs no-jack swimjig is a good choice. A MUCH heavier weedguard and hook, you can absolutely nail them on the hookset fishing straight 50lb braid. 

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They are a year round bait for me.

 

I like 1/4 oz. for shallow work, 3/8's oz for fishing over the top and through grass in 5-10 feet of water,, and 1/2 oz for fishing the edges, or over the top of deeper grass.

 

I keep color selection simple. Bluegill pattern  home made jig (green pumpkin skirt, with a few strands of blue, orange and chart.) with a green pumpkin trailers for most situations. I'll dip the tail of the trailer in chart dye in stained water. I like a thin skirt. No more than 35-40 strands. And I cut it so that it lays pretty flat along the body when swimming and will minimally flair when paused. The skirt on a swim jig is for color, not action. They are biting the trailer.

 

Not a huge shad forage base around here, so I don't use white much. I also don't use black and blue in a swimjig much either, as it seems if the conditions call for black and blue, I have better luck with a chatterbait than a subtle swimjig.

 

Trailer selection for me is simple. In cold water I use a single tail trailer, like a curly tail grub, boot tail bait like a swim senko/rage swimmer/etc...In warmer water I use a double tail trailer like a Yum christie craw/rage craw/etc....The double tail trailers also are my go-to trailers around grass. They provide "lift" and will keep the jig up and ticking along the tops of the grass instead of bogging down in it. In ultra clear water "lift" is also important too....you want to keep that bait closer to the surface where it's harder for the fish to get a great look at it, as it's often a blur when hidden by waves, and surface chop. If they are going to bite a swim jig , they will come up and get it. If you get it down to them and they get a good look at it, your success rate goes down.

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So when the water gets fairly stained, a chatterbait would probably be a better choice than the swim jig for more vibration? 

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1 minute ago, ETX92 said:

So when the water gets fairly stained, a chatterbait would probably be a better choice than the swim jig for more vibration? 

In my exp. and opinion....yes. But that's just how it works for me around here. 

 

Also, a chatterbait will not come through hard cover as well as a swim jig, nor is it as versatile. I make my swim jigs out of a head that can also be pitched/flipped into cover and be effective in that role as well. I catch a lot of fish by first pitching that jig under a dock, or piece of cover, and if I get no bites, swimming it back to the boat. I also use it to cover lots of water between targets, or probing over the top of vast grass beds.

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6 hours ago, ETX92 said:

 

Do you do better on swim jigs when the bass are keyed in on a particular kind of forage or during a certain time of year?

 

What kind of cover do you typically throw a swim jig around?

 

What jig do you prefer and why?

 

What size do you typically throw?

 

What trailer do you like?

 

 

First I'll say that my swim jig selections differ between LMB & SMB. (mostly a profile size deal)

 For LMB I really like the 6th Sense Divine Swimjig.  Does it all for me.  It's a decent size profile, a Large stout hook & killer patterns.  

No automatic alt text available.

https://www.6thsenselures.com/swimjig

 

I'm using 3/8's 75% of the time and 1/2's the rest.

Usually choose a  single or twin tail grub, Menace or boot tail type trailer and prefer to present these bait's around any shallow to mid-depth cover.

Much of the time, I'm keeping these moving along at a decent clip and covering the upper portion of the water column.   

Holding the rod tip up and 'shaking it' on the retrieve has accounted for a few as well.

 

5acd57263b083_SMBSwimjig3.jpg.013522325318b1a387c47bb19b74c006.jpg

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

 

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WW2 and A-Jay nailed it! I really don't have much to add.

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I will throw a swim jig any time and anywhere and any type of weather and water temperature. I prefer a 5/16oz swim jig and a 3/8oz flip & swim jig, 95% of all of my jigs are North Star Custom Baits jigs.   Swim jigs work well in any situation, you can fish them in grass, timber, rocks, open water etc..

 

I will just adjust my trailer size and style for water temp/time of year.  I use anything from a single tail grub  to a dual tail grub, a swimming senko, soft bodied swim baits, creature style baits...etc  There really is no wrong type of trailer to use.  You can fish them super slow(dragging across the bottom) to burning them along in the water.

 

In my opinion there really isn't a wrong way or right way to fish a swim jig...

 

Keep the color selection simple, my main colors are white, black and blue, a blue gill type color(I really like New Gill), watermelon red flake and sexy shad.

 

As for line I prefer fluorocarbon in 10lbs and a 7' plus rod medium heavy with a moderate fast action(my rod of choice is a 7' 2" MH/R action rod from Daiwa) and a high speed reel.

 

As for when fishing stained water I will use a soft bodied swim bait like a Reaction Innovation skinny dipper as they create quite a thump...

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There really isn't a bad time to throw swim jigs. The lake I fish has mostly minnows for forage and they will hit a swim jig better than a spinner bait. For trailers I mostly go with rage menace or a swim bait of some variety. As far as cover, the only cover I have in my lake is heavy weeds so throw them around edges. I try to keep them light, no more than 3/8 oz, sometimes 1/4 if I'm fishing shallow because the trailer adds weight. The name of the jig doesn't matter as much as where the eye of the jig is. I like the eye to be forward of the jig like in A-Jay's pics but in honesty, any jig could be a swim jig. No hard and fast rules really. 

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Very good info thanks for all the replies! Sounds like I just need to fish them more often and stick with them. My confidence is a soft plastic but I’ve gotta start covering water faster and then fish plastics once I find them, it takes forever to flip everything eliminating water.

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I'm glad you asked this question, I wanted to start throwing swim jigs myself

 

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I swim all my jigs. I throw "swim" jigs (pointed head) when I'm fishing around grass

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 Are  the Sixth Sense Divine swim jigs   lead or tungsten  material.   I have to comply with the no lead regulations also.

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33 minutes ago, bass crazy said:

 Are  the Sixth Sense Divine swim jigs   lead or tungsten  material.   I have to comply with the no lead regulations also.

I believe they are lead. Pretty much any jig that does not explicitly state what it is made of will be lead. Check out the eco pro tungsten sick boy's though. They are reasonably priced for tungsten jigs makes me feel better about the lead law. 

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Swim jigs are my go to lure for clear water and grass. Love the 6th sense swim jigs down here in south florida and always have one tied on. I always use 1/2 oz with 15lb flouro and 7.1:1 reel and control the depth with speed of retrieve and rod angle. Bluegill fire is my color of choice since we have bluegill, mayan cichlids, talapia, and oscars down here. 

 

84699238-579_F-4_CAE-9_B97-200_A0_DDDC83

 

A swim jig is basically is a jig with a vertical line tie and a head that comes to a point to get through grass without getting hung up. They are very subtle and perfect for clear water presentations where bass hunt primarily using their sight. The action comes from the trailer that you choose and the pulsations from the skirt. 

 

My favorite trailer is a keitech type fat swimbait which has a wide swing. This tail thump gives the skirt a subtle pulsating action that mimics gill movement. I also like using a rage menace grub. I trim the skirts just behind the hook. I mostly use a straight retrieve and let the trailer impart the action. Ill give the rod a slight jerk every once in a while or rip it out of grass. As for colors keep it simple. I try to match the hatch. Anything that matches bluegill, shad, or your local forage will work. 

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In NH we have the same law.  I have converted all my lead weights, but am not there with jigs yet.  While it is the law, authorities tell me that jigs were an unintended consequence as birds (loons) don't invest them.......I suspect it's  just a matter of time

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2 minutes ago, NHBull said:

In NH we have the same law.  I have converted all my lead weights, but am not there with jigs yet.  While it is the law, authorities tell me that jigs were an unintended consequence as birds (loons) don't invest them.......I suspect it's  just a matter of time

Yea the wording of the MA law is so vague and cryptic that unless you have lead split shots or unpainted lead weights lying around I doubt they could truly ever cite you for it. The whole point of the law is to save loons so bass jigs are not an issue, but I like to comply as much as I can. All my weights, and regular jigs and jig heads I converted, but stuff like spinnerbaits, bladed jigs, and underspins I have not since I believe they fall (or could be argued so) outside the law. For smaller weighted hooks I also got tungsten but there are just certain parts of the market that literally do not have non-lead options yet, so for stuff like owner beast hooks I wrap them in lead wire as weight. If a loon tries eating a 12/0 owner beast hook then I say let natural selection take it's course lol. 

 

Really the proper way to write the law would be to specify size as well as weight, maybe 1.5" including skirts, trailers, etc or something. 

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I love throwing swim jigs, a lot of times if the water is dirty I opt for a chatterbait or something like that, I will throw it at just about anything, I generally go with a swimbait type trailer but will occasionally go with a craw or chunk of some sort. as far as weights I generally throw a 3/8's ounce swim jig, and My prefered swim jig is Nates Custom Baits hybrid-skirt Swim jig. 

 

- James

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ww2farmer nailed it. but i will add that for me the weight is more of a speed deal than a depth deal. All my swim jig fishing is in fairly shallow water, so weight = speed. if the fish want it fast i use a 1/2oz (this is most of the time in warmer water). i get a lot of reaction strikes ripping the heavier jig and can cover a lot of water. if the fish want slow and subtle i go lighter.

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 Thanks    that's is what I figured if the description does not say specifically the material then it is lead. Maine also has a no lead law.  At least if we gear up for the no lead we are ready to fish in three states.

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21 hours ago, ETX92 said:

So when the water gets fairly stained, a chatterbait would probably be a better choice than the swim jig for more vibration? 

Stained...no, muddy....yes. In stained water (1ft.-3-ft. visibility) a jig and trailer in a dark or contrasting color will produce about the same and sometimes better than a Chatterbait. In muddy water, I'd opt for something completely different, but that's just me. I don't have a lot of confidence in bladed jigs.

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