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Captain Chaos II

Jig Adjustments on the Fly?

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Been out 2 times in the last week on big lakes(one night and one afternoon). I've been stubbornly sticking to fishing a jig , probably 85% of the time and the rest a moving bait of some sort. Yesterday, my buddy caught them on a texas rig out of the front of the boat but I stuck to my jigs all afternoon. (tried green jig / green trailer, black/ pumpkinseed, black/black in slightly stained water) So, this happens every year for me. I start out jiggin' heavily, don't catch bass, lose confidence and it is back to the ol texas rig or shakey head worm. The bait itself looks awesome in the water. I have Rage Tail and Net Paca chunks on various types of black and green jigs. I'd eat it if I was a bass. I did catch a few on a finesse jig in a pond this year so at least that gives me a glimmer of hope. I have not tried finesse jigs on big water yet.

I've studied enough on the boards where I think I am retrieving it correctly. Short hops, drags, jerks, pausing and shaking. How can I adjust my jiggin to make it more effective? Do big lake bass just see too many jigs from everyone throwing them? Should I try downsizing or trimming the skirt and trailer?  Any adjustment tips would be greatly appreciated.

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Sometimes the bass are more "bottom related", but at other times they seem more interested in moving lures at other levels in the water column. I would suggest mixing in other presentations: jerkbaits, Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits and maybe topwater.

8-)

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I keep 2 rods rigged year round one has a Texas Rig & the other has a Jig-N-Craw on it. I switch back and forth between the two throwing each on every piece of structure I fish.

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What size jig and how deep you fishing?

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Used 1/4 and 1/2 oz.  Mostly shallow less than 6 ft.  Up to 10 ft.

I'm gonna trim one up real good for the next time just to have a more compact offering.....just one idea.

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I am by no means a jig expert - but would like to be and have been learning from some guys who are experts.  My first question was sixe and depth, but CJ beat me to it - I think you are right on with the 1/4, the 1/2 may be too heavy for this early in the year and at that depth you are fishing.  I would suggest pulling out to about 15' and work your way in - a lot of my jig bites in the early part of the year are "on the fall" - so you might want to make sure your trailer is more boyant to slow down the fall.

Now having said all that, I ain't caught a fish all year - so take it or leave it ;)

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I keep 2 rods rigged year round one has a Texas Rig & the other has a Jig-N-Craw on it. I switch back and forth between the two throwing each on every piece of structure I fish.

Only reason I quoted this is to get you to reread it.  Very very good post and simple too. 8-)

I will also agree that the Jig isnt the miracle bait.  It does work most of the time but not always.  

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Exactly GMAN; roadwarrior nailed it, if they aint bottom related you can almost guarantee they aint hitting a jig.

I throw only 3 weights 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 with the 3/8 by far the most productive unless I'm flipping Hydrilla.

I do not buy into the theory of using the lightest weight you can get away with even in shallow water. With a jig it's all about the rate of fall which can be accomplished one of two ways; a light weight or a bulkier trailer, I prefer the bulkier trailer.

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I agree Catt.  The bulkier trailer helps more and you can cast/pitch better.  I very very rarely throw anything anymore less then 3/8oz.  If I do its 5/16.  Pretty much never 1/4.

I fish 1/2ozers alot in less then 5 fow.  Its just all in learning to adapt to the fish and the lure.  Takes time and constant fishing of a lure.

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My favorite jig rig is 1/2 oz with a Double Wide Sweet Beaver!

The GYCB Flappin' Hog as a trailer is a close second.

8-)

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So....you guys don't buy into the stubborn/stick to it all day theory.  I guess it hasn't worked for me so far......but I am stubborn at times....

Maybe I'll commit to a certain period of time and then switch up if I'm not catching em.....like an hour or two depending upon how long we are on the water.

Thanks.  Any more adjustment tips are welcome......

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i use a 3/16 almost all the time.....wow, im really light compared to you guys....

if it aint working it cant hurt to try a lighter and smaller presentation if you really wanna stay at it wiuth the jig....

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Good thread - I'm relatively new to jig fishing, but it's become one of my favorite baits.  IMO, not many things compare to the sensation of feeling a bass inhale a jig, and setting the hook into a chunk ;D

The other day I was out jigging, unsuccessfully, and I think that's exactly why I was unsuccessful: the fish weren't relating to the bottom.  I kept getting the feeling that my jig was under the fish and they weren't interested.

It's easy to believe that the jig is an answer-all bait, but as obvious as it sounds, like you guys said, it's not gonna work if it's under them and they're not looking down  ;)  

P.S. My favorite weight for my waters is 3/8 oz with either YUM chunk, GYCB Flappin' Hawg, or occasionally Uncle Josh pork chunk.

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Guest muddy

First off I have only been at this for a year, I am no expert at jiggin. I do intend to get more proficient with this. Question who thows "dressed jigs" with skirts and weed protectors. I have moved away from them finding jigs like shaky heads, round( differnt eyelet angles) and foot ball jigs with a plastic like Craws and Brush Babies lead to more sucess for me. Thats the only adjusment I have made, but mind you I have very little sxperience. I have really started catching fish, bigger fish at that using this method.

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The jigs I use are traditional (dressed). I do not trim the skirt or the weedguard, either. For the most part, I only fish 1/2 oz black, black & blue or forest green with black flakes. I vary the size of the trailer from something thin (GYCB Fat Baby Craw) all the way up to the Double Wide Sweet Beaver. Last fall and winter the Jumbo Frog was the ticket, much more productive than plastic.

8-)

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Last year was the first time I really stuck with jigs and a lot of mixing it up with 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2oz, different trailers, color schemes etc. The combo that worked best for me and built a good amount of confidence in a bait that I NEVER had any confidence in was 1/4oz green or blue/black with a GYCB Flappin Hog. Keep at it. If I can catch a bass on a jig ANYONE can!!!

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If you are confident that the fish are in that depth of water, approx. 6 ft. then stay with the 1/4 oz and possibly lighten up to a 3/16 oz. For sure trim the jig skirt slightly so that it hangs just below the hook. This is a standard for all serious jiggers and that I am. The smaller presentations are just as effective in that depth as long as the water isn't too murky. Your choice of jig and trailers are as good as it gets in my opinion. Remember that in 6 ft which is relatively shallow it is important to keep your water entry presentation as quiet as possible. Also keep your jig in the strike zone which means tight to the cover, trees grass, rocks or whatever the fish seem to be holding to at any given time. Main thing with jig majic is keep it slow and keep your mind in the game. From the time the jig touch's the water, you should try to  visualize  what your jig is doing and what you are feeling it do. This is why it is so important to have a very sensitive rod that helps you not only feel the fish hit but also lets you feel why the fish hit which to me is more important. "Time and experience in fishing will make you a wise fisherman". Can't tell you I am a wise old bird but I can tell you I'm an old bird that's been fishin a jig for 45 yrs. Bend a rod

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As mentioned before, if the bass are on the bottom, (which they should be fairly close to the bottom if your buddy was catching them with the texas rig).....I'd stick with the jig and put on a Berkley Chigger Craw on as the trailer. They cant resist the Power Bait scent once they get a good "whiff" of it.

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First let me start off by saying that I fish a jig on the bottom 90% of the time, BUT who said you have to always fish a jig on the bottom.  If I am confident that I will catch them on the jig and I am not getting the bites, I start swimming the jig.  It is a great substitute for a spinnerbait or crankbait.  I can cover the same level in the water column by swimming my jig that a shallow flat side or a spinnerbait will cover w/o having to pick up another rod.  I swim a jig a whole bunch around floating docks that are over deep water in the spring.  The females like to get under the floaters but still like to have "deep" water close by and they tend to suspend a good deal as they stage there.  Just thinking outside of the box a little  ;)

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