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Fishing Jigs for smallmouth

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Now I have some smaller jigs that I plan on using next year. But how big would you guys go up in jig size? The place that I fish that some of you have heard me speak about before is a nice size creek that flows into Erie. Smallmouth are huge that come up creek. They take 7" powerworms with ease. So I'm wondering if a nice size 3/8 jig or even a 1/2 could land me a monster. Just looking for different options besides tubes and powerworms. The creek has some nice flat rock and gravel bottoms that I think would be great to fish a jig and craw on.

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For whatever reason, smallmouth seem to have a preference for hair jigs as opposed to rubber or silicone. Try both and see what works best for you.

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For whatever reason, smallmouth seem to have a preference for hair jigs as opposed to rubber or silicone. Try both and see what works best for you.

Heard that somewhere as well.

RW do you have any preference as far as the hair jigs go? Roadrunners? Or just a plain balljighead with a hair skirt?

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I don't have a preference, but I will share a trick that will improve your fishing about 300%...

If you can find ANY crawdad, under rocks or in the gullet of a fish, match that color combination and size with your jig and trailer. Surprisingly, crawdads have a multitude of color schemes and change with water conditions and season. Other colors will still work, but if you can match the local dad population, you have struck gold!

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This past year anyway....the crayfish are mostly a dark olive color. Thanks for the tip. Simple advice that can make a huge difference.  :)

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Guest btlva

RW speaks the truth, hair jigs just work better than silicone for smallmouth, don't know why. From November thru March hair jigs are about the only thing I'll throw for river smallies. For some reason solid black or black/blue works best where I fish. Most people seem to favor light browns and olives. Use the lightest jig that will hold on bottom, heavier jigs tend to sink and slide into crevices easier and get hung up constantly.

I buy 1/8-1/4oz jigheads and then paint them and tie em myself. I will often go through many, many jigs in a day due to snags (even with a light jig) so it's a little cheaper that way. I like to tip with a zoom tiny chunk or similar trailer. tight lines

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It's the profile,not the weight.A bulky profiled jig(like most 1/2 oz.)works fine for me.I have caught smallmouth on 3/4 oz. as well(I was fishing 30 ft. deep).Go with a 3/8 oz. if the river isn't deep and you want a larger profile.Sure,you can also adjust your fall rate and whatnot.I still prefer a tube.

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I often use a 1/8 to 1/4 oz jig w/ good results. A few tricks, most jigs have alot of strands in the skirt, I thin the skirt out then trim it shorter, to the back of the hook. I also use a much smaller profile trailer, my favorite is a Zoom Ultra Vibe trailer.

I mostly use this type of jig in clear water situations.

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Color and thickness of the skirt depend on water clarity and temp. Hare jigs are the way to go for water below 40 degrees. For warmer water the jig weight, color and thickness of the skirt all depend on the conditions. If fishing cooler water (45-60 degrees) I use a lighter weight like 1/4oz but for a reaction bite I use 1/2oz in 3' water. Water clarity determines what color and thickness of the skirts I use for jigs. For clear water I like a small profile jig like the Eakins Jewel with a small trailer in a natural color. Stained water I still use natural colors but I will either move up to a full skirt jig or add a larger trailer to the Eakins jig. Muddy water I only use a solid black jig and trailer with a micromunch skirt because it gives me the largest profile.

Allen

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Tru-Tungsten makes some very nice jigs that can give you some added weight without added bulk.  I use them in many East TN rivers with current where there are some big bruiser smallies with excellent results.  I've gone up to 3/4 oz. in swift water situations when fishing eddies and shoals.  Dont know exactly how much or how little current you're dealing with, but the tungsten does offer a fantastic solution when you want to maintain a smaller size and still fish current!

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Tru-Tungsten makes some very nice jigs that can give you some added weight without added bulk. I use them in many East TN rivers with current where there are some big bruiser smallies with excellent results. I've gone up to 3/4 oz. in swift water situations when fishing eddies and shoals. Dont know exactly how much or how little current you're dealing with, but the tungsten does offer a fantastic solution when you want to maintain a smaller size and still fish current!

It depends on the spot. There are places were there isn't even a ripple and than there are places where you get in the whitewater and everything in between. Its pretty neat actually to have all these different situations on one fishing creek. I catch smallies in all of those situations. Probably mostly going to be fishing shakey heads in the calmer parts. Seems like the smallies like the look of something digging into the gravel. Most of my luck in the rapids as weird as it may seem has been power worms 7" weightless. Tossing them upstream in the rapids and letting them float down as been a "big" smallie producers for me. Like I said though.........wanting to get as many techniques down as possible. I don't want to get stunk on just one or two presentations.

If you look in my avatar picture.......this is the creek that I fish. That spot behind me is a big smallie spot. Up a bit is where the rapids are.........they then dump out into this calmer part of the creek. The creek is made up of different kinds of rock beds and shale. They love it.

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Most any jig will do for smallies, the main thing i like to do is keep the profile down. I dont like a huge trailer because a smallie is more apt to short strike and miss your hook.   I have had great luck on anything earth tone and my size of choice is 3/8 oz skinny bear jigs.

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Bitsy Bugs and Bitsy Flips with swimming chunks do well here. They look fantastic on the fall around bluffs.

i agree this is all i use, the tiny ones.....get em for 99 cents!!!

they are the best,. just let me sit, and then jump them, like a scared crawdad....

caught about 5 bass over 2.2 lbs on jigs this year in the river alone

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Find yourslef a spider jib made by gizit i belive ..i used it today it was my first time serious jig fishing and caught 3 wich i dont think is to bad for a first time...Trust me on this jig let me know if it works for you

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Find yourslef a spider jib made by gizit i belive ..i used it today it was my first time serious jig fishing and caught 3 wich i dont think is to bad for a first time...Trust me on this jig let me know if it works for you

there real good.....but you gotta get the weight right

the ones i use that have soft plastic are made by cabin creek baits.....sold in 2 parts....and together singles for 1.79

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The ones i used are made by a company called GitZit they have a website and sell them cheaper on there then they do at wal-mart

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The ones i used are made by a company called GitZit they have a website and sell them cheaper on there then they do at wal-mart

I'm sure that the shipping is a killer though.

They sell Gitzits at Dicks for pretty cheap and I don't have to pay the shipping.

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I haven't heard anyone say swim jigs.  I fish a large river system with lots of backwaters, and it is a lot different style of smallmouth fishing i'm sure..when the smallies spawn out they are on current breaks in backwater sloughs all the time. I like to throw a 1/4 oz dark colored swim jig- usually trying to mimmick a bluegill- behind stumps..The thump from a smallmouth on a swim jig is amazing.

I agree that hair jigs are an extremely deadly technique. My biggest limit ever was caught yesterday using hair jigs for 19-1/4 lbs of smallies, you can read about it under tournament or outing. Although hair jigs work, I catch really nice smallies flipping wood and cut banks with silicone jigs all the time. One time I was fishing a lily pad field with a frog and tearing up the largemouth..I turned around and there was a sand flat behind me with 5 ft of water on it, and I could see the bottom. (this is extremely uncommon in the Mississippi river) it didn't take long before I saw a bunch of smallies cruising so I started dragging a jig with a paca chunk over this expansive flat. I caught a bunch of 2-2-1/2 lbers doing this. That was one spectacular thing. The coolest part was its way out in the middle of nowhere, and it's also on my gps for next ear! ;D

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Funny you say that youngbassmaster, I fish a lake that has a river flowing in and it pushes water out onto this 25 acre sand flat with 2-4 feet on it. To the right is a large lily field that you can crush largemouth on, and if you turn around and fish the flat swimming a jig or burning a trap you load the boat with smallies. Hundreds of miles away, same areas, and same results. lol

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huh, that's cool.

Funny thing about summer and current in a place where both largemouth and smallmouth inhabit the waters....They are never far apart...Whether I'm fishing grass, slop edges, lily pads, sand, or even main channel wing dams in the summer, you're always looking at a chance to catch a mix. I have caught smallies out of pads and slop...as I said the most fun is when they are sitting behind stumps in current. That is also a mixed fish deal..

The fish on the left is a 17" ~ 3 lb fish, and the fish on the right is a 19-1/2" smallie (only around 3 lbs because it was spawned out)

both were caught behind the stumps..Just shows that smallmouth and largemouth are definitely cousins... ;D sometimes we forget here on the river, when all the smallies are on the main channel on sand drops in deep water, and the largemouth are completely seperated and in the backwaters. You can never catch a mix in the same area this time of year here. Ok done rambling now  ;D

Bigmix.jpg

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What about head design? Is there any type that are less prone to snagging in boulders,rock or any other hard bottom.Ive givin a few types a try but it always seem to come back to whats the bottom like.

Just lookin for info on making jig fishing more user friendly!

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What about head design? Is there any type that are less prone to snagging in boulders,rock or any other hard bottom.Ive givin a few types a try but it always seem to come back to whats the bottom like.

Just lookin for info on making jig fishing more user friendly!

Have you tried a football jig yet?  That's one of my first choices around rocks.  Another good one is one that Yamamoto makes - the hula grub jig.  I fish those two jigs almost exclusively over the rocks on St. Clair and Erie and they both do real well.

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I'll back that up, I LOVE football head jigs! The football is such a versatile design as it allows you to fish all sorts of conditions. About the only time you don't want it is in thick cover and that said, I just got back from fishing football head jigs on Fork so they'll even get the job done in cover.  ;)

Anyway, here is the football head jig I use: http://dirtyjigstackle.com/products.php?cat=41

Whenever I can get away with it I'll use the finesse football as the lighter hook allows for lighter line and in turn, more bites!

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