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Jig Fishing - Your Thoughts

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I was just watching the Greg Hackney video where he is flipping his Hack Attack jig, and he was talking about how a jig is different from a soft plastic. One of his points was that a jig tends to catch better fish than a soft plastic, which I think most of us agree on.

He also said that when the fish are not active and won't eat a soft plastic, he finds that if he lands a jig on their head, that fish will bite, even though that fish may not have bitten a tube, beaver, etc.

I agree with him, but I also think there are some stipulations to his theory. If you throw a jig with a trailer that has a lot of action, I think you have less of a chance to catch that fish, but a trailer such as a Flappin' Hawg or a Super Hawg might be subtle enough to entice the bite. I also think that several other factors play into this, such as season, conditions, color, retrieve, etc.

This goes back to my theory that if you are in the right place at the right time, and drop the right lure right on her head, she'll bite almost 100% of the time. But, if the conditions are less than ideal, and you drop a jig with a big, bulky, zero-action trailer right in front of her and let it sit for a while, I also think she will bite.

What are your thoughts?

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I agree with the catching bigger fish but in really cold water I think a jig with a compact trailer is a good option but I catch plenty of fish on finesse worms and small tubes in cold water dragging them like I would the jig. I agree though if you drop the bait on the fishes head and it is anything other than a negative mood it will bite a majority of the time.

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When the bite is negative I try and use a big non action trailer, but I also will mess around with the fall rate to see if I can trigger some strikes, I think alot of the jigs appeal to bigger fish is profile and subtle secondary action that you are not going to get from soft plastics (the skirt). In cold water hair jigs can not be beat, the hairy craw has the perfect profile and the right amount of flair and secondary action from both the hair and the skirt, I have caught more fish in sub 50 degree water on a back hairy craw then all other baits combined since I started tying this particular version of it.

DSC_0171.jpg

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There is a reason why I have a jig tied on a rod 100% of the time! Because it flat out catches fish all year long! And it is my favorite! LOL

Jeff

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My thoughts...

Although it is not what many have preached in the past and possibly different than many still believe today, I have found from 40 yrs of jig fishing and fishing beside some of the best in the business, that regardless of water temps, the additional bait action on the fall or with minimum movement of the rod tip, makes a bass eat faster! I think that while fishing jigs, soft plastics or other slow style bottom bumpers in cold conditions when fish are more dormant, it is the speed that the fisherman moves his bait or the speed that he covers any given piece of water that determines his bite success and not because of less action from his chosen bait. When you find fish in colder conditions, it's important to be closer to them with your presentation for a slightly longer period of time to allow them to become more aware of its presence, and any additional action of your bait will only speed up this process. In fact, once a given group of fish are disturbed by one of them getting caught, often the rest of them wake up and become more eager to eat! It's about your bait or presentation disturbing their slumber enough to get them to strike and high action baits along with a slower more diligent presentation does exactly that... again IMO.

I feel it important to look at past thought processes, types of baits that were available to the market that had no action other than what was achieved through rod tip movement. Also look at the variety of popular cold water baits that are effective. Then dissect the process to determine why. A quick example is Rattletrap style baits that can be heard from extreme distances that disturb a bass' slumber from afar only to get smashed when it arrives in front of the fish... They're alerted previously from the noise and vibration that is coming ever closer and bringing a fish out of it's slumber, then they EAT when it arrives. How fast was the action on that bait?

To the other point of jigs or soft plastics, IMO - profile, action and experience are the keys to focus on. We have a variety of rigging systems, terminal tackle and bait profiles available today that can represent a similar or the same visual as jigs. Although a jig n trailer is extremely effective in many situations, a short compact Soft Plastic rigged with a colored and pegged weight represents a similar or same presentation in most instances. The only differences between the two IMO is that a jig is more rigging friendly and a Soft Plastic rigged accordingly is a bit more weedless or snag free. There are other factors to consider, but these are the basics. The football jig and some of the newer brush jig designs are the only style jigs that might have a real advantage over a soft plastic because they drag the bottom with the trailer and hook pointing straight up toward the surface. This exact presentation is difficult to reproduce with soft plastics.

Big O

www.ragetail.com

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I haved fished jigs since 1983 and consider myself a mere novice. The attributes of the jig make it a confidence bait in cooler water. Bulk = sillouette and water displacement. Bulk = controlled fall rate, even if the jig itsel;f is 1/2 oz or more. Bulk = substance in the fish's mouth, hopefully holding it longer. It's a bait you can toss in a bale of hay and get it back. A jig mimics " alive and and easy to eat ." This is a lure worth learning to use. I'm still learning.

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Speaking strictly to fish hitting jigs when they won't other plastics......

To me, a jig is a middle of the road bait. They aren't strictly finesse baits reserved for days when fish will bit nothing, and they aren't really the best choice when a crankbait, swim jig, jerkbait etc will catch bass much faster than a jig.

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I really don't know if I agree with Hackney on jigs enticing bigger bass to bite them versus a plastic bait. I think that both presentations work in that they are both slower moving presentations attractive to bigger bass. I've seen lots of big bass taken on plastics.

On the other hand, for reactionary bites, flipping is the same. Jig or plastic I believe would get the same results.

On the other hand, I believe a jig mimics most a crawdad which I believe big bass prefer more than chasing other fish which puts crawdads tops on their list of prey to eat.

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I have caught alot of fish on jigs, and alot on plastics. I use a jig when I am around hard cover (docks, wood, rock) in spring and fall. Plastics in the weeds, and in the same places as a jig in the summer. Why? Just what has worked for me. I have caught fish in heavy weeds on a jig in summer, but it just seems like plastics produce more AND bigger. Same goes for why I fish a jig when I do.

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I have caught alot of fish on jigs, and alot on plastics. I use a jig when I am around hard cover (docks, wood, rock) in spring and fall. Plastics in the weeds, and in the same places as a jig in the summer. Why? Just what has worked for me. I have caught fish in heavy weeds on a jig in summer, but it just seems like plastics produce more AND bigger. Same goes for why I fish a jig when I do.

Good post IMO. I agree

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Jigs are one of those baits that I have been trying to figure out for a while now so reading this has given me some great insight. Thanks guys!

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I have about 50 jigs and may have caught 25 jig fish. Now on the other hand, I have caught 1000's of bass on plastics. I find it hard to put down a rage craw to pick up a jig and get half the bites. I dont believe a bass will pass on a rage craw but eat a jig very often. If i put my plastic in front a big momma, I think she'll bite it just as fast as a jig. Plus, bass hold onto plastics longer. I caught my PB 10.1 on a plastic, not to mention all 8 of my other fish over 8lbs.

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I say don't rely too much on conventional wisdom about jigs versus plastics. Everyone has fishing prejudices. I really enjoy fishing jigs more than fishing T-rigged plastics but think it's sorta dumb to have a prejudice about what you are gonna throw on a given day because one will work better than the other and you won't know which until you try it. I favor jigs when fishing rock because I get hung up less. But I've had days when they wouldn't touch a jig but would readily eat a slow falling plastic bait in the rocks. Maybe I could switch to light jigs but I'd rather throw plastics when a slow fall rate is called for. Bigger jig fish? Can't prove it by me. Maybe my jig fish have averaged larger than the fish on plastics but the fish over 7 lbs all came on plastics. Bass - just when you know you got them figured out...... you don't.

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Jigs are great, I catch mucho grande fish on jigs. I never met a saltwater fisherman that doesn't use them, we fish them pretty much the same as you would for bass. JIg tipped with a piece of squid will catch just about any thing that swims, bass have hit that too.

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This is a great discussion because for years I NEVER fished jigs because I always thought..."Why tie a jig on when the texas riged weighted plastic I have on does basically the same thing". With that being said, in the last two years alone jigs have become my go to lure.... because once I said I am fishing this lure no matter that, well it started catching fish.

In these cooling water conditions I do like the slow fall of a 3/8 once jig, especially a hair jig. WiIth that being said, I am in the place I used to be with jigs when it comes to shakey heads..... no confidence so I do not perfer them.

I would imagine though a guy who is good with a shakey head and a go to straight tail worm would readily disagree with my jig preference. I imgaine both could be dropped right in front of a dormant fish and stand a euqal chance of catching it.

I am not sure why jig would be superior to a plastic with similar action and presentation. I would throw the jig, but I could easily see a guy with a plastic catching fish while I got skunked. I think there would be plenty of days we might both get skunked depending on the weather and barometric pressure.

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If I can catch fish on a jig bite I'm going with the jig b/c of its high hook up ratio for me.

If the cover is heavy and I'm getting tired snagging on slop it's time to go to the plastic.

Often I fish a jig early in the season before the slop gets crazy heavy. I love it.

I feel if you can drop a jig or plastic on the nose of a bass it will strike as I think its the "reaction strike"

Sometimes I just can't get the jig in the heavy stuff where the bass is (switch to plastic).

When the bite gets tough, I envision their strike zone shrinking not the fact they won't bite thereby lowering your bites. Still if you drop that jig or plastic in that shrunk strike zone you will get it.

That is my whole theory on it.

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Don't make it to complicated, use the right color, size, and weight you think will catch them on both and experiment and see which ones work better. Remember bass have brains the size of a pea.

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Don't make it to complicated, use the right color, size, and weight you think will catch them on both and experiment and see which ones work better. Remember bass have brains the size of a pea.

I wonder how many of the people who keep saying "bass have brains the size of a pea" are going to be the next KVD?

I mean, it must be easy after all, the bass only have pea sized brains.

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Ya'll should try the new Alpha Jig by Perfect Strike when fishing heavy cover. I fish it in and out of trees and brush-piles all the time without ever getting hung up. It goes through heavy cover better than T-rigged plastics.

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