BASICS OF BASS FISHING WITH JIGS   Leave a comment

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Bass fishing with jigs is a tried and true technique for the bass angler with a boat. Shore anglers are beginning to use more with success by fan casting. There are a number of types of jigs on the market.

The little finesse jig with its smaller profile are popular. Some people think that the only place you can use them is in clear water situations or rocky lakes. They work well in stained water as well. It is just a smaller profile jig with thinner wire hook and weed guard. The finesse jig requires lighter line. Anglers usually add a small crawfish or small chunk. Staying with basic colors of brown, pumpkin or green/pumpkin enhances the natural look of a jig. Because crawfish are a basic food for bass, the trailer helps to make the jig appear like one. Staying with the 1/4 ounce to half-ounce size it is possible to go with 3/8 ounce is best.

Bigger jigs that have been popular for years still work. Some people call them Bubba jigs. The best technique in the summer is to punch the jigs through the grass in 8 to 15 feet of water. One usually uses a one and one quarter ounce jig with a big craw on it. This rig has proven itself year after year.

Many people lack confidence in the jig as a bait. Pros recommend that one stick with the basic colors of black, blue, brown and pumpkin. It is good to try to develop a feel for the jig whenever you go fishing. Confidence is a key to jig fishing. If you lack confidence, the only way you will get it is by using the jig. You might not get a whole lot of bites the first time. However, if you just experiment and keep trying eventually you will have a day with a bunch of bites. That builds your confidence. You have to develop a feel for it.

When fishing in grass, use the jig on braided line. If fishing in wood or grass then the fluorocarbon line is best. It is a lot more sensitive than monofilament line. Swim the jig around wood type cover. Many people too often fish the jig only on the bottom. If fishing a lay down in a river, try using a 3/8th ounce jig and not let it hit the bottom. Just swim it through the branches. Fish like to suspend in such areas. The urge is to throw into the branches, allow the jig to fall to the bottom and then bring it back to the boat. Keep it swimming through the branches for those suspended fish.

Larger jigs have more buoyancy than the smaller profile jig. You can also put a larger craw on it. Some people tight line a jig. They do not let the jig fall naturally. When fishing a jig on the bottom toss it to the bottom by allowing a slack line. Do not lose contact with the jig. It will fall more naturally than letting it fall with a tight line. If you feel something heavy on the line set the hook. If hoping it immediately releases more line to the jig. The idea is to let the jig fall naturally. It comes with practice. Sometimes fish just want the jig on the bottom. If that is the plan then do not use a lot or rod movement. Crawl the jig along the bottom.

If you are not having any success with that bring the rod from the nine o’clock position to 12 o’clock and hop it. If the fish really want it way up off the bottom then you can continue to a 3 o’clock position. It is a reaction strike and it is something you just have to play with to see if they want one on the bottom or higher up.

Another technique is swimming the jig around boat docks. Many times after the spawn, fish will suspend around boat docks. Target the foam. Look for the dock or marina that has foam around it. Use a light jig because the fish are feeding on shad. Fish the jig like a spinnerbait around that stuff. You just cast up there and hop it back with a swimming action. Keep the jig just under the water as you would a spinnerbait working boat docks.

If fishing a chunk or craw on the back of the jig, try adding a rattle for sound. It can really make a difference. If one takes a Rattleback jig and shakes it in his hand it makes a lot of noise. However, if you put it in the water it does not really make a whole lot of noise. If you put the rattle in the plastic trailer, it makes a lot of noise due to the movement of the plastic.

Another change in a jig is to create a small profile jig by trimming the skirt. You can vary the weight of a jig by thinning the trailer or skirt. It is possible to take a half-ounce jig and make a 3/8 ounce jig out of it by trimming the skirt and thinning the trailer. Trim the skirt about a half inch below the hook.

In cooler weather, stay with dark colors. In hot weather, move to the light color jigs and skirts. Although browns are good, the pumpkin colors work well in summer. Pumpkin/green and watermelon work well in the summer.

Black/brown/amber catches fish in summer. Camo jigs will work in summer.

The jig is a popular lure. One can use it throughout the year. It really shines in the cooler months. You can fish it from a half foot of water to 30 foot deep. In summation, if you want to be an above average angler it is a bit of tackle that you really need to add to your arsenal.

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