Jigs and How to Fish Them

From: Bass Techniques Magazine

Bass Fishermen have traditionally regarded jigs as ?expert lures?. But as BASS pros Chad and Denny Brauer know, jigs can be mastered by anyone with a little practice. Here, the Brauers share their jig fishing secrets.

Where and When to Fish Jigs

During Cold Fronts. Jigs are usually the best lures for frontal conditions. When skiers are clear and the temperature drops, bass will hold tight to cover and become inactive. They usually won't move out of their holding station to strike a fast moving bait, but they are still catchable with an accurate jig presentation.
When Bass are in Heavy Grass. Weedless jigs are tremendous lures in thick weed beds. Their weight and compact size lets them fall quickly into deeper weed beds and also enables them to drop through densely matted surface vegetation to the fish below.
When Fishing for bass at Night. Jigs are productive night fishing lures. They make clicking sounds like a live crawfish moving along the bottom, and their slow movements make them easy for a bass to locate.
Whenever you’re in Big Bass Territory. Jigs are excellent lunker bass lures. Their erratic movements make them appear very convincing to even a wary old bass.

Jig Presentations

Flipping is the best technique for presenting a jig to a bass that is tight to cover. Pitching is a useful approach any time the angler wants to present the bait tight but from a further distance away from the target.
    Shaking or dipping is a deadly method of presenting a jig in the heaviest cover, especially dense weeds. Use a heavy flipping jig for this technique. Position the boat right against the edge of the weeds and flip the jig to the edge or pocket. Shake the rod tip as the jig falls through the weeds to the more open water below.
      Swimming is an effective presentation when bass are holding on fairly shallow horizontal structures, such as spawning flats or long slow-tapering points. It is especially productive with small hair jigs for smallmouth. Cast the jig and let it sink to the bottom. Lift the rod while slowly reeling to pop the bait off of the bottom. Continue reeling while ?pumping? the rod slightly to swim the bait. Occasionally let the jig hit the bottom and stop. Pay close attention because the bite can often be subtle.

Jig Color

Jig color can make a difference. Most pros prefer dark, natural colors in cold or cool water such as black/blue, pumpkinseed, watermelon, and black/brown. ?Shock? colors such as chartreuse, and bubble gum can make the jig more visible in muddy water and may trigger strikes from sluggish bass. In warm water, while shad are active, white can be highly effective. The presentation can be fine tuned by either matching or contrasting jig trailer colors with jig colors.

Jig Tackle

A jig should be fished with a sensitive rod capable of delivering a strong hook set. For flipping and pitching, use a bait casting reel with at least 14lb test line. For casting, a medium to medium-heavy rod with 12-14 lb test should be sufficient. Light hair jigs can be fished on spinning tackle.


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