August 25, 2015
Although the art of jig fishing for bass has been around for hundreds of years, not all anglers understand a jig's fish-catching capabilities or even how to properly use one. That's a shame because it's a known jig fishing for bass can be a big bass producer.
The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing and how it relates to the bottom and surrounding cover. There's so much going on under the water we don't see, and the more in-tune one is with their jig, the more productive they will become.
When I first started jig fishing for trophy bass, I didn't know how, where or when to use them. But after some advice from a friend, I eventually went out and forced myself to learn the bait and understand how it worked.
After I landed a nice 5-pound bass on it, I was immediately hooked. Everything from the bite to the famous "bull-whip" hook set made me love this bait. But I was still new to the game and there was a lot more to learn.
Now that I've been jig fishing for bass for several years and landing some really nice bass on jigs some fishing strategies and methods have worked better than others.
If wanting to learn more about jig fishing for bass, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind to ultimately be more successful in your jigging endeavors.
Use Multi-Colored Jigs for Success
Paying attention to detail is the most important piece of advice someone can give a new jig angler. When I started jig fishing for bass, the only color combination I knew of was black and blue. The old faithful as some call it. Comfortable with that combo, I didn't venture off to try new colors for a while. But as I began to experiment with colors, I soon realized colors could increase my catch. Reading more, I soon realized there was so much more to learn.
Determining which colors work in a specific body of water at a given time requires some trial and error. Jig fishing for bass requires some trial and error, you may not hook up first time out, so be patient. Don't be afraid to try a variety of colors, and when you find a color that works, stick with it.
Fishing is all about reading what the fish tell you and giving them what they want. I've had 5-pound bass eat the same jig year after year from the same pond because I figured out their preferred color.
Most ponds have eitherbluegill, crawdads, and sometimes even shad. These are the colors you should key in on, and match your jig color to the prey. If you can see bluegills swimming around, watch how they look during different parts of the year.
Greens mixed with blues are great for bluegill imitators, and black and blue will shine in muddy water. The more your jig looks like the real thing, the better.
Be a Line Watcher
I can't tell you how many times I've been jig fishing for bass and had a bass hits without ever feeling the bite. In fact, some of the biggest bass I've taken on jigs have picked the jig up without any bite whatsoever.
Watching your line must become second nature while jig fishing for bass, and any type of fishing off the bottom.
When you cast a jig out, either flipping or casting into open water, let the jig fall on a free spool and watch it the entire way down. A lot of times, bass will take a jig as it's falling so if you're not watching your line the whole way down, you could easily lose a fish.
Keep in mind, the lighter the jig, the slower it falls in the water column. Using a lighter jig early in the year is better as it matches the mood of the fish. Once the water warms up, a faster jig presentation works better.
When you do see a bass hit your jig on the fall, your line will suddenly jolt on top of the water. Take this as your cue to instantly engage your reel, reel up the slack, and swing for the fences.
Choose The Right Trailer
Think of the trailer as the backbone to the jig. Choosing the correct jig trailer for the application is crucial for getting more and bigger bites.
I've found tremendous success with a jig trailer in the colder months when there's often little to no action. The Gary Yamamotto craw is a perfect example of a trailer with minimal action that appeals strongly to big bass. This jig trailer comes in lots of different color combinations and has tons of salt, which allows the trailer to sink nicely and add a little flavor.
The pinchers on this bait are simple, not flashy. The bait gives off minimum vibration, which is what you want when the water is colder.
In the beginning of the year, for most parts of the country, you shouldn't be move the jig around much. I've found success with casting the jig out on key structure spots and letting it soak in one area for a while. Sitting in the same spot for hours is not uncommon.
However, when the water begins to warm up, it's a whole new ball game. The bass, along with the other fish in the lake/pond, begin to wake up and move around faster. So should your jig. I like to incorporate a couple hops, along with drags, when the water starts to warm. As it gradually warms, swimming a jig becomes a deadly presentation, too.
Using a trailer like the Netbaits Packa Chunk or Strike King's Rage Tail Craws with a lot of action works very well. These trailers offer more than enough of vibration, which allows fish to track them better in the warmer water.
Trailer color, though, isn't as important as some suggesst. I've mixed black and blue jigs with green trailers and have done very well with that combination.
Be unique with your jig and trailer combinations. The more unique you are, the more bites you will get. It's that simple.
Fish The Right Gear
When I first started jig fishing for bass, before I ever knew what a heavy or extra-heavy rod was, I was tossing jigs on a medium setup and just wasn't doing it the right way. If you want to play the game, and play it right, you need to get a heavy action or extra-heavy action rod.
Most big bass, not all, will be around some sort of heavy cover waiting for their prey to come to them. Your gear should be able to handle that situation. For jig fishing, I recommend using a heavy or extra-heavy rod for throwing jigs up to an ounce.
My choice of rod for jig fishing is a Dobyns Savvy Series 766 Flip. This rod was designed for jig fishing and heavy bass. It does an excellent job of handling big fish and allows you to wench 'em out of heavy cover exactly the places you should be throwing a jig!
I also recommend you throw your jigs on braid. In the past, I used fluorocarbon with my jigs, and I found myself breaking a lot of them off. Now I don't know about you, but I don't like losing nice baits, especially those that have caught big bass in the past.
For my jig fishing setup, I use a minimum 50-pound Power Pro braided line; 65 pound if you are flipping around heavy wood all day or punching heavy vegetation. Heavy braid will not stretch, so when you crack down on a bass you'll get maximum hook penetration.
Using a high gear ratio is recommended for jig fishing, also. Try using a 7:1 gear ratio reel for throwing jigs. With a faster gear rated reel, you are able to pick up a lot of line quicker in case a bass hits the jig on the fall.
Also, flipping into heavy cover requires a lot of work and having a fast gear rated reel allows you to make dozens of flips in shorter amounts of time by allowing your line to be picked up quicker.
By incorporating these tips into your fishing habits, you will start to become a better jig fisherman, reaping the rewards for years to come.