Jig fishing tips and techniques from the Ladies
Jig fishing tips and techniques
This article shares jig fishing tips and techniques. Jigs are a simple but very effective lure that will catch just about every freshwater and saltwater species.
There is evidence pointing to the jig as being the first artificial fishing lure. A jig is basically a hook with some type of weight near the eye and a plastic tail or hair dressing. The lure is retrieved using a twitch and pause. This causes the jig to hop up then fall seductively through the water column. That is how it gets its name. Jigs can imitate both bait fish and crustaceans such as shrimp and crabs.
Jigs come in countless sizes, shapes, and colors. However, there are two basic styles. There is the jig and grub combo and buck tail style jigs. Both have their advantages. Jigs also come in numerous weights and lengths. Heavier jigs allow anglers to fish deeper water. As in all fishing, the jigs should match the available forage.
Jig and grub fishing techniques
The jig and grub is very versatile. With this system, anglers purchase the jig head in the plastic body separately. This allows for constant changing of colors and lengths as well as styles. This is a very productive system that works well anywhere on the planet.
Here on the Gulf Coast of Florida where I fish, the jig and grub is the most popular artificial lure. One quarter ounce jig heads are the most popular as the water is fairly shallow. Anglers fishing deeper water or places were current is present will need heavier jig heads. Red, white, and chartreuse are three of the more popular jig head colors.
Soft plastic tails are used with the jig. These also come in endless styles and colors. Shad tail, curly tail, paddle tail, and jerk worm styles all produce. While there are many different varieties, they all imitate either a bait fish or a crustacean of some sort. A jig head with a shad tail body is probably the most commonly used combination.
Shad tails and curly tail grubs have a great built in action. The tails look very natural when they are moving through the water. Curly tails are more popular in fresh water while shad tails are the choice in salt. Paddle tails and jerk worms require the action to be imparted by the angler.
Fishing with hair jigs
Hair jigs are also very popular. Buck tail jigs were the original types used and were made from dear hair. They are still available and are still very effective. Freshwater anglers have used marabou hair on their jigs for decades. It has great action but does not hold up as well as buck tail does. Synthetic care jigs have become very popular in the last 10 or 15 years. They work well and are more durable than some of the other dressings.
Ladies jig fishing catch just about every species on the planet. A jig can be used to mimic just about any type of forged that a fish feeds on. There are also several different techniques that anglers jig fishing use to be productive. Jigs can be cast, vertically fished, and trolled.
Vertically fishing with jigs is effective
Ladies jig fishing using a vertical presentation catch a lot of fish. This technique is very easy to master. Vertical jigging is done in deeper water. The jig is simply dropped down to the bottom and then the lure is worked vertically. This action, where it hops up and falls naturally, is an excellent presentation. I do this often on my fishing charters in the passes. Clients do not even have to be able to cast to catch fish.
This is often done from a drifting boat. Drifting allows anglers to cover a lot of water efficiently. No time is wasted as the bait spends the entire time in the strike zone. Most fish are found on or near the bottom. Anglers can also use a trolling motor to work a drop off or other structure.
Freshwater anglers have been employing this technique for decades. Bass, walleye, striped bass, trout, and really any species that holds on deeper structure can be caught using this approach. However, it is not practical in shallow water as the boat will spook the fish.
Casting jigs for success
Most fish caught on jigs are done so by anglers casting jigs. This is the most effective technique when fishing water ten feet deep or less. The jig is cast out, allowed to sink, and then worked back to the boat. The most productive retrieve is usually one where the jig is worked near the bottom.
However, as with all lure fishing, the retrieve should be varied until a productive pattern emerges. At times a steady retrieve will produce well. When fish are working on the surface, a fast, erratic retrieve will usually work the best.
The jig and grub combo is by far the most popular lure along the southeast coastal United States. Anglers from Virginia to Texas use these baits to fool a variety of species. The low cost and versatility of the jig and grub combo makes them an easy choice.
Speckled trout are arguable the most popular inshore Gulf species. The jig and grub is well suited to target trout. Most specks are found over submerged grass beds in 4′ to 10′ of water. Jigs cast and retrieved over these grass flats produce trout, reds, and other species. I find them especially productive I cooler water.
Live bait fishing with jigs
Jigs can also e used in conjunction with live bait. This is a long proven technique in both fresh and salt water. In Florida where I guide, we often add a piece of shrimp to the lure. We call this “tipping the jig”. It can really make the difference when the water is cold or dirty. The extra scent helps the fish find the bait.
The jig and minnow has been producing fish for freshwater anglers for a long time. A marabou jig with a small minnow hooked through the lips is a terrific combination. The lure bait combo is deadly when slowly bounced along bottom structure. It can be cast out or vertically fished.
Trolling with jigs is a productive technique
Ladies jig fishing also do well when trolling. I grew up in fishing the Chesapeake Bay. Anglers trolling white buck tail jigs for striped bass achieve success. Bluefish and other species will take a trolled jig. The primary issue when trolling jigs is to make sure the lure does not spin, which will cause line twist.
Freshwater anglers recognize the value of trolling jigs as well. Crappie fisherman have mastered this technique. A small jig trolled over submerged structure is deadly on these largest members of the panfish family. Anglers use long, specially designed rods to present multiple baits out in a spread.
There are many lure manufacturers out there. They are will produce fish when presented properly. My personal favorite line of baits in from Bass Assassin. They make a wide variety of baits and colors that cover every angling application, from pan fish to salt water.
Scented jigs are very effective fishing lures
Scented soft plastic baits have become very popular, and with good reason. These baits produce for ladies jig fishing! The Gulp! Line of baits is the industry leader, in my opinion. The Gulp! Shrimp has produced many fish for me and my clients over the years. Freshwater anglers experience similar results. They do cost a little bit more money, but on days when the bite is tough, they can make all of the difference.
My favorite freshwater jig is the Blakemore Road Runner. This unique little bait not only is a jig, but also has a spinner blade offset on the head. The extra flash can be deadly in the dark, tannin stained Florida water. It is a great bait when cast out but is a deadly trolling lure, especially for crappie and walleye.
In closing, I hope this article on jig fishing tips and techniques inspire you to give the simple jig a try!