A Guide To Jig Fishing
What is jig fishing? The practice of jig fishing is one that many experienced anglers swear by. Jig fishing is capable of reeling in huge bass, walleye, northern pike, and so many more. If you’ve never been jig fishing, check out this guide to see how this technique could elevate your fishing game!
What is a Jig?
A jig is a type of fishing lure that is typically composed of a lead sinker, a molded hook, and some sort of soft material like hair or feathers to attract fish.
The jig head is usually made of lead which creates a heavy lure with a hook molded to it. The hook shank length depends on what bait you plan to use, with shorter hooks being best for minnows and longer hooks being best for worms or grubs. When choosing the color of your jig head, keep in mind the environment in which you are fishing and the clarity of the water. Black or brown heads are fine for clear water, but you’ll want to use bright or even fluorescent colors when the water is dark or murky.
Arguably, the most important decision when choosing a jig head is the weight. Based on the water depth and type of fish you plan to catch, it’s important to choose a weight that will allow your jig to sink deep enough, but not so heavy that it sinks too rapidly. The ideal jig weight is anywhere between 3/8 and 1/2 ounce.
Most jig bodies are made of rubber or silicone. These also come in a wide array of shapes and colors, including some animal shapes like lizards and insects. Bait itself, like minnows or leeches, can also be used as the jig body. The body usually includes a barbed collar to hold the soft plastic or live baits in place.
Dressing a Jig
The last element of the jig is the soft material that attracts fish. Jigs can be dressed with a wide variety of materials including hair, feathers, soft plastics, and more. Many jigs, especially for freshwater fishing, include a weed guard to protect against the brush.
Tips for Success When Jig Fishing
- Make Short, Jerky Motions
When jigging, the most popular technique is to allow the jig to float to the bottom, then jerk your rod quickly, only a short distance, and then allowing it to float back to the bottom. You can do this vertically or horizontally. Vertical jigging is often best in deeper waters.
- Watch Your Line
An important thing to know about jig fishing is it’s not for anglers who prefer to sit back and relax. Jigging requires a lot of focus and attention to achieve the best results. Oftentimes when you cast your jig and it slowly sinks, fish can take the jig without you even feeling a pull. This means it’s important to always be watching your line because you never know when a big bass will come by.
- Use Heavy Action Gear
Jig fishing is most successful when using heavy action fishing rods due to the weight and environment they’re often used in. Bass are one of the most popular fish to catch with jigs and they like to take shelter in thick brush and heavy weeds. Heavy action gear allows you to handle this rough terrain and catch bass like a pro.
Your Questions Answered
Okay, so you’re ready to go jig fishing but you have some more questions:
Should I Wear Performance Fishing Apparel?
Yes! People often forget about the importance of wearing performance fishing shirts when you plan to spend hours on the water in the heat, rain, or cold. The fishing apparel you choose ultimately affects your performance and health. Long sleeve fishing shirts should have UV protection, moisture-wicking, anti-odor, quick-dry, and ventilated features. You should also have fishing shorts with multiple deep pockets, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking, and stain-resistant fabrics. Sun protection is extremely important, especially if you fish frequently.