I have more jigs and jig trailers than any other bait I own. I love a good jig bite! A Jig is a year round bait but in my opinion the best times for a jig is in the spring and fall. That’s when they shine the best. And you will not lack in your choices of head designs, eye placement or skirt colors and skirt material choices either. It can daunting at times but I try to keep it simple. If I plan on working multiple types of cover, structure, and water depths throughout the day I don’t get to specific on head design; I focus more on weight and color. If however, I plan on working just one type cover or a specific type of structure; “grass for example”, then I will choose a head design that is designed specifically for that type of structure and cover (rock, wood, brush piles or grass). Please note that anytime the bass are feeding shallow a swim jig is always a great choice and frequently my first choice.
The toughest thing about Jig fishing is tuning in the right trailer size, color and action based on the mood of the fish. If I am not getting bit on a jig then the first change that I will make is with the trailer. Even if you aren’t getting bass bites you will know when you are getting close to being dialed in when you begin to get the bluegill and perch nipping at your bait. That being said here are some of my favorites; the Zoom swimming chunk, Rage Craws, chunks, and Rage grubs, Net Bait trailers, and the Yamamoto single and twin tail grubs. There are times when I will use something totally unorthodox and out of the box just to see what happens but for the most part the above are proven baits for me. When the bass are very finicky I use the Zoom swimming chunk and Yamamoto grubs to achieve more of a “Finesse” type jig presentation. The rage style baits give off a tremendous amount of vibration and action and are my first choice when the bass are feeding aggressively. The Net Baits provide me with the “in between” option of the two previous choices.
I also use the choice of trailers to achieve the desired fall rate the bass are wanting. That too can be very specific. All things equal the larger and more action a trailer has then the more resistance it has and causes the jigs to fall slower than with a zoom swimming chunk for example.
Retrieves and presentations: For me I look for three different types of jig bites: Getting bit on the fall, crawling it along the bottom, and swimming it. When I am fishing it on the bottom I prefer to use a standup style jig head because it allows the pinchers on the trailers to stand up in a vertical position. I don’t find many jigs with that type of head design so I have custom shirts made so I can get the heads I want and add the color of skirt as necessary. Other than that most of it boils down to choosing the right weight for the depth you are fishing. The deeper I go the heaver I go, etc. The smaller the jig (1/8 oz to ¼ oz) the smaller the trailer. Any time the bass are feeding shallow the swim jig is always a great choice and I go with a bluegill or shad pattern or I will go with proven color choices. What I mean by that is bass love shades of green, black/blue combinations, browns etc. The jig doesn’t always have to mimic a particular bait fish. If they are hitting a blue fleck plastic then a black and blue swim jig will work just the same etc.
By Jim Whittman, VA Outdoors member and digital contributor
Follow the discussions here http://va-outdoors.com/threads/17255-JIGS