• Chip Romanovich

Three Jig Fishing Tips To Help You Catch More Bass

By #91 Chip Romanovich

Indianapolis Knights - Three Jig Fishing Tips To Help You Catch More Bass

It’s one of the best baits you have in your tackle box. It is versatile – maybe the most versatile lure you

own. It has arguably caught more bass, big bass, than any other lure throughout the recent history of

bass fishing. It is intimidating to some, confusing to others, and misunderstood by many. If you do use it, odds are good you may only throw it in the spring or fall, or when the water is cold, and the air temperature is frigid.

“It” is a jig, and if you don’t have one tied on every time out, you’re missing a great opportunity to put fish to your boat. The jig is, simply, a great bait. It can be thrown in and around cover, on the edge of grass lines, around and under docks, in deep or shallow water, and along rip rap and bridges. There’s really not a bad place to toss a jig.

So, why doesn’t everyone throw this awesome fish-catching bait? There are a few reasons, such as a

surge in new baits in the marketplace, familiarity and confidence in other baits, and changing fishing

styles – specifically the move toward fast fishing and covering as much water as possible. If you take the time fish a jig, and you fish it properly, odds are good that you’ll be rewarded with more bites, more fish, and best of all – bigger fish.

Here are three tips to help you become a successful jig fisherman. They may seem simple or obvious,

but hopefully,3 they’ll give you an idea or two, or at least jog your memory of when you used to throw a

jig much more often than you probably do now.

TIP #1

Although using a jig is almost a fool-proof option, you can improve your chances of catching more and

bigger fish by matching the right jib combinations, i.e., the jig itself and the trailer you attach. The best choice of a jig should be determined by where you’re going to be fishing the jig. If you’re tossing a jig into heavy cover, such as a brush pile, laydowns, or rocks or rip rap, a heftier jig is my first choice – although I rarely throw anything more than half-ounce. When I’m fishing this “heavyweight” jig, I like a bulkier trailer, one that together with the jig, will present a meatier option to the bass. Especially in warmer water, I really like a bigger presentation for largemouth hunkered down in thick cover. I’ll pair a larger jig with a craw-type trailer with big pinchers, or a creature bait to create a sense

of bulk.

In dirtier, or more stained water, my first choice is a black, or black and blue jig, with a matching trailer.

In clearer water, I prefer more natural or earthy colors, such as brown or green jig, or a combination of

those colors.

In early spring, or very cold water, try a smaller jig, with a smaller trailer to match. I’ve found this compact bait combination works well just about anywhere when the bass are finicky or recovering from

post-frontal conditions. I really like this smaller presentation around docks when it’s cold, but it can be a

winning combination in most areas around the lake.

I like to keep the trailer the same color, or very close to the same color, as the jig you’re pairing up with.

A brown jig, with a green pumpkin trailer, is a deadly combination – just as a black jig with a black and

blue-fleck craw is any time of year.

TIP #2

Once you’ve selected the right jig, it’s very important to use the right equipment. I’m usually not a fan of

reading about “sponsored” rod and reel combinations, but it does make a difference when you’re

throwing a jig. Rod selection, in particular, plays a large role in the complete jig package. Much like fishing a worm on the bottom, you need a stiff, heavy-action rod that gives you a solid hookset. Although you’re not trying to jerk the jig out of the fish’s mouth, you do want to drive your hook home, and that’s hard to do with a softer rod. When I’m throwing any jig, no matter the size, my favorite rod is a 7-foot heavy, fast action rod. I find that combination perfect for casting and also setting the hook.

Line selection is also important in jig fishing, and often where you’re fishing will determine the best line choice. Whenever I can, I like to use a lighter-test line. I think a thinner line offers you advantages over heavier line, from easier casting to a more hidden appearance for the fish, to allowing the lure’s action to be lifelike and less “held down” by the line.

If I’m throwing a jig anywhere around a grass line, then I’m very comfortable using an 8- or 10-pound weight line. If I’m tossing a jig around any type of structure, such as docks, trees, stumps, or thick brush, then I’ll go to a larger line – maybe 12- to 14-pound test. I’m a firm believer that lighter line is better. There are a couple of notable exceptions to using a lighter line … if you’re pitching a jig into lily pads, thick vegetation, or heavy grass mats, you may want to go with braid. But again, I always go lighter – nothing heavier than 30-pound braid; that size of braid is plenty tough enough to pull a bass out of thick pads, or heavy vegetation, and there is a visible difference between 30-pound braid and 50-pound braid. One thing to note here … while I think a 7-foot rod is best as a rule, along with lighter line, it’s important you use what’s most comfortable for you. If you’re not used to a stout rod, or you’re a believer in heavier line, then by all means use what you’re most comfortable using. For some, that may be a 6-foot 6-inch medium action rod, with 14-pound test. For others, that may be using a spinning reel with a 6-pound test line – whatever you’re comfortable with usually equates to confidence. And, confidence is key to any kind of fishing, but especially so in jig fishing.

TIP #3

Just throw it! Hop it, twitch it, drag it, or pull it up and let it fall – use it and you’ll find success. I prefer to fish a jig just like I fish a worm on the bottom … I hop it along. I’ve seen others drag it slowly back to them, and then others like to lift the rod up and let the jig float down to the bottom. There’s really no wrong retrieve when jig fishing; try them all and find one that suits your style and comfort level. I encourage you to practice using a variety of techniques, and once you catch a fish or two, you’ll develop your own favorite way to fish a jig. Jigs are effective in shallow and deep waters, around a variety of cover and structure.

It sounds simple, and it really is – there’s not really a wrong way to fish a jig. Remember … it’s one of the best baits you have in your tackle box. It is versatile – maybe the most versatile lure you own. It has arguably caught more bass, big bass, than any other lure throughout the recent history of bass fishing.

It just needs you to fish it!


Indianapolis Knights Chip Romanovich

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