Everyone knows the jigs catch bass. But there are so many types of jig that it can be intimidating to get to know this powerful bait. It’s worth the effort though. Few baits will bring home as many trophy fish. Even fewer will perform as consistently as a good jig in the hands of an experienced angler.
We’ll work through some of the basics, as well as going over where to fish, and what to expect from the bass you want to bring home.
Choosing Your Setup:
Like any bait, you should put some thought into which jig you use. Trailer baits and your line of choice can also impact your success. Don’t skimp out on the details and you’ll be rewarded for your persistence.
Type of Jig:
There are many types of jig. Usually, they’re labeled for their intended use. Some jigs perform well in grassy waters, they have a more extensive weed guard and are less likely to catch.
Flipping jigs are a good choice in heavy branch cover since the flipping motion will prevent snags. Flipping jigs also escape snags better than most baits.
If you already know that you tend to bring home more fish with a rattler, there are rattling jigs. There are also silent jigs with minimal action. If you aren’t sure what the fish in your area respond to, get some of both.
The name of the game here is matching your jig to the environment. Bass love cover. They’ll hang out near sunken logs, in tangles of branches, and in with grassy aquatic plants. All that cover is a recipe for snagged bait and broken line.
It’s a good idea to have a variety of jigs so you know that you’re prepared to meet lake conditions every time you go out.
Color is another major factor in bringing home fish. The bass have to think your jig is food, not some bright distraction, or they won’t bite.
Knowing the lake you intend to fish can be a big help picking colors, but it isn’t entirely necessary. Lookup what other fish live at the same location. The colors of those fish, specifically their fry, is a good starting point for picking jig colors.
Does the lake have lots of other food sources? Are your bass accustomed to picking off crawdads and other small prey animals? What colors do your bass associate with food?
You should also pay attention to what colors are likely to be visible. Blue and black jigs are old faithful choices because they are visible in most water conditions, but they aren’t the only highly visible colors.
Browns, greens, and dull pumpkin oranges are all good choices. Most jigs are a combination of at least 2 colors. Try jigs with similar colors and jigs with very different colors. Over time you’ll learn which ones the local fish respond to, and how their preferred colors change with the seasons.
Picking Your Line:
Because bass tend to hang out in covered areas, where your bait is most likely to snag, it’s important to have a durable line. Otherwise, you’re more likely to leave your bait in the drink than bring home some fish.
We prefer braided line since it’s a little stronger than monofilament and gives a little more play when you’re caught in a snag.
Braided line is also slightly more visible, which is an advantage in bass fishing. Bass like to bite on jigs as they sink through the water. But often those bites are soft and tentative. You can hook the fish, but only if you’re watching the line, you won’t be able to feel the bite in your rod.
Go for high-strength lines. 65lbs durability is a great option, not because the fish will fight that hard (although trophy fish might), but because you will snag occasionally, and that durability makes it easier to get your baits back.
Fishing a jig by itself will bring home bass. Trailers aren’t strictly necessary if you’re a casual angler or looking for a quiet afternoon at the lake.
But, a good trailer on your jig will increase its effectiveness. Try to match your trailer to your jig. Quiet, low action, jigs want quiet, low action, trailers. The same goes for high action jigs and everything in between.
Fortunately, the color of your trailer is less important than the color of your jig. Even if the local bait shop only has neon pink crawdad trailers in stock the day you plan your trip you can make them work.
More important is matching the trailer to the type of food available in your lake of choice. If the bass in that lake are likely to be munching on minnows and other baitfish, your trailer should match that shape. If they have easy access to crawdads or water bugs, go with one of those.
Salty trailers can be more effective than flavored trailers when it comes to bass fishing. Powerbait and heavily scented trailers work best on farm-raised fish that were raised eating flavored dough food.
That’s why you can sometimes catch stocked trout with those baits.
Bass are less likely to be farm-raised, so add flavor with salt, a key nutrient, and you’re good to go.
Where to Fish:
If you’re looking at this article you probably already have a fishing lake or two in mind, but even the best lake will only have fish in some areas. Here’s how you find them.