Bait Jigs 101

There’s not much to them on the surface; just a hook with some lead weight around it and a stranded skirt of silicone. But bass jigs account for more fish caught each year than probably any other lure.

What is their secret? Bass jigs are so versatile in terms of presentations and what they mimic. That is, if you know how best to use them. Here’s a quick tutorial.

Ball-head jigs

Ball-head jigs are tiny, finesse jigs. They are perfect for colder conditions when the bass want something extra small. Ball-head jigs don’t weigh more than ¼-ounce and often have small skirts with fewer strands. Stick with an equally diminutive trailer, and when working them, don’t do too much. Subtle twitches while dragging slowly are best for enticing the bite.

Casting jigs

These are your most versatile jigs. The flat, wide head can be flipped, swam, skipped, stroked, dragged – whatever. And they may be the best around cover (grass, rock or wood). Typically, they fall in the ¼- to ½-ounce range. A twin-tail trailer is a great choice to give it action no matter how it’s thrown.

Football-head jigs

Need something to drag and not get hung up on a rocky bottom? The football-head jig is your jig. The bulky, football-shaped head comes over rocks and gravel like an ATV. A ½-ounce model is a great choice, but don’t be afraid to beef up to a ¾-ounce version if dragging deeper than 15 feet. As for trailers, go big with a creature or craw.

Bullet-head jigs or Swim jigs

Whether imitating shad with a white jig or bluegill with something green pumpkin, swim jigs are killer presentations year-round. The key to recognizing a swim jig is not just the shape of the head but how the eyelet comes out the front as opposed to the top like most other jigs. They are subtle, and with a soft-plastic swimbait trailer, they’re one of the easiest lures to fish, as you can just cast them out and slowly swim them back without worry of getting hung up.

 

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