Fly Fishing,    Planning,    Perfect Fishing Days,    Fly Fishing for Beginners

How to Fish Jigs - Excellent Tips for Great Fishing

By Paul Watson 1/24/2017 5 minutes

Many professional anglers rank jigs as the best choice among man-made fishing lures. A wide variety of species are attracted to jigs in nearly every type of habitat and water condition. Jig performance, with the possible exception of floating jigs, is obtained by skillful weighting and shaping.

Proper weighting is accomplished by melting steel substances into a liquid base. The base is then poured into a mold to form the collar and head. The majority of jig heads are made with lead which gives weight to the man-made lure. Another common steel product for weighting jigs is tungsten, which is heavier than lead and is considered eco-friendly.

Jig design is relatively uncomplicated and can be found in a wide array of weights, colors and shapes.  Design is driven by anticipated use. Exact angling ranges from 1/100thoz for ice fishing, to 2oz for muskies and stripers. The most prominent weight sizes for freshwater fishing are 3/8, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64ounces.

Fishing with Jigs


Jig Hooks


The most preferred hooks used on jigs are the light cord Aberdeen or solid cable O'Shaughnessy. Jig hooks are bent on the shank before the eye at around 60 to 90 levels. The bend of the hook establishes, with certainty, the eye position on the jig along with the flow pattern toward the water. The size of the hook shank has variable applications; brief shanks are mostly utilized for real-time minnows while longer shanks are used for setting up lizard bodies, tubes, worm or soft plastic grubs.

In addition, the hook cord diameter needs to be taken into account. Light wire hooks are often used for fishing around cribs as well as brush piles, because they bend and draw out when snagged. They are also a superb option when angling for soft-mouthed crappies and panfish, because light cable easily punctures upon contact and results in fast collection.

When luring out north pike or bass from rough or slim locations, strong cord hooks perform well. Typical jig hook colors include gold, black and bronze. Recently, shades of red have been added to the list, advertised as hemorrhaging hooks or blood.



Jig Collars

The jig collar is located straight behind the head. Barbed collars often include a small hook used to accommodate soft plastic bait while also securing it from slippage. Various other collar designs have wire owners or screw locks to hold baits. Straight collars are used to attach on the jig or tie dressings like tinsel, hair, plumes, silicone skirts and living rubber.
Jig Color Styles

Before selecting a jig head shade, think about the fishing conditions you are likely to encounter. For example, do you anticipate the water to be clear, dark or discolored? Since choosing the most productive jig head can depend upon a variety of factors, they are available in different textures and colors, including metal, fluorescent, all-natural, radiance coatings, and two tones.

When stocking your jig box, start with a few standard colors such as white, black, brown, yellow, red and pink for clear or stained water. I find that fluorescent green, chartreuse, glow and orange work well in dark water. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades until you discover the best color for each particular day.

Jig Weights

The most important variable in choosing a jig is its weight. Before deciding on the optimal weight, both water depth and fish species need to be taken into account. Other significant factors include estimated wind speed and water speed. In order for the jig to reach the desired depth, its weight must be properly balanced so it travels through the water at a fairly even speed. If the jig is over weighted, it tends to drop too rapidly to the bottom, a problem since most fish favor a steady, downward, drifting motion.

In most circumstances I recommend using 1/8oz per each 10 feet of water. If you are fishing in fast river currents, more weight may be required to reach your desired depth. Wind speed can yield the same effect as water currents by enhancing the line as well as the lure's water resistance, making it more difficult to achieve the depth you seek.

Recommended jig weight standard for each species:

· Crappies and panfish 1/32-- 1/16-- 1/8oz

· Salmon and also river trout 1/16-- 1/8-- 1/4oz

· Bass as well as walleyes 1/16-- 1/8-- 3/8-- 1/2oz

· Muskies as well as northern pike 3/4-- 1-- 1 1/2oz

· Stripers as well as lake trout 3/4-- 1-- 1 1/2-- 2oz



Jigs Dressed

Jigs are embellished by including feathers, hair, soft plastic, tinsel, rubber skirts or silicone to the molded hook shank. While colorful and eye catching, the embellishments and total mass are designed to lessen the rate of descent, replicating natural foragers like minnows, leeches, crawfish, and amphibians.

Bass Jigs


Bass jigs or flipping jigs are popular lures for small and largemouth bass. Bass jigs consist of an inconspicuous, stand-up, head design ranging from 1/8oz. to 3/4oz. Lighter weights best facilitate jig fishing smallmouths. Heavier weights are used for luring largemouth bass out of the weeds. They may also be ideal for “turning,” a process where an underhand jig toss is used to reach a specifically desired location.

The majority of all bass jigs will include some type of weed guard (plastic or fiber hairs) together with an inner rattle. Typically, the body dress is a living rubber skirt or silicone which is tied with hair. As the jig enters the water, the dressing will vibrate and shake as it hops along the bottom. To replicate a crawfish's claws, a split tail trailer is a widely used addition to the bass jig.

Soft Plastic Dressed Jigs

The inclusion of soft plastic jig bodies results in a wide array of choices for anglers. The selection range includes fragrance, shade, type and shape. Imitators include reapers, grubs, tubes, worms, crawfish, reptiles, minnows and leeches.

By far, the curly tail grub is the most preferred choice when fishing a jig-and-plastic combination. This presentation is effective for freshwater sporting game fish, rolled or straight fetched. Certain tail vibrations become attractors as they bear a resemblance to baitfish. Another strategy is to employ short-snapped split tails and hop them along the bottom where they imitate crawfish.

Jigs attached with reaper tails resemble leeches in the water. A paddle tail's subtle action on minnow bodies resembles a baitfish once retrieved. Several new, soft, plastic lures have been transformed by incorporating the jig head right into the bait's body, making the bait look and feel more natural once the fish strikes. These fresh, soft, plastic lures, holographic shades and life-like patterns mimic the flash and  practical look of baitfish.

Live Lure Jigs

At certain times during the year, fishing with real-time, lure jigs can be problematic, especially as the water temperature decreases. Colder water lowers the metabolic rate of fish. This tends to make them sluggish and reluctant to pursue fast moving lures. Rigging techniques for real-time lures are simple, and frequently involves hooking the leeches, worms, minnows, and lures through the snout or head.

Final Thoughts


Jigs can be a very efficient angling presentation when the right set up (jig, line, reel and rod) is used. Unlike a line spinner or spoon, when a fish strikes the lure will hook itself. A jig bite is frequently very light because the fish inhales the lure once the jig is swimming towards the bottom.

To differentiate strikes, jigs should be fished with a pole that is rigid and sensitive, yet has enough flex to cast the jig together with the lightest line that conditions might require. Keeping the line tight will aid you in feeling the bite as soon as the jig comes down. Many expert anglers utilize the angling line as a strike sign. When the jig comes down, they enjoy the small twitches on the line while slowing a strike, or if the line quits signaling, they know a fish is going upward with the jig. Many jig anglers recommend the use of fluorescent colored line and polarized sunglasses to improve the line of visibility.  

Check out this video to see what fishing with jigs is like to the pros:


I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to comment or reach out to me if you have further questions and inquiries.
Destinations
Truckee is a charming western mountain town. Truckee is geared toward both summer and winter tourism where visitors can hike, climb, shout into surrealistic caverns, or eat a superb ... moremeal, all before their head hits the pillow. Truckee is located along Interstate 80 and the Truckee river runs on the east side of town down the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in to Reno, Nevada. Truckee's elevation is 5,899 ft and around 16,000 people call it home. Truckee's annual snow pabck makes it the fifth snowiest city in the United States. For fly fishermen and paddlers alike the Truckee river is the main attraction. The river runs once gentle and through gurgling rapids as it changes its face almost constantly.
Fishing Waters
The American River watershed offers fishermen (and fisherwomen) a wide range of experiences, from fly-fishing in the clear streams of the Sierra Nevada to casting for steelhead in ... morethe lower American as it flows through Sacramento. The American River contains two main sections. The North Fork and the Lower American River

The North Fork of the American River is designated as a while trout water. Most of the North Fork flows through a deep canyon carved through metamorphic rock. It has a very rugged character with very steep slopes and a narrow bottom. Deep pools framed by sheer cliffs, waterfalls cascading from 40 to 70 feet, and benches, densely wooded with alder and willow are typical of the beauty found in the North Fork Canyon. The fishery is dominated by Rainbow trout, with an occasional Brown trout (the brown trout are usually lunkers!).

Fishing enthusiasts can choose from a number of trails to access the river canyon, most of them dropping steeply from the canyon rim down to the water. While visitation peaks in the summer, primarily driven by hikers/swimmers, late spring into mid-summer is typically the height of the boating season. The highest boatable reach is known as Generation Gap (12 miles), run by only the most experienced Class V boaters, which can only be accessed by a three-mile long walk. The next lower reach, known as Giant Gap (14 miles), is also Class V and is accessed by a two-mile hike down the Euchre Bar Trail. Although overnight camping permits are not required, if visitors want a campfire, they will need to obtain a fire permit.

The Lower American River is a short stretch of river, flowing through the city of Sacramento, is the most heavily used recreation river in California. It provides an urban greenway for trail and boating activities and is also known for its runs of steelhead trout and salmon.
First federally designated “wild and scenic” river – that is the distinction held by the Feather River. Starting near Beckwourth, California, the river flows through to Lake Oroville. ... moreAt the upper end the river is gentle and welcoming. By the time you approach the lower reaches, the waters are cascading through step canyons, complete with white water rapids. Surrounded by large boulders, waterfalls and rigid cliffs, this section is wild and beautiful but can intimidating to the novice hiker or boat’s man. 

Fishermen in search of a truly authentic river experience will enjoy sightings of Bald Eagles, mule deer and beaver. In addition to fishing, the calmer sections of the river play host to kayakers and swimmers.
The Truckee River is a stream in the U.S. states of California and Nevada. The river flows northeasterly and is 121 miles long. The Truckee is the sole outlet of Lake Tahoe and drains ... morepart of the high Sierra Nevada, emptying into Pyramid Lake in the Great Basin. Its waters are an important source of irrigation along its valley and adjacent valleys.

The Truckee River's source is the outlet of Lake Tahoe, at the dam on the northwest side of the lake near Tahoe City, California. It flows generally northeast through the mountains to Truckee, California, then turns sharply to the east and flows into Nevada, through Reno and Sparks and along the northern end of the Carson Range. At Fernley it turns north, flowing along the east side of the Pah Rah Range. It empties into the southern end of Pyramid Lake, a remnant of prehistoric Lake Lahontan, in northern Washoe County in the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation.

The Truckee River's endorheic drainage basin is about 3,060 square miles (7,900 km2), of which about 2,300 square miles (6,000 km2) are in Nevada. The Middle Watershed is regarded as the 15 miles (24 km) of river and its tributaries from Tahoe City in Placer County, through the Town of Truckee in Nevada County, to the state line between Sierra and Washoe counties. The major tributaries to the Truckee River in California from the Lake Tahoe outlet and heading downstream include: Bear Creek, Squaw Creek, Cabin Creek, Pole Creek, Donner Creek, Trout Creek, Martis Creek, Prosser Creek, the Little Truckee River, Gray Creek, and Bronco Creek. Major lakes and reservoirs in the California part of the watershed include Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake, Independence Lake, Webber Lake, Boca Reservoir, Stampede Reservoir, Prosser Creek Reservoir, and Martis Creek Reservoir. In the Lower Watershed, Steamboat Creek, which drains Washoe Lake, is the major tributary to the Truckee River.
Trips
$
300
-
$
400
/ Angler
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 1 day
Enjoy a day fishing the Truckee River near Sierraville, California. With our extensive experience fishing the Truckee River, we have the vast knowledge needed to help you catch fish ... moreand have fun doing it. We specialize in guided trips for fishermen of all types from first-time anglers, to experts.
$
325
-
$
450
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 8 hours
Fly Fishing the American River in Northern Califronia will leave even the most advanced fly fisherman wanting more. That is why a knowledgable American River Fly Fishing Guide will ... morenot only educate you on the river sytem and its species, but show you the ins and outs, when, where, why, how and with what. Whether you are swinging for steelhead on the Lower American River or dry fly fishing the South Fork American River, you will be pleasantly pleased with the results.

The American River system is where you can start out fishing the Lower American River for shad, striper or steelhead while wet wading on a summer morning, then go eat lunch, get back on the road shoot up hwy 50 and within 45 minutes, have 30 fish on the South Fork American River fishing drys. Fishing the American River is one that can satisfy any fly fishing crave. The Lower American River is known for its shad, striper, steelhead and salmon runs. Shad start to enter the river in late spring, with some entering as early as April, the fishing starts to pick up in late May and early June, with July being the best. Even though the migration has ended the fishing can be great on those late July summer nights. If you have never fought a shad on a fly rod, I highly suggest it, they don’t call it the poor man’s tarpon for nothing. There are two methods used when shad fishing, one is swinging flys specifically tied for shad, the other is drifting flies under an indicator. Either technique is productive when used properly.

As far as stripers go, there are some resident fish in the river system year round, but can be extremely hard to catch due to the lack of numbers. When the weather warms so does the water as well as the Striper migration. The stripers start entering the river in early April and they are in the river system through September. Your best numbers in the lower part of the river is between April and May. June is a little slower due to the amount of shad that are in the river system and the stripers actively feeding on them, but once the shad are gone the fishing really heats up from late July through August, September and sometimes even October depending on the weather and water conditions. The best technique used for stripers is by stripping or swinging clousers with sink tips, full sinks and shoot head lines.

Now for the Steelhead, half pounders can be year round, but are mostly caught from late summer to spring. They can be caught using many techniques, from swinging to nymphing and even throwing drys. The best months to be on the water for half pounders are August through October along with March April and May. Don’t be discouraged by the word half pounder, this was the original run before the Eel and Mad river strain (winter run steelhead) was introduced in the 70's. These guys can put up a real fight for their size and most half pounders are wild fish ranging from 16-22" some even pushing 5 pounds and they are always full of spunk. The winter run doesn’t start showing up until the beginning of October, this is also peak time for the salmon run. The winter run steelhead that are on the American came from the Eel and Mad River systems, that was introduce by DFG to protect the steelhead population after the dams where e rected. These fish can be caught throughout the length of river from mid October all the way through March, sometimes even April. These fish range anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds. As far as fishing techniques goes, these big boys can be caught with the same techniques used on their half brothers, just scaled up a bit. If you want to get into steelhead and don't want to travel severals hours and possibly get a big goose egg, the American River is where its at. Not only is it our back yard, but we have 30+ years fishing this river system and we know where these fish hold throughout the year. Come enjoy some backyard fishing on a great river like the American river.

-Brian-
$
325
-
$
450
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 8 hours
 (1)
Destination:
Our guides pride themselves in their vast knowledge of the Feather River, and having a great Feather River Fly Fishing Guide will not only make for a fantastic outting, but it will ... morealso increase your tight lines.

The Feather River is one of California's best kept secrets, and is misunderstood by many anglers. The Feather River is an awesome steelhead fishery, and has one of the largest steelhead runs in the valley. This tailwater fishery begins in the town of Oroville below Oroville Dam and continues flowing south until it meets up with the mighty Sacramento River at Verona.

The Feather River holds plentiful amounts of both hatchery and wild fish year round, and one that produces four runs of steelhead, three big runs being Spring, Fall and Winter, with a small run of half pounders in the summer. For those that has fished for these mighty steelhead, you definitely get a sense of their power and greatly appreciates the fight of these Feather River fish. The Springers, March-May, this run is full of hot wild fish that will give your drag a worthy work out, and to me act more like large trout eating normal nymphs and drys. The Summer run is just that, and are a smaller version of the spring run fish. The Fall run, Sept-Nov follow the salmon up the river, and gorge themselves on eggs, eggs and more eggs, this is the infamous "EGG BITE". These fish are extremely healthy, and will make you sweat for every inch. The winter fish, Dec-Feb, are big, brutes that will have you screaming for more, and with most fishing the other valley rivers, you can usually have the river to yourself. Whats nice about the Feather River is no matter the time of year, you can find steelhead scattered throughout the river.

No wonder why we love this river so much, its a year round steelhead fishery. The New Year opens up the low flow section above the hwy 70 bridge, getting a boat in there is pretty tough, but this is where a knowledgeable guide comes into play, whether a drift trip or walk and wade, he can put you in key locations throughout this area and get you into fish. No matter what you are fishing for, the Feather River has it all, from salmon to steelhead, to stripers and shad, it is an all around, year round fishery. Come join me on one of the largest steelhead runs in the Sac Valley, and be ready for a fish that will make you earn your photo finish.

-Brian 
Outfitters
Jay Clark Fly Fishing is one of the top Northern Sierra fly fishing guide service and outfitter. We offer guided fly fishing adventures for trout, bass and carp - from beginners to ... moreexperts and those in between we can customize your adventure to suit your needs. We can float tube and fish from a boat on our stillwater destinations. All moving water trips are strictly walk and wade.

We also offer :

Casting instruction

Float tubing clinics

Fishing is supposed to be fun so I place an emphasis on having a good time.I provide a safe and fun environment to learn in. Lets Fish!
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Fishing

AuthorPicture

Paul Watson

Paul Watson is an outdoor enthusiast and aspiring expert who loves to fish and hunt. On his site, outdoorchoose.com, he shares tips on how to make your hunting and fishing excursions both exciting and successful.

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