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
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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:
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