JigMasters
When In Doubt, Get The Jig Out

Tips and Techniques

How to Become a JigMaster

See below for some jig fishing tips and techniques to increase your chances at a trophy bass.

Shallow Wooded Cover

Cover: Stumps, Brush Piles, Laydown Logs                      

Rod: 7'3" - 7'6" Heavy Power with extra fast tip

Gear Ratio: 7.1:1 or higher

Line (Dirty Water): 50lb Braid

Line (Clear to Stained) : 20lb Fluorocarbon

Jig Selection/Presentation: When selecting a jig for this scenario, opt towards a flipping style jig. Really pay attention to 4 things in this jig; 1) great balance, 2) a heavy duty brush guard, 3) a heavy duty and sharp hook, and most importantly, 4) a narrow profile. These four things are important in order to not snag up in this type of cover and have the ability to horse that giant bass out of the wood.

Hook Set Style: In this cover, a powerful hook set is necessary to get that lunker out of the cover. A powerful hook set will increase your landing ratio tremendously.

 

shallow water vegetation

Cover: Grass Beds (under water & floating), Lily Pads             

Rod: 7'3" - 7'6" Heavy Power with extra fast tip

Gear Ratio: 7.1:1 or higher

Line (Dirty Water): 50lb Braid

Line (Clear to Stained) : 20lb Fluorocarbon / 15lb Monofilament

Jig Selection/Presentation: Vegetation can be both the best and most frustrating style of fishing there is. There's plenty of cover and oxygen for bass but also plenty of vegetation hanging up on your lures. 1) Probe vegetation edges with a narrow profiled swim jig fished fairly quick. Using a 1/4oz - 3/8oz swim jig and a 4" swimbait or craw and monofilament line, this lure will easily stay just below surface. 2) Using a 3/4oz - 1 1/4oz narrow profiled flipping jig punch into heavy matted areas, in summer these are great shade areas for bass to hide in. 3) Using a 1/4oz - 3/4 oz flipping jig, pitch into pockets of vegetation. These are often tight windows, so don't fish back to boat, pitch... bounce... reel back... repeat.

Hook Set Style: If swimming a jig a good hook set style is mild and balanced, then pull at about a 30 degree angle from the rods previously position of parallel with the water. In either punching and pitching into pockets, a hard vertical hook set will increase your odds.

shallow rocky area

Cover: Gravel Bars, Riprap Banks 

Rod: 7' - 7'3" Medium Power with fast tip

Gear Ratio: 6.4:1 to 7.1:1

Line (Dirty Water): 17lb Flourocarbon

Line (Clear to Stained) : 12lb Flourocarbon

Jig Selection/Presentation: When fishing these types of structure, really opt to a pivot style jig with a craw style soft plastic. I like 2 styles of presentations with this style of jig; 1) small quick hops in order to create a lot of action in a small area or, 2) reeled slowly along bottom in order to look like a fleeing crawdad.

Hook Set Style: In this style presentation, a side sweeping hook set will give you a higher hook up ratio. This is more of a true reaction strike from the fish and the bait is moving quicker in relation to the other two scenarios.        

 

steep bluff banks

Cover: Quarry Edges, Bluff Banks              

Rod: 7'3" - 7'6" Heavy Power with extra fast tip

Gear Ratio: 7.1:1 or higher

Line (Dirty Water): 50lb Braid

Line (Clear to Stained) : 20lb Fluorocarbon

Jig Selection/Presentation: Boat positioning is key for this fishing scenario. Try to get as close to parallel to the bank as possible and make long cast using a 1/2oz - 3/4oz football jig. Let this jig fall all the way to the bottom and bounce it back all the way to the boat. Beware that often times fish will hit this on the lure's fall down, so keep eyes on the line the entire time!

Hook Set Style: Give all the force you can generate in this fishing scenario. Two reasons I say this; 1) you are likely fishing waters 25ft+ which means you need to pick up line in a hurry and, 2) these edges are typically sharp rocks so the quicker you can pull fish away from the edge the better chances you land the fish.

Offshore structure

Cover: Rock Piles, Sunken Timber, Humps, Drop Offs     

Rod: 7'3" - 7'9" Medium Heavy Power with extra fast

Gear Ratio: 7.1:1 or higher

Line (Dirty Water): 50lb Braid

Line (Clear to Stained) : 20lb Flourocarbon

Jig Selection/Presentation: In offshore scenarios, opt for a good ol' football jig. These jigs have great balance which is required to make a slow to medium retrieve with very small hops in order to keep bottom contact in order. However, when that water dirties up some I sometimes opt to the "stroking" method. This means I move rod with line tight from 3 o' clock position to 12 o' clock position then let jig sink and repeat

Hook Set Style: In this scenario, a more vertical hook set will give the best odds of hooking that fish - the extra fast tip will provide plenty of sensitivity for deep water bites as well as assist you in an open water battle.