Ever wonder why you continuously pull in sunfish-sized bass as your friends post pictures of absolute brutes big enough to ingest and digest your catch of the day in one swift motion? Numerous hours out on the water only to pull out your phone at the end of a long day to have your soul crushed by social media inferiority. Some anglers will bust out their eight-foot pole and start throwing around a 10 inch Huddleston for days on end. Swimbaits one of the best ways to pull out a giant- big fish eat little fish, simple stuff. There is no doubt spending some time with a swimbait will land you a stud, but not everyone wants to spend months without a fish even sniffing their lure. This is when a skirted jig is the absolute best thing you can throw to upsize your catch without taking too much of a hit on the number of bass pulled into the boat. The vast majority of bass I’ve caught over 4lbs were caught on a jig. Jigs have a reputation for catching hogs and it’s because of the skirt attached to the base of the jig. As a jig is worked through the water the skirt spreads in and out giving it a much bulkier presentation than a normal Texas rigged soft plastic. The skirt flowing through the water allows a jig to imitate everything bass feast on. If I could only have one thing tied on for the rest of my fishing days it’s a jig. It’s a certified slaunch donkey slayer, all year round, in every condition. It’s no secret, it’s not a new bait on the market, but I see jigs collecting dust in the aisles Afew types of jig heads, 3-4 skirt colors, and a handful of trailers, is all you need to hook into lunkers, 24/7, 365. Whether you’re still hanging on to your jigjinity or you always have one locked and loaded, this blog will set you up to buy the right tackle for your fishery, save money, and drop some serious weight in the boat. A jig consists of a weight, usually tungsten or lead, attached to a round-bend hook. A silicone skirt is attached at the base of the jig. Skirts can be different lengths and colors based varying across brands. Some jigs come with rattles, but you have the option to put them on if desired. Most jigs also come with a weed guard which is flexible strands of plastic covering the hook point that prevent snags or hang-ups. Jigs imitate 3 types of forage that bass prey on most; shad, crawfish, and bluegill/panfish, which i’ll be covering in detail in upcoming blogs. There are infinite amounts of trailer, jig, and skirt combinations giving you the ability to match the hatch flawlessly. Once you figured out what’s on the menu for the bass in your area, all you have left is to match it up with the right trailer for the situation, and choose which type of jig head is best for the cover in your fishery. I will start with Football head jigs or Football jigs because I feel they are the most misunderstood out of all the styles of head. The football shape makes it virtually impossible for this jig to fall on its side, which is what creates a unique presentation. When not being worked through the water the football jig stands straight up. A football jig performs best when it is worked back on the ground. That’s why using anything other than a craw trailer would make you a god dang fool.
Another reason a craw trailer is a must-have is because of how the jig sits upright when the jig isn’t being worked. This is where the real magic of happens. When a crawfish feels threatened it goes into defense mode where it stands up tall, raising its claws in the air to fend off predators. The football head mimics this perfectly. Fishing a football is kind of like buying shoes. If you pick the wrong size it’ll get stuck on your foot or make doing simple things a gigantic pain in the a**. Finding the right body of water makes a football jig a Grade A a bass magnet when fished on the right type of bottom. Football jigs are best fished on flat bottom, whether hard or soft. When you drag a football jig across a soft bottom such as mud or sand, the rocking motion stirs up clouds of dirt and leaves a trail behind the jig. Bass are able see this commotion and will bolt at your lure to investigate. The shape of the head is one of the few jigs that can come across rock and gravel much easier than any other jig head. Hang-ups will still happen but more often than not you can pull it free. Other jigs would hang up and wedge deeper into the rocks as you tried to pull it free. This applies for rock bottoms up to about the size of a baseball, anything larger than that and you’ll never see them again. Leave the football at home when fishing around any grass or vegetation, wood, and bigger rocks and boulders, unless you have a wildly disposable income. Another time to switch to the trusty pig-skin are around drop-off’s and deepwater ledges. I will fish a football jig in 20-30 feet of water because it’s the only jig able able to give enough feel of bottom contact. Bass seek deeper water when the water temperatures rise. Dragging a football around the top of the ledges is a killer way to get bites in the warmer months as the larger bass come up shallow to feed, then they have an easy route to deepwater. The best retrieval method for a football head is to drag it along the bottom all the way to back to the boat or shore. As a rule of thumb, if the lure has an action of its own- work it with your reel, if the lure has dead action- work it with your rod. Doing that gives the bait the most realistic or intended action in the water. The football jig is no exception. After you feel bottom contact, slowly work your rod tip up to around 11 o’clock, then reel up your slack. The slight stop in motion will sit the bait upright into attack position. A lot of times this is when you get bit because if a bass was following your jig deciding whether to commit or not. A sudden change to defense mode with its claws up tricks the bass into thinking the craw knows he’s being hunted and forces the bass to commit out of instinct. Bust out your letterman jacket you washed-up SOB and start slinging around the pig skin. No need to thank me, just don’t tell your friends.
Clear Eyes, Tight Lines, Can’t Lose