Fishing with Jigs
By Captain Rene Letourneau
The use of heavy metal jigs has played a major role in the fishing
industry for many years. Durring World War II and the Korean war the US
government supplied the troops crossing the Pacific with a survival kit
containing Bucktail jigs in various sizes. Why jigs, because they catch
Types of Jigs.
There are many types of jigs today all
have a use for different situations. These can vary in size and weight
from small Sabiki rigs use to catch bait fish(Mackerel) to the 20plus oz
Diamond jigs fished for Cod and Haddock. Jigs today come in all shapes
and sizes with every color to match the bait fish.
Diamond jigs are made for a vertical
presentation and now are made in more colorful style. Knife jigs are the
trend today with the quick descent to put you on top of the fish even in
a swift current. The hooks can be fished on the top or bottom of the
Bucktail jigs are fished in many ways,
and can be used to imitate a range of bait fish in size and color. These
jigs can be fished both vertical or cast and retrieved along at
different speeds. The profile can be change by adding a trailer such as
a soft plastic, or squid strip. Pork rind is the most used and durable
addition to the jigs.
Bucktail jigs can be fished in shallow
water such as bolder fields and flats. I especially like to use small
jigs under 1oz in shallow areas with rocky bottom. I can change the
profile with out changing the weight. This can be done by adding a
different size trailer or soft plastic. Using a small plastic curly tail
for example the jig can be tossed in the rocky area and the plastic
trailer will add buoyancy to the jig. This makes for a larger
presentation. You can change the size of the presentation with out
adding extra weight, which will avoid hanging up on the bottom.
Fishing jigs will catch all species of
fish to include the smallest and largest of any species. Jigs can be
fished in all conditions and at any depth . This is easy to accomplish
by changing size and weight to put the jig in the zone where the fish
are most active.
When and where to use vertical jigs.
This type of jig the diamond and knife jigs can be fished in any
depth but best in deeper water. 30-100 ft or more. It’s not uncommon to
fish in depths of more than 100 ft and the jigs weight can vary from
place to place according to species and current. I look for a change in
the bottom edge’s of banks, rock plies and under water reefs. Watch
your depth sounder for signs of bait fish this is a great place to drop
a jig. Some of the best days are when the birds are high flying and no
signs of life. A good drift and a jig can turn things around in a
When fishing jigs in
a vertical manner.
Some like to bounce the jig off
the bottom by lifting the rod and slowly dropping back to the bottom
this method works great on most species. Fluke and Sea bass will take a
jig when tipped with a 4in long Squid strip. Another method is the fast
assent reeling quickly through the desired zone. As soon as your jig is
out the zone a quick drop to the bottom should produce fish. This works
well on fast feeding fish like Stripe bass, Bluefish and Tuna. Drifting
is a great way to locate fish and cover a vast area using this method.
Fishing jigs in shallow water.
The cast and retrieve method works great. You can simple retrieve
the jig with little or no action on the fisherman part. The more you
vary the speed and rod action the results can improve. I like to use
small jigs on reefs tossing into the white water. The key is the speed
in which the jig fall through the water column 1/4oz to ½ oz work well
for this. I like a slow retrieve with varying rod action. This has
proven to be very effective for me. There are many soft plastics types
of bait on the market. Many choices of colors that match different
baitfish. White is tried and true, Arkansas shiner is my second choice.
When fishing flats I like to work the
bottom of the water column. The fish are cruising the area in search of
the next meal. A slowly worked jig of the right size and profile can
bring some vicious hits.
Jig fishing can be very productive. If
you have overlooked this method give it a try this season. I know I
Tight Lines everyone.