How to Jig – A Complete Guide to Successful Jig Fishing

Whether you’re young, old, a newbie or an experienced angler, jig fishing can be an exciting and satisfying method to catch some great and abundant fish.

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Whether you’re young, old, a newbie or an experienced angler, jig fishing can be an exciting and satisfying method to catch some great and abundant fish.

The art of jig fishing has been around for centuries. Unfortunately, not all fishermen clearly understand how to jig. They seem not to know a jig’s fish-catching capabilities or worst still, how to appropriately use this technique! This is regrettable, especially if you take into account that jig fishing can produce massive dividends and satisfaction as far as fishing is concerned.

Table of Contents

Jig fishing mainly revolves around using what’s known as jig bait hooks to fish. And because jig fishing should target large fish, these jig baits can only work if they mimic or resemble prey for large fish. Again, this is essentially why jig fishing is suitable when done in heavy cover and deep waters where large fish typically hide waiting for their next meal.

In addition to knowing when, where, and how to jig fish, it’s crucial to have the best jig fishing equipment. Having a proper heavy-duty rod, a good choice of jigs and a strong fishing line is a must.

Where to Jig Fish

Knowing where to jig fish is one of the most crucial keys to successful jig fishing. Needless to say, you do not want to go where you’ll experience little or no success because it’s a complete waste of time. Whether you’re so much into a bait-delivery method or prefer a stand-alone option, jig fishing can help you excel in catching multiple fish species in moving or stagnant water, clear or stained.

It’s also important to emphasize that jig fishing is always done vertically. You can, however, choose to use other forms of presentations such as shook, plopped, pitched, swam, dragged or hopped. No matter your preferences, there are a lot of fish species that will eat your jig bait on every water body near you. As such, fewer baits can be as successful as a jig bait in attracting your prey, and this is an advantageous platform to start from.

This, however, doesn’t mean that jig fishing is as easy as A, B, and C. It can be quite challenging, especially if you do not learn what to do and what not to do. For instance, using the wrong type of jig bait is a recipe for failure. Likewise, learning how to jig fish on a river with heavy and fast-running currents can be quite challenging compared to jig fishing on calm waters such as a natural lake.

Nonetheless, you can become successful at jig fishing if you know what to do. Here’s is how to get started in the right direction.

Choose the Right Equipment

Jig fishing, maybe more than any other fishing technique, depends heavily on feel. For this reason, you do not want to be out there jig fishing with the wrong equipment. This is why you should have all the right equipment required for this thrilling adventure.

Go with a heavy-duty fishing rod – You certainly do not want to find yourself out there jig fishing with a lightweight or low-quality rod that cannot hand even a medium fish. This can be really frustrating. You should, therefore, go with a stronger heavy-duty rod that will not only handle larger fish better but will also hold up if your line gets tangled in anything heavy down there.

A Sturdy Fishing Line is the way to go – Like the fishing rod, you obviously need a sturdier fishing line that will not break even if you catch a fish weighing 50 pounds or more. You want a line that allows you to perfectly feel the jig and can withstand even the most challenging and demanding situations.

A more realistic jig should be a priority – Paying close attention to detail can be the difference between success and failure when jig fishing. When it comes to choosing the right jig, the most important thing is to go with a jig that looks almost exactly like the prey of the large fish you’re attempting to lure to your dining table.

There are various types of jigs such as the swim jigs (effective in shallow waters), football head jigs (excellent around rocky areas), and the standard jigs (are heavy, versatile, and work well in nearly all jig fishing situations). It’s also crucial to choose the perfect jig color that works well in specific water bodies.

In other words, your jigs should match the color of your prey’s prey (if that makes sense). For instance, watermelon, green pumpkin, and such related natural colors are perfect for most jig fishing. And it’s not just about the color; make sure that the shapes and sizes resemble the prey of the fish you want to catch.

Choose the Right Trailer – Many people might ignore the trailer but this only spells doom. Well, that’s because a trailer is the main to the jig. A trailer adds the much-needed action to your jig bait. You should rig your trailer straight on the hook of the jig so that it appears natural.

Use a Higher Gear Ratio Reel – A reel that has a 7:1 gear ratio is highly recommended for jig fishing. Such type of reel is faster and will allow you to pick up your line quicker if a fish hit on the jig while on a fall motion. In short, faster reel enables you to pick up your prey faster.

Map the Bottom

To this point, you should consider carrying out a little prior research to learn about your prey. Remember, jig fishing is all about understanding what the fish tell you and giving them exactly what they want or something close to that.

After a couple of exploratory missions, you should be able to perfectly interpret all the clues that are sent back to your rod. Remember; the jig hook should hit the bottom of the water, which of course, requires some level of patience. You should be able to understand and comprehend the bigger picture at the bottom. This is vital in coming up with a successful jig fishing plan.

For instance, you should not cross-wind cast. The idea here is that wind can be your biggest challenge when jig fishing. This is because the wind can hinder better contact with what your jig is doing down there. Fish could hit your jig bait and retrieve it without you even realizing it. It’s, therefore, advisable to position your back to the wind or keep your rod tip closer to your boat because the wind always makes many fish species to come up shallow.

Watch Your Line Attentively

You do not want to be in a situation where a prey hits your jig without you ever feeling the bite. This is why watching your line and telepathically knowing what exactly is going on should become second to nature. This might take quite some time and require a lot of focus but it will guarantee success. Keep in mind that your line will usually jolt or vibrate at the surface of the water when there’s a bite. You should be on the lookout for this type of movement.

At this point, the fish will put a lot of pressure, which will require you to tightly hold onto the rod. You should then engage your reel, pull the rod upwards, steady the line, and start pulling in your catch until you bring it out.

Final Note

Nothing is arguably more satisfying than luring a large fish into your dinner table with a few handy tricks. As one of the most active fishing techniques, jig fishing is quite interesting and enjoyable but only if you first learn how to jig.

The best and most successful jig anglers are those that are always mindful and attentive to what their jig is doing and how it closely relates not just to the bottom but also to the surrounding cover. Well, there are a lot of things going on under the water that you don’t see. However, the more in-tune you’re with your jig, the more successful and productive you’ll become. It all starts with knowing how to jig.

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