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Cast em, flip em, pitch em, they catch bass everywhere. The first ones were made of bear hair, rabbit and fox fur…they’re jigs. Jigs might be viewed as simple nothing could be further from the truth. Variations include but are not limited to, size, weight, color and head shape. The versatility creates the complication, but it can be as simple as choosing one version and trying to master it. Part of the magic is the ability of the jig to fool fish in many different situations.

Places and Spaces

Equipped in some instances with a “weed guard” jigs can be fished in and around heavy cover. While you can work a jig in open water, they shine in the gnarliest cover. Heavy growth of aquatic weeds are a good summertime target. Bass move in for cover, oxygen and an ambush spot, the well-placed jig can be fished in openings, edges and everywhere in between. A cast past the primary target and a rod tip up, steady swimming presentation often will draw bass out of the deepest tangles to inhale the invader. A drop into an opening with a up and down yo-yo motion will bring bass to investigate and often ingest the jig. The same can be said of working the wood. Stumps, fallen or submerged trees and standing timber are all likely targets for the jig. Again, the initial cast, free fall and slow return are enough at times to draw hits from bass. With any resistance, stop and feel, if it doesn’t move pull it gently across the obstruction and wait for the “tap”, many times fish will follow a jig out of cover, watch it bounce off the bottom and then decide to take it. Other places to toss your jig include rock piles, boat docks, drop offs, creek channels, bridge pilings and points.

Jig Kayak Bass Fishing Tips
Jigs for Bigs

I’ve caught thousands of bass on jigs and landed seven largemouth over ten pounds with five of them coming on jigs. There’s always a jig rod (sometimes two) staged on the deck of my kayak. My theory is that jigs catch big bass because they mimic several forms of forage food items that bass eat on the regular. My goal primarily is to imitate a crawfish, the favorite food of many fish. High energy and abundant craws are high return in energy and protein for bass and other gamefish. I rarely use rattling jigs, the silence means, in my opinion, that fish are less likely to become conditioned to the bait and ultimately ignore it. The compact size and natural swimming motion also are also contributing factors to the success of this family of fishing lures.

Pick a Jig

Choosing a jig is a matter of preference and eventually confidence. In my own case Strike King makes the best all around style of jigs. After decades of offering jigs to bass all over North America I’ve settled on a few models for the majority of my bass casting. For weight I generally depend on a 3/8ths ounce jig. The Premier Pro model, the Hack Attack and Tour Grade Finesse jigs are what’s stocked in my tackle box. I use heavier or lighter jigs on occasion but favor the 3/8ths ounce version because it’s easy to cast and maintain contact for constant feel of what the bait os doing at all times. As a side note I tie spinners, buzzers and other baits on that all weigh 3/8ths ounces in order to maintain a consistent feel when casting. It is a great plus in accurate casting. As far as colors, crawfish patterns dominate #101 Bama craw, along with that the old standard #2 black blue, #18 watermelon red and #100 summer craw are all candidates for the cast. I trail my jigs with Ragetail soft plastics. The craw and baby craw are normal, but the Menace models are great also. Most trailers match the jig color, but #50 Okeechobee craw has been effective, # 16 watermelon red flake has been hot for years. (They are available in 30 colors)

Jig Kayak Bass Fishing Tips

“The Hit”

Detecting a strike, hit or pick-up can be a little challenging at first. The hit ranges from a subtle pressure change to the fish trying to rip the rod out of your hands. The key is concentration. As soon as you cast keep contact with what the lure is doing, watch the line if it “jumps” change direction or feels like someone cut you jig off…SET THE HOOK. Often described as if your casting a 1/2ounce jig and feels like it weighs two ounces, again set the hook. Anything that feels different set the hook. (See the theme here?) Lower the rod tip slightly and set back with a quick snap of the wrists. This is where the line, rod and eel do the rest of the work. My Jackson kayaks of choice are the Big Rig, the MayFly and the Bite. Each of these is wide and stable and facilitates my stand up style of fishing.

Jigging Equipment

My Lew’s rod choice is the TLCPSBR is 6’10” long, super sensitive and strong, coupled with the low-profile lightweight Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spool CPB1SH reel and you’re set for any jigging situation. I set the casting tension, drag and make them compatible to the weight of bait I normally use. The reel is spooled with braided line, usually 20 lb. test is suitable for where I fish and the cover I encounter. This set up is ideal for my pitching, underhand pendulum casting technique.

Jig Kayak Bass Fishing Tips

 Advanced Jig Tips

To slow the fall of my jigs I replace the skirt sometimes with the Strike King Perfect skirt. It’s intended for spinnerbaits, but the bulkier / longer skirt will slow the fall of the jig keeping it in the strike zone longer. There is also some additional eye appeal this alteration. I will also trim the standard jigs creating a “Christmas tree” affect. Different length rubber strands open at different times and make a more life like look. A small tweak is to open the hook gap slightly for more hook ups. A gently adjustment, about 2 degrees outward is all that is necessary. To much pressure will weaken the hook. The Strike King jigs are equipped with Gamakatsu and Owner hooks both are “sticky” sharp.
Once you’ve been introduced to this fun, fish catching bait you might too become a “jig junkie”.