Attention to detail is often times critical when it comes to catching a lot of nice fish. When it comes to fishing jigs it is important that you have the right skirt for the conditions.. Some days the fish want a fuller skirt while other days they want a more streamline profile. What the fish prefer on one lake they might not like somewhere else. The available forage, water clarity, and the mood of the fish are a couple of factors that dictate what skirt will be the best to use.
As a general rule when I’m fishing off colored water I like to use a big skirt with 120 to 150 strands. My jig out of the water resembles a koosh ball but to the bass it is easier to find because it moves a lot more water and gives off a lot more vibration. Bass in dirty water rely more on their lateral lines to find food than they do on sight so a thick skirt is usually your best bet.. When I’m fishing clearer water I tend to fish smaller skirts on my jigs because I don’t want the fish to get as good a look at my bait. The fish feed a lot more by sight and something smaller crawling away isn’t as easy to examine. You don’t want the fish to get too good a look at your bait.
Another trend that I’ve discovered is that early in the year I seem to have a lot more success on smaller skirts. You don’t have to have a full skirt but maybe 30 or so strands when your fishing jigs in the winter. The bass don’t feed as much and a big meal isn’t what they are looking for either because they are trying to conserve as much energy as possible.
When you go to choosing your skirts you should always pay attention to the rate of fall you get out of your jigs. You can get a quicker drop with a lighter jig head with a smaller skirt than a heavy jig with a big skirt because of how the water will drag on the bait. The rate of fall can be really important in triggering bites from inactive fish. Sometimes a quicker fall is necessary and the fish will prefer a smaller skirt over a larger one. It is good to be aware of this.
If you want to get the most out of your jig fishing I suggest that you start building your own skirts rather than using just the ones that your jigs come on from the store. Building your own skirts is really simple once you get a little practice and will save you a lot of money and make your baits a lot more productive. You’ll always have the colors you want and the style you need for the conditions your fishing. You won’t have to spend time looking for skirts that are close to what you want and you’ll be able to match the hatch.
In order to make skirt building a breeze you just need a few inexpensive supplies. You need some skirting material, some rubber keepers, and the Naked Bait Company Skirt Expander. The expander is a very durable tool that will last you for a long time. I have had mine for over two years now and it has built hundreds of skirts for me without showing any signs of wear. The expander is very simple to operate and is great for kids. All you have to do is put your rubber keeper on the pins in the center of the expander. Give it a little twist to open up the band. Insert your skirting material into the expander and then twist it back to close up the rubber keeper. Building your own skirts has never been so easy. Everything you need for building skirts is available for order at Naked Bait Companies website at www.nakedbaitco.com.
Spencer Clark is sponsored by Naked Bait Company, Pig Sticker Bait Company, AiRRUS Rods, GAMMA Technologies, and Flying Fisherman Sunglasses be sure to check out his website at http://catchinspence.googlepages.com