In the past year I have fished several tournaments ranging from BFL’s to collegiate tournaments. There are several techniques that my boaters and co-anglers use to catch fish. Some of them swear by the crankbait and some will do nothing but drag a worm on the bottom. My fishing style consists of throwing the whole tackle shop at them until I figure out what they are biting. Some days every bait you switch to will be the right bait in that moment, catching a fish on the first cast, and then not ever getting a bite on that particular lure the rest of the day. Then there are days where they will bite whatever you throw at them and you cannot seem to do anything wrong. I wish every day was like that! We as fisherman know this is not the case. When I have no clue what the fish are doing on any given day I will have my Go 2 Bait tied on, the incredible edible jig.
At any given time of year you better believe I will have my jig rod on my deck. There is no lure more versatile than the jig. You can flip it, pitch it, swim it, burn it, drag it, and even dead stick it. You can do many of these things with a spinnerbait too, but again a spinnerbait is essentially a jig with blades. I’ll save that for a later time though.
In the winter when you cannot seem to buy a bite; you need to be throwing a jig. This time of year is only a few months away, and I’m sure you would like to load the boat with some giant smallmouth and largemouth bass. Only I’m not throwing a traditional jig. I’m throwing a hair jig on light spinning gear. This time of year the fish are very lethargic and will not expend a lot of energy chasing a lure. You need a very slow and natural presentation. Pick your hair jig colors just as you would a football or swim jig. Don’t be afraid to use white and chartreuse, this is a killer color. For my trailor I prefer pork rinds or a Zoom Fat Albert.
During the spring, summer, and fall seasons there is nothing better than a football head jig. I live in northern Alabama and fish Wheeler, Wilson, and Pickwick Lakes year round. These river systems are made up of chunk rock making the football jig my obvious choice. If I was fishing a grass lake such as Guntersville I would most definitely prefer a swim jig. Unless I came across a muscle bed, then I would definitely have the ol’ football head on standby. I use the War Eagle football jigs 99% of the time with a Net Bait Paca Craw trailor on the back. I’ve found this to best resemble the crawfish in our river systems. For color selection I always say, “If you’re not fishing with green pumpkin, you’re not fishing!”
Remember there is no wrong way to fish a jig. If you are not getting bit the way you are fishing; keep changing your technique, color, and head size till you find the right combination. It may sound like a lot, but once you account for the time of year and daily conditions; you will start to get an intuition on where to begin. Remember there is no wrong place to fish a jig. For all you co anglers, your boater can’t stop you from dragging a jig either. This is a great tool to use during tournaments. Next time you are on the water, experiment and give the jig a try. You won’t be disappointed.