Jig Fishing: Explained For Beginners

Jig fishing is a popular sport that involves casting jig bait hooks with the hope of extracting a fish from the water. However, that is as far as most people understand this practice. To sum it up:

Jig fishing is a fishing practice that uses jig bait hooks that resemble prey for large fish. Jigging is ideal for areas with heavy cover where large fish often hide, waiting for food to come their way. It requires heavy rods, strong lines, and a good choice of jig. 

This article discusses jig fishing in detail. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, you will learn and implement a few concepts from here.

What Does Jig Mean In Fishing?

What Does Jig Mean In Fishing

Jigging is the act of fishing with a jig, a type of lure with rubber bodies, lead sinkers, and feathers to deceive and attract fish. The jigs resemble small fish, which are natural prey and food for larger species.  

They typically mimic every aspect of fish from appearance to movement, so the larger fish will mistake them for food and eat them. Anglers lower their jigs to the necessary depth and wait for the opportune moment.

Parts of a Jig

Jigs typically have two parts, the head, and the body. The heads differ depending on the use and quality. The most commonly used type is the round head which is asymmetrical in shape, allowing it to cut through the water easier and faster.

The football jig heads and grass jig heads are most common in brass fishing.  Other types of jigs head include bullet heads, stand-up heads, tube heads, and darter heads.

Jigs heads also differ in weight, starting from 1/8 of an ounce up to one pound used in catching sizable bottom fish in saltwater. You may also pick your jig depending on the color and design and, lastly, the type of hooks that vary in color, size, and angles.

When it comes to the body, you will also notice the different available varieties of materials and shapes used. The most common jigs feature silicone and rubber materials.

They come in different forms resembling various small sea animals and fish. Depending on what you want to catch, a jig may resemble a frog, paddle tail, lizard, fish, or different types of insects which act as food for fish.

They also range in color, starting from translucent brown with silver flakes to red and sometimes yellow. The ideal pick for hot fishing conditions in the summer is heat shades such as brown or blue jigs with hair.

You will often come across jigs made of fabrics like chenille, feather hackles, marabou, and other materials.

How to Achieve the Motion with a Jig?

The motion that gets the jig to ‘dance’ up and down is always rhythmic and controlled. You achieve it by holding the rods with both hands and then lifting the tip of your rod a few inches up before returning it to the desired depth.

You will need to repeat this motion over and over again until a fish bites it or you decide to change the lure.

What’s The Difference Between A Jig And A Lure?

What’s The Difference Between A Jig And A Lure

A lure is an artificial bait used to draw a fish’s attention through vibrations, color, flash, and movement. The objective here is to have the fish bite and get stuck on the hook so that you can catch it. Most lures have at least one hook attached to their bodies.

On the other hand, a jig is a type of lure with a lead sinker. Jigs have their hooks hidden in their soft bodies. They are ideal for creating jerky, vertical motions, a phenomenon that makes them versatile for both saltwater and freshwaters.

Usually, you should never cast your jig like your typical casting lure. Instead, drop them ‘drop’ it below the fishing spot till they get to the desired fishing depth.

What Kind Of Fish Can You Catch With A Jig?

Jigging is ideal for all kinds of fish; the list is almost endless-from bluegill and bass to salmon and trout. Where you decide to jig will dictate how you fish and the type of fish you catch.

Different regions have their fish variety, but you will probably catch all kinds of fish, provided the jigs you use resemble their kind of prey.

A jig will need your strength and fishing technique to pull the catch out of the water. So it will limit the size of fish you can catch.

The asymmetry of a jig’s profile and the weight distribution also plays a significant role in determining what species you can catch. The weight affects the lure’s falling speed and varies on the model.

Another factor that affects what kind of fish you can catch with a jig is how you set it. Some fish species like crappies have their eyes on top of their heads. They won’t bite your jig if it is below them. However, this is not always the case with other specials like the largemouth bass and catfish.

Types of a Jig

Generally, there are several types of jigs, with each one having unique functions. Here are some of the most common types of jigs and their uses:

Tied Dressing

Depending on their sizes, these types of jigs are ideal for almost all fish species, including crappies, bass, northern pikes, lake trout, and walleyes. They have dressing materials such as blacktail hair, Mylar, and tinsel tied to the collar as part of their body to provide the mimicking trait.

Soft Plastic Dressed Jig

These types of jig provide countless choices when it comes to picking colors, scents, and shapes. They may resemble worms, lizards, crawfish, and many other animals. The most used shape is a tail grub which is very successful in freshwater fishing.

Floating Jigs

There are two types of floating jigs, hard-bodied and soft-bodied.  They are perfect to use with live bait and are a great choice when casting the bait just above the river bed or bottom of the lake.  

Bass Jig

Also known as a flipping jig, the bass jig is a popular lure for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. The jigs have a type of weed guard-like strands of weed or plastics along with internal rattle. Bass jigs often have silicone or living rubber bodies. Most brands include split tail trailers that replicate the claws of a crawfish.