If I had to choose one bass bait for the rest of my life, it would be a bass jig. Jigs are one of the most versatile bass lures out there. A jig is a hook, with a weighted head, usually hosting a brush guard to prevent snagging, and a skirt. Jigs are fished by using a trailer on the hook. Jigs can be fishing in any body of water, and can imitate almost any bait fish. Jigging is also a sought bite from bass anglers across the globe. This article on the best types of jigs for bass fishing should help you understand what they are and how to use them to land monster bass!
Facts About Bass Jigs
Jigs have been around since the 1950’s, and come in all forms of shapes and sizes. The size of the jig is usually determined by the weight, which tells you how fast it was suspend in the water column. Jigs are known as a “presentation” lure. When fishing a jig, and depending on which bait fish you are attempting to imitate, will decide on the presentation you give the fish. The jig can be fished fast, slow, jigging up and down, or reeling straight through dense cover. Jigs are known to land giant largemouth bass, and simply for their quality of bites over numbers.
6 Different Types of Jigs for Bass Fishing
There are a few different types of bass jigs that have developed since the 1950s. Since the bass jig is the most versatile in the fishing world, they are broke down into 6 main categories that optimizes each form of fishing the standard jig head was used for.
The swim jig is made to, just like its name suggests, swim. Not only is it designed to swim, the shape of its head, in a bullet form, is shaped to cut through cover, weeds, and wood with ease. The swim jig is also known for obtaining bites in the open water.
If I am fishing heavy cover, I like to tie on a 3/4oz swim jig. The heavier body of the jig allows it to rip through cover with ease. When fishing easier cover, I go as small as 3/16oz and as heavy as 1/2oz.
The football jig contains a football shaped head, which reaks havoc on the water body floor. This is why a football jig is my go to when off-shore fishing for largemouth bass. The football shaped head allows the bait to not tip over, which gives you great feel of the water floor.
I like to pull the football jig up quickly, then allow the bait to fall back to the water’s floor, then rip it back up. This causes the fish to strike the bait on the fall. Once you feel the strike, be sure to reel the slack out of your line prior to setting the hook. If not, it will cause you to miss the hook-up.
The flipping jig is the most versatile of the bass fishing jig line-up in my opinion. However, the flipping jig’s purpose is to flip into dense cover, check to see if there is a quick fish there with the presentation of your choice, then reel the lure back in. If you are running a buzzbait along a bank in the morning and troll up on a stump, grab your flipping jig and hit the stump, and around the stump a few times. The flipping jig will tell you if a fish is there.
When I flip a jig, I am looking to lob the bait in, let it sink to the bottom, jerk it up 2-3 times, letting it fall all the way back down, then reeling it in.
This jig holds an impressive name because of the impressive action it provides. A punch jig literally punches through thick matted grass. I love to utilize a punch jig when fishing the backwaters of a cove that contain junk, like washed up logs and debris. Throw a punch jig up in the air, gain some momentum coming down, and you should be able to get into the water column.
Punch jigs usually weigh ¾ – 2oz. When using a punch jig, I like to be throwing braided line due to the covers density. Braided line will allow you to rip through cover better, as it is known for cutting grass and weeds.
The proper jig of the bunch, and the one to be the easiest on. While I understand and utilize power fishing, finesse fishing is my favorite. In many situations where fish are not being caught by my co-angler and myself, I will switch to a finesse jig and put fish in the boat.
A finesse jig requires you to be slower, more methodical, while also having a softer hand on your presentation. If I know there is a bass on a piece of structure and it will not bite, I pick up a finesse jig. I call it the sweet talking method of bass jigging.
I usually call this jig the flat-headed jig. This is because the jig is created to slide down rocking slopes and not get snagged. Be careful on boulder slopes, though, you will get snagged if you allow it to fall and rest. A casting jig is very versatile, allowing it to be used all of the ways mentioned above, however, it excels on rocky slopes, especially when you pull it up or down the slope.
Vibrating Jigs (Chatter Bait)
Just yesterday I was fishing at C.J. Strike in Mountain Home, Idaho where I caught a beautiful four pound largemouth, in a predominant smallmouth body of water. I was throwing a vibrating jig, more commonly known as a chatter bait, paired with a yellow perch paddle tail swim bait. Yes, I caught my largest smallmouth on this lure as well, however all of my largemouth bites came from this setup.
One of my favorite types of jigs, a chatter bait can be fished different ways. When the bite is calling for reactionary baits, I love utilizes a chatter bait around cover, on rock ledges and around points. Honestly, the vibrating jig, though popular in its hay day, is not as popular today. Due to this, I find I obtain a large amount of bites on a vibrating jig when paired with the correct trailer.
Best Jigging Rods and Reels
Any form of fishing can be done with a bamboo stick and some string. We are looking for advantages to bass fishing here, and providing the new angler with the best information possible. Understand, if you have not built your tackle up where you have a rod and reel for every setup, that is ok. Go out and fish. These rod and reels, though, will give you an advantage when deciding to fish a jig.
I am going to make it simple for you here. If I am throwing a jig, I have a 7ft casting rod, sometimes longer, heavy power, and fast action. Having a really sensitive rod here is essential, due to how you fish jigs. Jig fishing for largemouth bass is all about feel and detecting bites.
When a jig is pulled up and then allowed to suspend, that is when your bite occurs, as the bait is falling. When pulled up, your bait is tight, but when allowed to suspend back down, your line has slack. If a bass snatches that jig at that moment on the suspend, and you have slack in your line, you better have a fast reel to get that line tight and allow you to set the hook.
When choosing a reel for jigging I go with a baitcaster. Higher geared, the better.
Best Types of Jigs Trailers: 101
I cannot write this article without discussing jig trailers. Jig trailers are extremely important to become educated on when talking about fishing a jig. Think of a trailer as the body of the jig. Different jigs like different trailers. For example, the punch jig, which is thrown in dense cover, needs to not have a trailer with a million different arms and legs. Why? You are trying NOT to get hung up in the brush. More junk on your trailer, the greater that chance. However, a trailer that has a tail, or two, will improve the number of hook-ups you receive simply because of the presentation.
Jig trailers come in different forms.
- Grubs/Swim Baits
Craws and creatures are rather popular for jig fishing largemouth bass. Do not sleep on the white grub, though. I have caught many fish on a jig of all colors while hosting a white grub as a trailer.
Best Time to Fish the Best Types of Jigs
Honestly, that is a tough question. If I am on the water targeting bass, it doesn’t matter if it is spring or winter, I have a jig tied on. I may change the size, or the trailer depending on what the bait fish are doing at that specific time of year, but a jig will be thrown most days on the water. One great tip, though is once the water tips become cooler in late fall, a giant largemouth will destroy a large jig when fishing slowly.