Tips and Tricks
Tips for Largemouth Bass Fishing with Jigs Add to Flipboard Magazine. Largemouth Bass - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

Tips for Largemouth Bass Fishing with Jigs

Jigs are some of the most versatile lures an angler can use, which is why they are normally included in any information about largemouth bass fishing tips. Yet many people still do not know about the versatility of these lures or how they can be modified to be used in any situation.

Skirt Modification

The first largemouth bass fishing tip when using jigs is to modify the skirt material to your liking and to match your trailer better. Some people like the trailer they are using to come only to the end of the jig skirt. Others want the trailer to be longer. Different fish react differently to each profile at different times, so it’s great to experiment with this. Some anglers like to trim back the jig skirt to just past the bend of the hook. They feel that this allows them to catch even short-striking bass. At other times, though, a mop-style jig with a very long skirt may perform better when you are looking to throw something with a bigger profile. This, of course, will all depend on the mood of the fish, what they are feeding on, and what they are looking for in a bait. Some anglers also like to think out the skirts from time to time when a smaller profile is needed. Don’t be afraid to experiment with all of these things. This is where it will come in very handy to have several of each type and color of jig in your tackle box. You can modify the skirt on each jig differently and see which works best that day.

Bulking up or Slimming Down with Trailers

One of the things about jigs is the angler’s ability to completely change the profile of the jig simply by using another trailer. This is one tip for largemouth bass fishing that many angler take advantage of on a regular basis, but others overlook. It is easy to get into a rut and only use, lets say, chunks, for trailers. However, there are a lot of other great trailers that can be used that will give either a large or small profile. One trick to create a bigger profile is to first, before stringing on a chunk or some other smaller trailer, to slide a small piece of a grub onto the shank of the hook. This will allow you to keep the same action of the trailer that you like, but still bulk up the profile. Keep in mind the size of the forage the fish are feeding on in your given lake at that time of year. This will let you know how big of a profile you will want. Many craw imitations are great for jig trailers and offer not only a fuller profile, but also a different action. For a smaller profile, some anglers will cut or bite off part of the soft plastic they want to use. This allows them to keep the action or color they like, but to present something smaller to the fish.

Weed Guards

Weed guards are an important part of most jigs, but they are not all the same. A largemouth bass fishing tip for jig weed guards is that you can modify these guards, too. Sometimes you need a really stiff weed guard , but other anglers believe that, in certain situations, they get a better hook up with a leer weed guard. It is important to remember, though, that if you decide you want to thin your weed guard out, you want to cut off only a few of the weed guard strands, maybe even one or two only to start with. Also, you want to cut those from the front of the weed guard, not the back. Cutting them from the front will still make the weed guard less stiff, but it will also ensure that the back strands of the guard will keep the hook from getting snagged in wood and things of that nature that you may be fishing around.

Retrieve Styles

Not all fish are in the same mood at the same time, even on the same lake. One largemouth bass fishing tip that some anglers use is to vary the retrieve until they find what the fish are after. Jigs are perfect for using different retrieves. Sometimes it is best to give the lure a few short hops off the bottom and then let it sit for a while. Other times dragging the lure across the bottom, letting it bump over rocks and such is a great way to trigger strikes. For these two retrieves, a shorter rod may be a better choice. You will tend to move the jig too far at a time when using a longer rod, and to retrieve it quicker than you would like.

Stroking a jig can get you some fantastic bites, too. This presentation is more of a vertical type. A longer rod can be better for this retrieve, but it is really up to the angler and what he or she is comfortable with. In this retrieve, the angler swiftly yanks the jig up from the bottom several feet and then lets it fall again on a slack line. Keep an eye on your line as it is falling, as bass will often strike it on the fall using this retrieve.

Another way to use a jig is to swim it. Some anglers use only swim jigs for this application, but a flip and swim will work just as well. You can choose a size and weight, based on how deep you are fishing, which makes this a great search bait for all depths. The best trailers for swimming a jig are a grub or a double-tailed grub. When using a grub, make sure to thread it onto the jig straight, and thread it with the tail pointing down to keep the jig down in the water column as far as possible. However, if you’d like to use it as a sort of wake bait, or to keep it near the surface, you can also rig the grub upside down and reel the jig faster.

Matching the Hatch

All of these largemouth bass fishing tips for jigs will help you to match the hatch when you are fishing. By knowing what the fish are feeding on, you can modify your jig and your presentation to imitate almost any kind of forage. While jigs are obviously great imitators of crawfish, when used in a swimming motion, they can also imitate almost any small bait fish. And keep in mind that even bait fish will dive to the bottom, rooting around in the sand, for their own food. If you take some time and experiment with modifying your jigs and using different presentations, you are sure to get more fish in the boat. (See Video Jig Fishing Tip)

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