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fishing with a Jig

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by RWBlue, May 31, 2005.

  1. Everyone keeps telling me to fish with jigs. So I do, but I am not catching.

    Any hints as to what I am doing wrong?

    I am catching on FAT A bombers and Minnows. So I am doing something right.
  2. What are you wanting to catch?

  3. bronzebackyac

    bronzebackyac Crick Smallie Fisherman

    Some days it seems like fish want a steady retrieve with jigs and others they want it bouncing off the bottom. You just have to try them all and see what works. I have good luck with the smallest size head that I can get by using with white, chart. and pink twisters. If none of those colors work go with black. This is what I do for smallies in the creek.
  4. I was always taught when you are fishing with jigs and are not catching fish....slow down. If you are still not catching fish slow down some more. It has always worked for me. If you are fishing the bottom let the jig fall all the way to the bottom then lift the rod until you just start to feel tension and hold it. You should be able to feel if a fish has taken it. Since they usually grab it as it falls you will usually not feel a strike like you would with a lure. You can also watch the line as the jig falls and you can often see if a fish has grabbed it.
  5. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    Good to know... ;) Be sure to check around. Lots of great advice on this site.
    Another post (click)
  6. dnm


    Whats to keep it from snagging on something?
  7. I am guessing that HawgHunter is right. I have never been a patient person. I need to slow down.

    But then dnm has a good question.
  8. Unfortunately, the answer to that is nothing. If you are using a regular jighead style then snags come with the territory. Often times it seems that the guy who is getting the most snags is getting the most fish too simply because they are fishing where the fish are. If you are fishing a steady retrieve, even if it is extremely slow, then you are a bit less apt to snag up because your jig will ride up over some obstacles. However, that is not always the case. The key to jig fishing, particularly if you are shorebound, is have a good supply of them because chances are you will use a few.

    By the way these guys have provided some very good tips. The two biggest keys in my mind to catching fish on jigs is location and feel. If you don't put the jig in the location that the fish are the result is obvious. And by location a very large part of that is depth. The feel is something that comes with experience. It is tough to know how and when to react to a bite when you have not tasted success yet. A good way to help out on this is to find a farm pond with very active fish and spend some time catching them. It could be bluegills or bass, it does not matter. The key is that you get to where you feel bites when they occur. If you have fished around guys who are catching fish on jigs and you have not then chances are that you have been getting some bites that went undetected.

    The bottom line is jigs may be one of the hardest lures to get good with but the reward is that it is a very effective option once you get the hang of it.
  9. As others have mentioned, the best way to avoid snags is to use a steady retrieve, but of course this approach does not always catch fish. In other words, if you fish jigs often using various retrieves, you will get snagged.

    The quesiton then is how to free your snags. If you're fishing water with any current whatsoever (i.e. rivers or Lake Erie with a chop), try giving your line some slack. The current will often dislodge the jig from whatever it is stuck on, especially rocks.

    If that doesn't work, give your line some slack and walk 10 feet or so to your right or left. Often just changing the angle frees up the snag. You'll still lose some lures, but these techniques will save a few.

  10. Another favorite snag removal technique that works on jigs probably better than any other type is the snap technique. To do this one grab the line either above the reel or out beyond the rod tip and pull it far to the opposite side of you rod. Apply moderate pressure to the lure with the line while maintaining plenty of slack line for when you release the line with the other hand. What you do then is quickly snap loose from the line in your hand and if successful the momentum of the line pringing back is enough to dislodge the snag. This does not prove successful all of the time either but it is a method that has freed many lure for me and I always try it before resorting to straight pulling.

    Additionally, if you end up at a situation where your only remaining option is to pull on it attempting to either pull it loose or snap the line then you want to remember to not use the rod to exert the force. What I do at this point is use the same technique as above in grabbing the line out beyond the rop tip. Then I will pull back on the line. I have seen a few rod tips broken by someone just trying to horse it loose with the rod itself. The problem is caused when the line snaps or the lure quickly comes back and a great deal of sudden stress is exerted on the rod tip.
  11. Hooch

    Hooch Fare Thee Well!

    When snagged in wood, whether you know it or not, if the "snap" technique as described by BKR43050, does not dislodge the jig, repeat several times. If it is in wood, the jig will work itself loose, a lot of times when you've given up and are trying to break the always be careful when breaking the line, especially when snagged above the waterline. Those jigs can reach amazing speeds! -Hooch-
  12. mrfishohio

    mrfishohio Recovering Fishaholic

    Superline helps the most. Mono stretchs so you won't have the feel you get with a superline like fireline, fusion, powerpro, etc. I use 14# fusion for most of my jig fishing. I use 8# mono on some light rods I troll hot-n-tots and cast roostertail spinners. 30# BPS Excel for catfishing.
    When I switched to the fusion, I lost a lot less jigs and also caught more fis as suddenly I could feel the bottom. Now that I know the technique, I can use the mono too, but I was hopeless until I made the switch. Not to mention 14# fusion is easier to pull loose from a snag than 8# mono.

    Another method that might help prevent snags, is when the jig hits the bottom, pop it. When it hits bottom again, pop it, etc. Another method is to let your rod tip down some, lift the tip up pulling the jig, then reel up the slack while letting the rod back down. So what happens is the only time the jig is moving, your are moving it with your rod, the only time your are cranking the reel, the jig is stationary. That will give you more control because you have pressure on the bait from only the rod. If you feel it tighten up, pop it..or set the hook ;)
  13. As you lift the rod tip up and the line goes tight you can learn to feel the difference between a fish and snag (sometimes) if it is just tight and you feel no motion, lower the rod tip to give it some loose line and "swim" it over whatever it was snagged on. This works often but of course not always. If you are concerned about losing jigs buy jigs with gold hooks, they tend to be a little softer and if you point your rod tip at the snag and pull towards you, you will straighten the hook and pull past the snag. Then after you reel it in just bend the hook back into shape. Remember though they also straighten easier when you catch a fish, but hey at least you didn't lose the jig. :D