Jig Fishing for Bass: Choose the Right Jig to Land the Big One

Jig Fishing for Bass

Catching bass is an adventure, but it also requires some planning and previous knowledge. One of the best techniques to land a big one is jigging

As one of the most versatile techniques, it works in almost any body of water, from big to small ones. 

To make jigging for bass successful, you will need to choose the most effective equipment, choose a suitable jig, and do all that in the best time of day and year. In addition to that, you must know some tips and tricks. 

One of the greatest benefits of jigging is accurate and versatile presentation that can be adjusted to suit any conditions. 

What I have learned in my bass fishing experience is that good preparation is key to success

Here I will share everything you need to know to get started.

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Do Bass Fish Like Jigs?

Before you decide to practice your favorite technique, you have to be sure that targeted species reacts well on it. Luckily, bass absolutely loves jigs!

The bass is a predator that lurks from hideouts and waits for a perfect opportunity to attack injured prey. Well presented, jigs look irresistible to hungry bass and are one of the most effective lures. 

Besides, jigging is one of the most fun and “hands on” techniques, excellent for active anglers who don’t like to sit around the lake with rods in rod holders. 

When I discovered jigging it was love at first sight!

But let’s get back to bass. Even the really big fish will bite on jigs. It is a popular bait on tournaments where profesional anglers are catching trophy specimens. This explains to you how effective it really is.

Jig Fishing for Bass

Fishing for Bass with Jigs: What are the Benefits?

I already explained that jigs are very effective, but here are all the benefits listed:

  • Work in all bodies of water
  • Work well year round
  • Attractive to big bass
  • Versatile in presentation
  • Excellent for “scanning” the bottom
  • Suitable for fishing around all kinds of vegetation and cover where bass hides 

I think all of these are self-explanatory, and I would just like to point out bottom scanning for those who are new to this. You can let your jig fall to the bottom to “feel it”, especially if you don’t see it.

You can sense the bottom structure, rocks, or any formations that will give you a good clue where to present the lure. It provides detailed “mapping” of bottom, and you can feel where drop offs are, which are great for bass fishing. I will mention those later. 

What is the Best Jigging Rod and Reel for Perfect Cast?

For successful jigging, you will have to learn how to use casting rod and a baitcasting reel. Yes, jigging can in theory be done with spinning gear, but it is not recommended for bass

Rod has to be super sensitive so that you can feel even the slightest movement of the lure. When it comes to action, you need fast, or even ultra-fast. For power, choose medium to heavy. Length about 7ft is great

Reel must be compatible with the rod. You want the reel to have excellent line capacity, and you want strong lines. Besides being more precise and providing more control, line quantity and weight also make baitcasters irreplaceable.

Speed around 7:4 is great for jigging. Size must be in accordance with jigs and targeted specimen size.

For beginners, 3000 size is the best and most versatile. Personally, I used it for this purpose and would recommend it to anyone. 

If you want, you can downsize a bit when targeting smaller fish to have a lighter reel as it is easier for the hands.

Jig Fishing for Bass - Baitcasting or Spinning

Finesse Jig, Football Jig, Flipping Jig, Swim Jig: What Color and Size of Bass Fishing Jigs to Choose?

When jigging for bass you will have to choose from your tackle box the proper size and color of jigs. But firstly, let’s discuss jig types.

There are finesse jigs, football jigs, punch jigs and flipping jigs and swim jigs.

All of those are very effective in various conditions ...

Football jigs are excellent for fishing along the bottom and very popular among bass anglers fishing over rocky structures. Weight ½ or 3/4 ounce are the best.  Trail them with grubs and you have a winner!

When it comes to summer and vegetation, opt for jig worms. Four to six inch is the best choice, especially when fishing along weedy areas. Weight range 1/8, 1/16 and 3/16 are great here. 

Color wise, choose colors that resemble crawfish, mostly natural and not too bright colors, like green, brown, and orange. 

In dark open waters, black or blue with white that provides contrast works excellent.

Jig Fishing for Bass - Plastic Lures

What are the Recommended Line and Hook Sizes for Bass Jigging?

Line for bass jigging should be almost invisible, sink well, and have almost no stretch to feel the lure. Many angers prefer fluoro lines, especially for football jigs. Recommended would be 15-to-20-pound lines. The same recommendation goes for worms which I mentioned previously. 

Of course, in certain conditions, mono or braided with leader can be used. For example, bigger swimming a jigs can be paired with braided lines. 

When it comes to hooks, I prefer 2/0 or 3/0 size with offset shank for worms that are 4–6-inch size. Keep in mind that hook size if chosen wrongly can significantly reduce the performance of your lure. When it comes to football jigs, I usually pair them with 3/0 or 4/0  size, and wide gap. However, don’t go too wide.

Jig Fishing for Bass - Hook Size

What is the Best Jig Technique to Catch Bass?

When I remember my first jigging for bass experiences years ago, I remember how I was a bit too overwhelmed with everything and I have tried too hard and had little success. 

It all goes down on your selected jig. For football jigs fished over rocks, the technique is all about retrieving. The mistake I was making before was hopping with the jig like I would usually do with other bottom type jigs. 

However, this one performs much better when dragged along. When you feel that you are approaching the rock, change your retrieve a bit and try to move it back and forth before you proceed over the rock. This natural mimicking of injured prey is what provokes a bite. Maintaining contact with the bottom is crucial. 

When fishing with worms near vegetation, downsize with the line and slow down a bit, especially in warm conditions. If you downsize everything and target smaller bass, you could even get away with beginner friendly mono lines and spinning gear, however, with a bit less success expected. 

But, let’s get back to worm presentation. Cast to the edge of weed, let the jig fall and sink and when there is slack on the line, reel it in a bit. If there is tension and it gets stuck in weeds, make a short snap with the rod to get it free and let it fall again. Use the rod to create movement and reel only to pick up slack line. That is the most important tip. 

I have seen beginners using a reel to create movement towards themselves and that is not the way to do it. 

To learn more you can also read my article about different types of jigging!

Where are the Best Micro-Locations to Jig for Bass?

This predatory fish likes to spend time around hideouts and underwater structures. Steep drop off, weeds, rock formations, docks, and similar areas are excellent to position your lure. 

In spring and fall, you will often find them in shallow waters and near the shore praying on baitfish and lurking from covers. Summer and winter are times when bass will be in deeper waters towards centre of lake. 

But no matter the depth, structures are always the key, as bass likes them in all depths. 

What is the Best Time to Jig for Bass?

Bass can be fished year-round, however you must know where to look for bass, and I have mentioned it in the previous chapter. Summer is best for new anglers due to bass predictable behaviour. They will move to deeper areas to hide from heat. Fall can be tricky due to transition of bass, so I don’t recommend it for those with no previous experience. 

When it comes to time of day, bass is like many other fish species that are very active in early morning and evening, in lower light conditions. 

This doesn’t mean that you can’t catch them during the day, however, it is best around sunset and sunrise.

Jig Fishing for Bass - Check Weather

Most Common Mistakes to Avoid: Fast Tips and Tricks!

Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid which I can share from personal experience. Hopefully, it will be helpful to you. 

  • Don’t be cheap – avoid using damaged jigs as their performance is nowhere near the optimal one.

  • Conceal the hook - use full skirts on football jigs to hide the hook well.

  • Check the forecast - in windy conditions, go for heavier lures to be able to overcome the effect of wind that will be carrying your line and lure.

  • Pay constant attention - be prepared for bites that happen while the jig is falling and don’t let them surprise you.

  • Look at natural prey in the area – grubs or craw trailers should mimic naturally present prey in terms of color and shape when conditions allow it.

Conclusion

Jigging for bass is one of my favorite fishing techniques to land this feisty predator. When you figure it out, you are going to love it!

What makes it so effective is versatility in terms of all the bodies of water and the times of year when you can do it. 

Make sure to invest in proper equipment and choose the best and quality made lures, as that is something that directly affects your success!

About Me

Slo-fishing - About Us

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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