Jigging is one of the best fishing techniques when teaching someone new how to fish.
Jigging it is also one of the most active fishing methods, requiring you to snap or pop the rod tip up quickly to move the lure vertically in the water column. You can jig straight up and down as you drift, or cast the lure out and jig it back towards you horizontally while reeling. Jigging a lure or bait creates the look of an injured baitfish that a game fish would want to bite.
Jig rigs come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and can be used with or without live fishing bait. Many spoons are designed for jigging — they flutter as they fall enticing a fish. Soft plastic worms are also used for jigging as are painted lead-headed hook and feather combo jigs called buck tails.
Tip: If you are casting a jig out and retrieving while jigging, you’ll need to reel in slowly to keep the jig near the bottom.
If you are learning how to fish by jigging, here are some simple steps:
- Cast out and let your jig hook sink to the bottom.
- Count a few seconds or wait until you feel the spoon hit the bottom
- Snap or pop your wrist and rod tip up quickly a short distance
- Let the lure drop back to the bottom
- You can jig up and down, side to side or up and down and sideways.
- Reel down a little bit to keep the line tight in case of a strike
Jigging lures, or 'jigs,' are some of the most versatile lures in that can be used in just about any place you find fish. Jigs comes in all shapes, colors, styles and weights and can be fished in a variety of different manners so that they mimic baitfish. The two most common jigs are probably the bucktail jig and the vertical jig.
A bucktail jig will typically consist of a lead head, that can be a variety of different shapes and sizes, which is molded onto a hook and has hair-like material tied to the bottom of the jig head. This hair-like material is where the name 'bucktail' comes from because many bucktail jigs are made using hair from a deer. The bucktail hair and jighead come in a variety of different colors. These bucktail jigs can be fished by themselves or they can be rigged with a rubber worm, live shrimp or other natural baits like strips of fish.
A vertical jig, or speed jig, is made of a long and slender piece of lead or metal that cuts through the water mimicking an injured baitfish. Vertical jigs will have one or more dangling hooks attached to a split ring which can be attached to the top or the bottom of the jig. Vertical jigs range anywhere from 1/8oz up to 14oz and are also referred to as "butterfly jigs."
When fishing with jigs, it is important that the angler constantly jig the lure up and down by constantly lifting the rod tip up and down. A good method for jigging is to drop the jig all the way down to the bottom and with a very rapid retrieval, twitch the rod tip erratically until the jig comes to the surface and repeat. No matter which type of jig you are using, it is important to match the weight of each jig to the depth at which you are fishing. Deeper water will require heavier jigs to reach the bottom. It is also important to take the tides and current into consideration when choosing your jig weight.