Jun 20, 2012, 3:14 PM EDT
You can really swim jigs in any kind of water, but I tend to use them to cover shallow grass flats and clumps of vegetation in water less then 5ft deep. You can also slow roll a heavy swim jig down to 30ft plus just like a big spinnerbait. Swim jigs can be a great bait for both big fish and numbers.
When approaching different bodies of water with swim jigs, I think it comes down to the forage and then secondly water clarity, likewise I think you should consider those 2 conditions first with any type of lure. So on large rivers and impoundments I tend to throw more white and shad colored swim jigs, or if the water gets dirty I use more black, blue and purple jigs. On northern natural lakes, where most of the time bluegills or perch are the main prey, then I use more natural greens, with hints of chartreuse, blue and orange. Then target the water column and cover that I think the bait will is positioned in.
Swim jigs are one of many great baits or tools in my arsenal. I also catch fish on spinnerbaits, lipless cranks and chatter style jigs, which often cover the same water columns. I like swim jigs when the fish are more pressured because it’s a more subtle presentation and more overlooked by many. Another scenario is around really thick vegetation, not many baits come through grass as well as a good swim jig. If your bait is constantly fouled then you are not being efficient with your casts. Lastly, when I have a wide variety of cover, I lean towards the swim jig, because I believe its more versatile; if I come to a stump, dock, laydown or hole that I feel needs a vertical presentation, I can pitch and hop my swim jig like a normal jig through it and not switch baits or rods, plus I can skip a swim jig into places that would be too difficult with many other baits.
As far as size and trailers, I tend to stick with the basics. I usually throw a 1/4oz had tied swim jig with a single tail 4-5” salty grub. If I want to keep my jig on top of vegetation like a frog, I will drop down to an 1/8oz jig or if I need to fish a deeper weed flat or edge, I will probably use a 3/8oz, but you can also vary the depth of your jig by tweaking your trailer. A really dense salty trailer will keep your bait down and a more bulky unsalted grub will lift your bait. Sometimes I will bulk up my swim jigs with an Optimum Double Diamond Swimmer or a Speed Craw when I need to move more water or target a big bite.
My normal setup is a 7’3” Dobyns Coalition series baitcasting rod (CW-734C) with a high speed 7.1:1 ratio reel, and I utilize both 17lb fluorocarbon and 30lb braid depending on water clarity and the amount of cover I am fishing. The long rod helps you get the bait out on longer casts increasing your time in strike zone, helps get good hooksets and gives you the control of the fish all the way to the boat. I like a swim jig with a good balanced bullet shaped head that slips through cover, a hand tied skirt that moves naturally in the water, a super sharp hook that is heavy enough not to bend but not too heavy that it impedes a hook set on a long cast and lastly a trailer keeper is a must. It saves on trailers, plus keeps you from constantly fixing your bait; which means more casts and more bass. I find all those qualities in many of the custom jigs in my area, like Super K, Lethal Weapon & Brovarney jigs.
I like swimming a jig anytime the water is around 60 degrees or above, so I pretty much fish them as the fish start to move shallow and stick with them until they back out for winter. In general, if you are starting out, try swim jigs in water and conditions that you would normally throw a spinnerbait and expand from there. The bite tends to be better when you have a little wind and cloud cover but you can catch them in a wide variety of conditions. Most of the time, I find a steady moderate retrieve with subtle shake of the rod tip catches most of my fish, but if I am not getting bit, I will try changing speeds and adding action with my rod tip from time to time. Also dropping the jig into holes or around cover can be very deadly as well. In the end, listen to the fish and let them tell you what they want in that moment.
Jun 10, 2013, 4:32 PM EDT
It was easy for many, myself included to pick Jason Christie as the odds on favorite to win the most recent FLW Tour event on Grand Lake in Oklahoma, but a whole different thing for him to go out there and do it against a huge field of talented bass anglers. He had in his…
Jun 4, 2013, 4:54 PM EDT
When you look at the final standings from the most recent FLW Tour stop on Lake Eufala, you assume that winner Randy Haynes had them dialed in the whole time. But in reality it was a bit of a gamble that the fish would transition during the off limits day and he would have fish…
Apr 30, 2013, 1:20 PM EDT
We hear all the time about how expensive fishing is getting and most of us are looking for good ways to save money when it comes bass fishing. So in this post and future posts I hope to bring you some innovative tips that will put some “Bass Fishing Bucks” back in your pocket so…
Apr 23, 2013, 4:48 PM EDT
University of Louisiana-Monroe teammates Paul Clark, Brett Preuett had to come from behind on the final day to capture this year’s FLW Bass Fishing National Championship on Beaver Lake. Paul & Brett thought they had blown their chance at victory when they brought only four bass to the scales Sunday totaling 12 pounds, 4 ounces.…
Apr 18, 2013, 10:51 PM EDT
Rayovac Pro Jason Christie wasn’t on anybody’s radar to compete after day 1 of this past week’s FLW Tour event on Beaver Lake. Christie chased smallmouth in the clearer water in the lower part of the lake and only came up with a little over 10lbs the first day, which had him in 60th place.…
Apr 11, 2013, 11:05 PM EDT
Skirted bass jigs have long been a staple in most bass anglers’ arsenal. In the past several years, I have become very dedicated to jig fishing, before that I was quick to look past the jig for a Texas-rigged worm, craw, or tube. Why the big change? With a little success, I built confidence in…
Mar 21, 2013, 11:07 PM EDT
As winter drags on here in Minnesota, it causes one to be stuck just dreaming about bass fishing for the time being. Then I realized, I kind of had my own unofficial list of things I had either wanted to do plus I have had some great experiences that I think any serious bass angler…
Mar 12, 2013, 1:39 PM EDT
There is no doubt that FLW Tour pro is feeling quite comfortable and fishing well with Keystone Light as his new featured sponsor. After a Top 10 and a win in just the first two FLW Tour events of the year, Ehrler finds himself in the driver’s seat of the Angler of the Year race. …
Mar 5, 2013, 10:10 PM EDT
If the recent Bassmaster Classic highlights anything; If you are a tournament angler, you are often forced to fish in all conditions, many of them less then ideal and some down right awful. Often the anglers that cash checks and those that do not are often just separated by just ounces or maybe a single…
Feb 25, 2013, 3:27 PM EDT
Cliff Pace, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro from Petal, MS, looked like he was in position to blow away the Bassmaster Classic field at the end of the day two weigh-in. Back to back days of surpassing BassTrakks best estimations with over 21lbs each day gave him what seemed a quite comfortable 7lb margin over Brandon…
Feb 21, 2013, 8:57 PM EDT
It was not but about six months ago, Denny Brauer told the bass fishing world he was retiring from the Bassmaster Elite Series, but he was quick to mention he would not give up bass fishing or tournaments entirely, but the full rigors of the Elite Series tour was too much for him at this…
Feb 11, 2013, 3:51 PM EDT
Drew Benton relied on a one-two punch to hold on against the worlds best anglers to claim a win in his first every FLW Tour event. He located some productive prespawn areas down in South Bay area and he had some spawning bass identified in Turner’s Cove. He would throw reaction baits (mainly a custom…
Feb 6, 2013, 3:57 PM EDT
Tournament season is now kicking into full swing, there have been a couple Opens and Everstarts in Florida already and now the FLW Tour kicks of tomorrow on Lake Okeechobee. Along with the Tours starting, big time Fantasy Fishing is starting as well. You still got time to set your lineups at http://www.FantasyFishing.com to play. …
Jan 31, 2013, 9:05 PM EDT
Hey, I’ve show some fresh ways to store soft plastics in the past. I recently came across another revelation as to some next to free ways to store and organize some of your tackle. Not that long ago, I decided to wash out some thermoformed plastic to-go containers after getting some Chinese take-out. My initial…
Jan 23, 2013, 3:27 PM EDT
Yep, Boat Show season is upon most of us. Boat Shows are especially exciting if you are in the market for a new boat, but they can still be significant regardless. The show season is one of many necessary steps leading up to spring bass fishing all across this country. Just think, you spend all…
Jan 4, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT
Has work or other opportunities displaced you from your favorite bass fishing holes? Do you feel like a fish out of water so to speak? Sometimes you find yourself far away from where you used to call home and all your old fishing buddies. Now you are in a foreign land where the fish don’t…
Dec 27, 2012, 3:09 PM EDT
2012 was a weird fishing year for me, it started with some really good bass fishing in March and April on the river, but my tournament season got off to a later start due to a 2 week family trip to Ireland in May. Overall, my tournament partner Josh Douglas and I were always a…
Dec 20, 2012, 4:39 PM EDT
As air temperatures become almost unbearably cold and water temps dive into the 30′s, I have found that few baits produce bass like Blade Baits and Hair Jigs. Far too often these baits are forgotten in our tackle boxes and rarely get the playing time they deserve. Even for me they had become such an…
Nov 21, 2012, 10:10 AM EDT
Most all of us have plenty to be thankful for, but as fishing goes, I am thankful for my tolerant and supportive family for allowing me the time to chase my passion and slimy little fish. But beyond that, where did this passion start? I surely was not born with a passion for fishing and…
Nov 14, 2012, 12:17 PM EDT
Here is the scene, boat ramps are empty and 98% of anglers in my area already have winterized their boats and most outdoorsmen are in tree stands or duck blinds. I miss the nice day of the weekend, Sunday brings a high of 40 degrees that happens before sunrise and gets colder by the minute…
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