What is Jig Fishing? Learn the Basics

jig fishing

The term jig fishing is all about an ingenious fishing technique that fools large fish like bass into believing the angler’s lure is an injured baitfish. Mastering the process is challenging but worth the effort. After all, challenges form a significant part of the fun of fishing, right?

What is a jig?

A jig is a combination of a hook, molded onto a lead sinker, covered by a lure, which is soft-bodied and imitates the appearance and coloring of baitfish. It is then up to the angler to manipulate the line to make the jig move in vertical, jerky motions. This is unlike the horizontal movements of spinnerbaits. The sharp, jerky movements of the jig attract large predatory fish.

What are the basics of jigging?

Like any skill, learning jigging techniques should start with the basics. Once those are mastered, you can explore all the various techniques. The first step is getting your jig hook in position. If you are on a boat, ensure you don’t cast in the downwind direction because the drift might cause your jig to settle under the boat. You’d want to position yourself facing into the wind.

Your first step would be to cast your line and let the hook sink to the bottom. If your rig is particularly sensitive, you’ll be able to feel the jig weight hitting the sand. If not, wait several seconds to let it sink into position on the bottom.

Here’s the trick to master. Imagine the movements of an injured baitfish or crawfish. To mimic that, jerk the rod’s tip up just enough to lift the jig and then drop it again. Do this repeatedly, but vary the rod movement’s direction. Snap your rod tip upward but to one side and then to the opposite side. Follow that with side to side jerking, mimicking the movements of baitfish. Now’s the time to keep tension on the line by reeling in slightly — ready for a strike.

Can jigs be used in all conditions?

Jigs are essential in any tackle box. Their versatility allows you to jig in fresh and saltwater, from boats or fishing from the shore or riverbanks. They are effective in all seasons, even in icy waters, and you can target an extensive range of species.

Are there any additional requirements?

Along with being a successful fishing technique, jigging is exciting and a whole lot of fun throughout the year.

Many professional and veteran anglers regard the ease of use and versatility of jigs far superior to any of the other available artificial lures.

Furthermore, jig fishing remains a challenge because you would want to learn more techniques to improve your skills. Importantly, beginners should persevere regardless of how much they struggle to master jigging. In the end — it is all worthwhile.

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.