Fishing jigs are a very common type of lure that is used in both freshwater and saltwater fishing. They are effective with almost all freshwater species and many saltwater species. They consist of a hook attached to a weighted metal head, plus a trailing tail made of feathers, rubber, soft plastic, or rubber.
Fishing jigs are commonly-used freshwater lures equipped with weighted metal heads and a tail made of animal hair, soft plastic, feathers or rubber. Anglers sometimes add a minnow or piece of pork rind to the fishing jig’s hook. Fishing jigs can be used to catch nearly every kind of freshwater and many saltwater fish.
Types of Jigs and When to Use Them
Finding the right jig for the job can make your fishing much more productive, but that can be hard to do! Different jigs vary in color, brightness, and shape, and are also customizable to the season or the temperature of the water. So here we will cover a few of the most essential types, their qualities, and their uses.
Casting jigs are a great all-purpose jig that can be used with or without a rattle, and generally feature trailers like grubs and craws. They also have a medium-strength wire or standard weed guard, and weight of 3/8 to ½ oz. In order to stand up on the bottom, casting jigs have rounded heads that are flat on the underside to provide a stable surface.
Swim jigs are particularly effective when used in Largemouth Bass fishing. Much like a crankbait, it is able to “swim” in the water column quickly and without resistance, with a bullet-shaped head that helps it to slip through debris and weeds. When using a swim jig, it is crucial to keep the jig from breaking the surface of the water during retrieval.
Grass jigs are so called because they can make it through grass or water weeds without snagging on them. They have a heavy-duty wire hook and cone-shaped head with a tie at the top end to attach the line, and can be used with a heavy tackle rig. Their weights range from ¼ oz to 1 ½ oz.
Flipping jigs are ideal for situations where the water is obscured by dense brush, fallen trees, stumps, or thick debris. They usually weigh between 3/8 oz to 1 oz, and have a stiff skirt that serves as a weed guard and a solid construction that prevents damage from rough handling. The larger the skirt, the better, as it creates a larger and more visible target for the fish to see and pursue.
Finesse jigs are used in finesse fishing, which employs light tackle and small bait. It can be very effective in waters with heavy angler traffic, cold temps, and smaller fish. Finesse jigs are especially effective when used with a small creature or craw bait. They are very lightweight (3/16 oz to ¼ oz) and have delicate, flared “spider cut” skirts. The head is compact and ball-shaped, with a hook made of light wire.
The distinctive shape and heavy weight (3/8 oz to 1 oz) of the foot ball jig make it an excellent lure for fishing the bottom. Its shape keeps it from getting stuck in cracks or under rocks, and it is heavy enough to easily sink and settle. The football jig has a full, umbrella-shaped skirt.
A tube jig looks like small squid, with tentacles dangling from a soft plastic head. The head is hollow and carries a weighted jig inside, and can also be loaded with commercial scents. The hook is hidden within the tentacles. Tube jigs have a very lifelike movement, with the tentacles waving in the current or twitched when the line is pulled. When held on a slack line, the tube jig will spin and stay in movement.
Shad jigs can be used to fish the bottom, or drawn back on a retrieve. They imitate a baitfish in appearance and movement, with a moveable paddle tail that flops during retrieval. More recent shad jigs have realistic, holographic color-shine and a soft plastic sheath on the jig head. The soft plastic gives the jig a more natural feel when the fish bites, which gives the angler more time to set a hook.