Jigging is the practice of fishing with a jig, a type of fishing lure. A jig consists of a lead sinker with a hook molded into it and usually covered by a soft body to attract fish. Jigs are intended to create a jerky, vertical motion, as opposed to spinnerbaits which move through the water horizontally. The jig is very versatile and can be used in both salt and fresh water. Many species are attracted to the lure which has made it popular among anglers for years.
Fisherman jigging with a big fish from his boat
For successful jigging, the jigger needs to use a rod which is good for feeling a strike, and needs to stay in contact with the lure and get it to where the fish are. Most fish caught by jigs are on or near the bottom.
The head of a jig can consist of many different shapes and colors along with different features. The most common is the round head, but others include fish head shaped, coned shaped, or any number of varieties. The three most popular jighead shapes in bass fishing are the flipping jighead, the football jighead, and the grass jighead. These heads come in many different weights usually ranging from 1/80th of an ounce to nearly a pound for large saltwater bottomfish. They can also be found in a wide array of colors and patterns. The hooks also vary. These variances can be on the hook type, color, angle of the hook or the material of the hook. Some jig heads even offer a weed guard.
There is a wide array of bodies for jigs. The most common is made out of rubber or silicone. These come in many shapes and can resemble a grub, frog, fish, paddle tail, lizard, or different insects. The colors of these can range from bright yellow to a transparent brown with silver and red flakes. Also, during summer months look at colors for the heat such as browns, or blue with black hair. Many others catch fish like smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. Bait such as minnows, leeches or night crawlers can also be used as jig bodies.
Other, more traditional types use dyed or natural whitetail deer tail hair on the outside. Called a bucktail jig, they are widely used in the northern and midwestern United States, where many are still hand tied by anglers.
Other types of materials are also used in constructing jig bodies, such as a Chenille wrap on the hook shaft, various feather hackle, hairs or other fur, marabou, Flashabou, and other materials. Construction is often similar to the process ofFly tying. Some jigs are constructed identically to their artificial fly counterparts, one example a "Wooly Bugger" fly but tied on a jig head.
Bodies can be either brightly colored or subdued. They are often designed to mimic local prey fish or large local insects.