Pro anglers have known for some time how swimming a
jig catches fish. This technique turned mainstream this year and filtered
its way to the local bass anglers. Swimming a jig is an easy to learn
technique and requires some basic equipment and basic tips to get any
angler started. The common weedless jig swam through thick grass or heavy
cover puts bass over the side of the boat.
is a swimming jig? Many anglers do not realize that swimming a jig is more
a method than a lure. Any jig swims. Some have specialized heads and hooks
while others are the standard fairs. A basic list of requirements for swimming
jigs consists of a head that glides through heavy weeds and stays upright
when reeled at a steady pace. Most assume that swimming jigs are white.
White is a great color for imitating shad but black and blue jigs catch
fish, too. Understanding that swimming a jig is more than color of the
lure or shape of the jig is the step that will make you a better swimming
A good quarter ounce jig in white or a favorite color
with a grub or other style of matching trailer is a great way to begin.
The swimming jig is a technique that is a great substitute for a spinnerbait
or crankbait. It goes through thicker cover better than a crankbait and
glides through grass easier than a spinnerbait. From treetops and standing
timbers to grass beds and brush, a jig skates through thick cover in
search of bass. A slow, steady retrieve through cover, similar to a spinnerbait
retrieve, is the key to swimming a jig
Whether you fish trees or heavy
grass, the proper technique translates into more hookups and strikes.
After making the cast, hold
the rod at the 10 o’clock position. Turn your shoulders perpendicular
to the target. A slow continuous retrieve is a great starting point.
A few wiggles and jerks add some enticing changes to the lure. Be
a line watcher. Often the strike is very subtle. Once a strike occurs,
quick upward thrust to drive the hook home. A swimming jig is very
similar to a spinnerbait that runs just a foot or so below the surface.
the fish hooks itself but a good firm hook set adds a little insurance.
Equipment is another important tip for the angler. A
stout rod, like a Challenger
Worm 2, seven foot, heavy action rod, comes highly recommended for
thick grass and heavy cover. A big rod helps turn the fish and pulls
from the cover quickly. Spiderwire® is a must for big fish and heavy
cover. The low stretch and high sensitivity greatly increases the
hookups and landing of the fish. A good high-speed reel benefits
the angler with
quicker line pickup. The combination of a heavy action rod and low-stretch
braided line helps train the first time user and increases the chances
of landing that big fish buried in deep cover.
The final component is the jig. A few companies produce
a true swimming jig, which has a lighter hook than standard flipping
models. RC Tackle’s
jig has a light
wire hook and a 28-degree bend hook. The fiber guard is light and does
not interfere with hookups. The balance head keeps the lure swimming
upright. Coast Lures
jig with a Teflon coated hook. This hook penetrates easily and the head
handles weeds and wood with equal efficiency. Rumba
Jigs are great for heavy weeds and wood cover. The bullet head
design penetrates heavy cover without difficulty. A strong, black Mustad
wide gap hook with 28-degree bend handles big bass in deep cover with
great success. Like many bass fishing techniques, experimenting is part
of the fun. Try several different heads until one performs to the satisfaction
of the angler based on local cover and fishing style.
basic 5-inch curl tail grub is a great trailer. However, plastic twin
tail grubs and standard pork trailers have their place. Uncle Josh’s
Craw Frog and
Kicker Frog are a great substitute for plastics. Combined with their
new jigs, it offers another option for the swimming jig angler. Always
rig any trailer to give off as much vibration and action as possible.
The debate continues on rigging the curl tail up or down as which is
better. Let the fish and condition determine the best trailer.
As a substitute for a spinnerbait,
the swimming jig gives any angler an alternative to adjust to many
Instead of bouncing a crankbait off the bottom, try slow rolling
a swimming jig through the roots of a big Cyprus tree or similar structure.
of burning a spinnerbait through the pockets of shoreline grass,
through a jig into the heaviest cover and crank it just below the surface.
swimming jig will ride over matted grass, swim through the branches
of a big lay down, and bump stumps on a flat with the best of bass
procedures. The swimming jig needs a place in the tournament angler’s
About the author: Jeff Bruhl is a member of the Louisiana Outdoors Writer Association, pro angler, and a pharmacist. His website, www.marshbass.com, covers freshwater fishing across Louisiana and the gulf coast. Each Saturday morning between 5-7 am CST, a bass fishing report can be heard on the Outdoors with Don Dubuc Radio Show (www.dontheoutdoorsguy.com) on 870 AM from the New Orleans station. Jeff has made numerous television and radio appearances on shows like Paradise Louisiana, The Big Fish, and ABC26.com. From tips on youtube.com to weekly reports on his website, his articles and reports provide tips and tactics for bass anglers in the sportsman paradise. Jeff’s sponsors include Abu Garcia, Xpoint hooks, Bud Light, Louisiana Fish Fry Products, Power Pole, Stanley Jigs and Spinnerbaits, Skeeter, Dockside Marine, Rat-L-Trap, and Berkley. For more information about fishing in Louisiana, drop Jeff an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.