From time to time someone asks, “If you could only have one lure/bait, what would it be?”  My answer to that question has always been the same, a jig!  However, you know as soon as I say that I have to post disclaimers and explanations. . . .

“A jig” is really not a fair answer.  Jigs come in an infinite variety of sizes, styles, colors, actions, and bodies.  Of the 500 pounds of tackle in my tackle box, probably 238 pounds are some of that infinite variety of jigs.  Jigs are a very versatile bait; you can catch every fish that swims on a jig.

I have also made the statement that many of the best sticks I know are good jig anglers.  Learn to fish a jig and you will be well on your way to being an above average angler.

Right now, late spring/early summer is a great time of year to fish.  It is also a great time to be fishing jigs.  Depending on what I am targeting, a jig will spend a lot of time tied onto at least one of my rods right now, and most of the year for that matter.

I found this short article on jig fishing.  The basics/fundamentals here are right on!  Take a minute or two to read this:

Jig Fishing 101

I know as soon as I post that what some of you are thinking, “That is a tackle company trying to sell baits.”

Yeah, so what?  They are also trying to help you catch fish, more fish, bigger fish.  Don’t make no difference if you are using Northland baits or not (although they have some good ones!).

Let me add a couple more tips:  The article did not mention it, but when casting jigs, watch your line, like a hawk!  You will be able to better present your jigs right where you want if you are line-watching, and you will detect strikes!  When casting and retrieving a jig, a “take” may be nothing more than a “tick” or jump in the line.  SET THE HOOK!  If you wait until you feel a “bite”, you may never hook a fish.  It takes practice, time on the water, and yes, it takes concentration, but it will become a reflex to set the hook when you see the line jump.

We now have an infinite variety of plastic bodies to put on jigs.  That is great, but do not forget the good ole bucktail and marabou!  Those “natural” jig dressings may be considered “old school”, but you better believe they still work, still catch a ton of fish.  Use ’em!  [And thanks “Angler X” for replenishing my supply of bucktail jigs!]


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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