Spinners are my favorite lure (especially Schadeycreek Spinners) but jigs are a very close second favorite along with soft plastics (plastics will be a future post). Jigs are great to use to catch many different species of fish and in lots of different conditions from ice fishing to open water and weed cover. Jigs have a head that is usually weighted with lead or tungsten and come in lots of different shapes and colors. Jigs can be flipped, pitched, crawled, hopped or you can swim them. They can be used in any depth and at any speed.
A lot of jigs have a collar located directly behind the head. The collar is a hook that holds the soft plastic baits in position and can be molded from the metal the head is made from, piece of wire formed into a hook or even a spring shaped screw lock.
The shape of the head will determine how the lure moves through the water. In the picture below, the first head shape is a tear drop shape which is good for swimming. The second (yellow) jig head is round shaped is the most popular. The round jig head is great for vertical jigging. The middle 2 jig heads are great for fishing in currents and the last 2 shapes are great for fishing through weeds.
There are also a lot of different dressings for jigs and some come with the dressing already attached. One of the most popular type of dressing is called a "Bass Jig" or "Flipping Jig." The head has a low profile, sometimes has a rattle inside and also sometimes has a weed guard similar to the one with the red tipped skirt below. The dressing is usually a silicone skirt that pulsates on the drop and then quivers along the bottom. A split tail trailer that replicates a crawfish can be added like on the blue tipped skirt below. This type of jig is very popular for large or small mouth bass hiding in the weeds.
Another popular dressing is a tied dressing, which is tied to the collar. The dressings are tied to the jig head in a similar way flies are tied for fly fishing. Marabou, mylar, tinsel, feathers and bucktail hair are the most popular for tying jigs. Live bait, plastic grubs and scent can be added to these jigs to add an extra attractant for the fish.
Silicone skirts are another type of tied jig like the Schadeycreek jigs on the top row in the photo below.
Soft plastics are the most used type of dressing for jigs and are my favorite dressing. There are a LOT of choices of colors, scents and shapes for soft plastic dressing. There will be a post (or several posts) covering soft plastics.
Live bait jigs are popular for ice fishing. These jigs usually don't have a collar and usually have a short shank for smaller baits. These types of jigs are jigged slowly which is why they are good for colder water temps when the fish don't chase faster moving lures.
Floating jigs are also popular for live bait. They float so if you want them to go under water you have to add weights or other types of rigging that will weight them down. These jigs are good if you want to fish on top of the water or just below the surface too.
Weedless jigs are great for fishing in weed cover. The weed guard is made of plastic bristles (like in the photo below), wire or plastic in a V shape. The guard is attached to the jig head that faces up towards the hook point and covers the hook point. The guard prevents the hook from getting caught on weeds and brush where fish like to hide.
This is a picture of a wire weed guard. the 2 extra bodies are part of the soft plastic body dressing.
All of the jigs in the descriptions above are only some of the types of jigs available. There are a lot more types of jigs. Some jigs have internal rattles, some have type of spinner attached to them, some have plastic attachments that make them swim deeper or in erratic behaviors, some have flat bottoms to swim across the bottom of he lake and there are a lot of different shapes, weights and colors.
One important tool to keep with your jigs is a jig eye cleaner. Sometimes the eye that you put the fishing line through is closed off from the paint and this tool will clear the paint out so you can thread your line through.
The point of the tool goes through the eye and when you squeeze the silver parts together the point will push the paint out. This is MUCH safer and a lot faster than using a knife, your teeth or your fingernails.
Jigs are a lot of fun to use. One of the reasons I like using them is you don't have to pack very much gear with you when using jigs and still have a bunch of options. I pack a few jig heads and several packages of soft plastics on my float tube and when we have to walk into a fishing spot so I have lots of lure options even though I don't have a lot of room to carry a bunch of lures.
I would make a REALLY bad fish. I have a "thing" for spinning and flashing metal. I would fall for a Rooster Tail, Tail Spin, Beetle Spin or any other spinner EVERY time! When I'm in a sporting goods store I always end up in the areas they keep the spinners and have to be drug out. I'm pretty sure I own every color of Rooster Tail and a few colors in several sizes. You really can't see the extent of my ........"problem" in this picture because there are a lot of spinners that have to share a slot with many other spinners.
I even use only spinning reels. My Tiny Lite (the gold one in the middle of the front row) is one of my favorite for casting. My Browning and my Quantum are my MOST favorite for casting. The big black one in the middle of the back row is for my catfish rod (I'll share that in a later post) and it is not good for casting.
One of my most favorite spinners is from Bass Pro Shops and is called the Tail Spin. I own every color of every size of this lure and they have their own box and none of them have to sharea slot! That bottom row has a couple different variations of the Tail Spin made by other companies & my lucky Tail Spin that has caught a BUNCH of large mouth bass.
Here are a few colors and all 3 sizes of the Tail Spins (with hook bonnets of course). These are one lure I don't buy as gifts for friends and family because.............well, because I don't want to share them.
Another of my favorite spinners is the Beetle Spin. They also have their own box (except the 2 huge ones have to go in a different box). I don't own ever color of every size of these though because I would need many more boxes.
There are a lot of different variations of Beetle Spins, especially now that they are becoming more popular. With the spinner arm (which you can buy separately), you can use different jig heads with different plastic bodies. The black, red and yellow Beetle Spin on the bottom row on the left is the lure I caught by biggest large mouth bass on.
If you have a spinning problem, please share! If you see me being drug out of the spinning aisles in a sporting goods store, please stop and say "Hi!".............. and distract my husband so I can sneak back to the spinners. Thank you!
You know someone is serious about fishing when you find a walleye rig holder full in their motor home kitchen cabinet.
(That's my motor home kitchen cabinet & walleye rigs.)
I hate these:
They work great to keep your snelled hooks with the leaders on them organized, the leader straight and fit in a tackle box pretty easy. BUT, I hate them. I have trouble getting the hooks on and off and usually end up having to ask for help or end up hurt. Those springs are really strong which is a good thing for storage, but bad for my weak fingers. I thought about using a walleye rig holder, but couldn't figure out how to make it work right until I found this one:
You hook the hooks in the eyelets, wrap the walleye rigs around it and then use small pieces of Velcro to hold them on. No springs!!! Here is what my Snelled Hook Holder looks like right now (it usually has more on it, but I forgot to restock the last time I was at a Sporting Goods store):
You can wrap the leaders around and secure them with the piece of Velcro. You can hook multiple hooks through the eyelets. Here is a closeup of a section.:
They fit in a Plano box really easy, too:
If you have trouble with the springs, you should definitely try these. They're a little hard to find. I found both my walleye rig holders at different stores and they were the only ones at both stores when I found them. If you decide you like the springs better, you can always use the Velcro one for walleye rigs or give it as a gift to someone who hates the spring ones as much as I do.
I can't take complete and total credit for this great idea. About a month ago, my husband and I were at the Eagle Claw store in Denver, CO and while I was looking at a wall of hooks I noticed they were using large dual lock snaps to keep their hooks organized in their packages. I got REALLY excited when I started thinking about all of the gear I could organize with those things. I bought 2 different sizes that day and should have bought a couple smaller sizes, too.
Here are a few uses I have already applied them to:
The first thing I organized with my new dual snaps were those split rings. I'm always trying to keep them in their place and they are always escaping and making a mess in my tackle boxes and bag. I haven't had to pick those little things up off the ground or seperated them out of other slots in my tackle box since I put them on their snap!Some of the eyes on hooks area little small for the bigger sized snaps, but I luckily had some smaller snaps I use on a regular basis so I was prepared for those, too.
The next thing I organized was my walk-in box. I have a Plano box dedicated to times I don't want to carry a full tackle box full of lures and gear into an area we are walking into. (I will share that box in a later post.) I'm able to bring more sizes of weights and hooks because they will stay organized and I won't end up with a hook stuck in my finger trying to find the hook I want. You can keep different sizes of hooks, weights, etc. in the same slot in your tackle box and not have to sort through all of them to find the right size. Here are a couple pictures to demonstrate this. This first photo shows 3 sizes of 3-way swivels all mixed up like they would be in a tackle box slot:
It only takes a few seconds to make the above photo look like this photo:
Thank you VERY much Eagle Claw for this great idea and the supplies to do it with!
I HATE reaching into a tackle box to pull out 1 lure and 10 come out because the hooks are all tangled together. I also HATE trying to tie on a lure and having the hook get attached to my shirt, my pants, the boat seat, my tackle bag, my day bag, my husband, my sister, my sister's husband, my finger, my sock, my towel, the boat carpet, the weeds, the tree and anything else near by. I end up spending more time unhooking my lure from other lures, clothing, my sister, etc. than I do unhooking it from a fish which makes me frustrated and then I don't want to throw lures anymore. So 99% of my lures have hook bonnets on them. If a lure doesn't have a hook bonnet, that means I either lost the hook bonnet or the hook is a weird shape that won't fit in a hook bonnet. Here are 3 sizes:
The blue is the smallest, the green is a medium and the red is a large. There is also a bigger sized that I don't have any of because I don't have any lures that big.........yet. When put new lures away, I bring my baggie of hook bonnets and as soon as the new lure comes out of it's package, it gets a bonnet. They are also very handy in kids' tackle boxes.
Here are some of my lures with hook bonnets on them:
I even put hook bonnets on my Dynamic Lures and Rapala Lures that I leave in the boxes. (That picture didn't turn out very well.) I may not have to worry about them getting tangled up with other lures in their individual boxes, but I still have to worry about my fingers, my clothing, my sister.....you understand.
What if a lure has a treble hook AND one of those hooks on top that also gets caught on everything? Most of those types of lures come with the answer to that question. Look at this picture:
See that clear plastic tube looking thing? I leave those plastic tube things on until I'm ready to use the lure and then I put it back on when I'm putting the lure away. If I loose a lure with one of those, I keep the plastic tube in case I loose one from another lure or a lure doesn't come with one of those handy tubes on it.
Here is what one of my spinner boxes looks like:
Just the thought of reaching into that top center section and trying to pull out ONE spinner and having ALL of them come out makes me cringe! Because they all have hook bonnets on, I won't have that problem.
The only problem I have with hook bonnets is sometimes remembering to put them back on. Some days when I empty my pockets after a day at the lake I pull out 2 or 3 bonnets from my pocket. If I can remember all the lures I used that day, it's pretty easy to find the naked hooks, otherwise I pretend it was time to go through and organize all my lures anyway.