Jig Fishing Beginner’s Guide


Jig fishing is one of the most popular fishing techniques and is widely practiced by anglers of varying skill levels around the world. And jigs, despite being around for a long time, are still favored by many anglers simply because they work. If you keen on learning how to fish a jig, the following information should help you get started.

What Is a Jig?

A jig is a type of lure with a dense and heavy lead head that allows it to sink easily. A hook is molded onto the head, while a skirt is tied to the collar. Because jigs can be used in almost all types of fishing conditions, they are considered to be versatile and used by anglers when fishing for panfish, walleyes, pikes, and of course bass.

Parts of a Jig

Jigs have different parts, all of which play an important role in making them effective in catching a diverse range of fish species.

  • The jighead refers to the topmost part of the jig where the hook and the line eye are molded and is responsible for sinking the whole lure. It is available in varying sizes, weights, and types (e.g. round, bullet, etc.).
  • Jig Hook. Like other fishing hooks, jig hooks come in varying sizes and weights each of which is suited for different types of fish species.
  • Skirts are tied to the collar of the jig (just below the jig head) and are responsible for attracting the fish and enticing them to bite. They can be made from hair, rubber, or silicone.
  • Weed Guards. As the name suggests, these small brushes or metal protects the jig hook from getting snagged among the weeds. These can be very helpful whenever you’re jig fishing in bodies of water with lots of covers.
  • Jig Trailer. Trailers are used to make the lure more attractive to the fish. Jigs aren’t sold with trailers so anglers buy them separately and attach them to the lure manually. Trailers are available in different types, from soft plastics like crawfish or worms to the very popular jig and pig bait which uses pork skin or pork rinds.

Types of Jigs

As you learn how to fish a jig, one thing you should pay attention to would be the different types of jigs and in what situations they are best used.

  • Football Jigs. Football jigs have heavier heads since they are meant to be dragged along rocky bottoms. Their round heads allow them to be dragged along rock and rubble without getting trapped in the cracks. They also have wide gap hooks and fuller skirts. Football jigs have weed guards, although many anglers trim or even remove them to ensure better hookups.
  • Swim Jigs. As the name suggests, these types of jigs are used when swimming a jig or winding a jig through the water column. They have a bullet-shaped jighead which allows them to easily slither around and through the cover. They have lighter weed guards than other types of jigs, and light, narrow and sharper hooks for maximum penetration.
  • Casting Jigs. Casting jigs are considered to be multi-purpose jigs and feature a round or flat-bottom jighead. Unlike swim jigs, casting jigs have wire or standard weed guards with medium strength.
  • Grass Jigs. Grass jigs are designed to be used on grassy fishing grounds. They can conical heads with the line tie located near the top, the shape of which allows them to penetrate and move through grass easily. They are also more compact than other types of jigs, and their smaller profile reduces the chances of them getting snagged on the grass.
  • Flipping Jigs. If you like fishing in waters laden with heavy wood or brush, then you’ll need a flipping jig in your tackle boxes. These types of jigs have a heavy gauge hook, a compact head, and an integrated rattle. Their weed guards are also a little firmer than other types of jigs to keep the jig from hanging up.



Q: What does jig mean in fishing?


A jig refers to a type of artificial lure used in jig fishing. Jig fishing or “jigging” is a technique which involves creating a jerky, vertical motion to attract the fish.

Q: What is a skirted jig?


A skirted jig is a lead headed lure that is designed to mimic crawfish, shad, bluegills, and other baits that bass eats. The skirts can come in a variety of types, colors, and designs, all of which are suitable and effective in certain fishing situations.

Q: Can you jig fish from shore?


The art of shore jigging has been practiced for years in various parts of the world. Basically, this fishing technique involves casting heavy jigs or lures near the shoreline. Anglers of varying skills levels, from pros to those who are just learning how to fish a jig, have found the most success along rocky cliffs, quays, docks, and other similar areas.

Q: What’s the difference between a jig and a lure?


There is no difference between a jig and a lure since the former is basically a type of the latter. A lure is a general term that refers to any type of artificial bait like spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and jigs.

Q: When should you throw a jig?


Jigs can be used at any season of the year, even when fishing in light to heavy cover and around structures. Many anglers have found success when jig fishing during winter months, and although the catch may be few they are often some of the largest.

Q: How do you use a jig head for fishing?


When jigging, follow the steps below:

  1. Cast your fishing line and let the jig sink to the bottom.
  2. Once you feel the jig hit the bottom, lift your wrist so that the tip of your jigging fishing rod pops up a little then let it sink again.
  3. Continue jigging up and down or even sideways until you feel the fish strike then reel in your catch.

This is the most basic form of jig fishing, and some anglers have their own special techniques and jigging methods which allows them to attract more fish. Nonetheless, work on the basics first before you start playing with the more advanced techniques like vertical jigging on how to fish a jig to build a solid foundation for your fishing style.

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The jig is certainly one of the most important lures in an angler’s arsenal. It is versatile and can be used in various situations and conditions. Learning how to fish a jig is a skill that every beginning angler should master. It takes practice and experience, but once you got that down you’ll be jig fishing successfully in no time.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!