One of the most successful baits ever used in bass fishing is the jig and pig (or as some none fishing folks often mistakenly say, pig and jig). In fact, the jig and pig is a favorite among many professional competitive bass anglers, allowing them to rake in millions of dollars’ worth of prizes by using it. Even non-competitors have triumphantly landed trophy sizes large-mouth, small-mouth, and even spotted bass with it. If you’re looking for another type of bait aside from your usual bass fishing crankbait, you should certainly give this one a try. But what exactly is a jig and pig, and more important is how to fish a jig and pig bait successfully?
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What Is a Jig and Pig Bait?
Simply put, a jig and pig bait is one that combines any jig with a pork lure. The jig part is usually a lead head jig with a fairly big hook, dressed either in a rubber or hair skirt. On the other hand, the pig part of the bait is a pork trailer, either made from real pork skin or pork rind or plastic. The jig and pig is a heavy lure and works best when made to sink slowly. The big and slow presentation makes it a great bait for bass fish, especially when the water temperature is down and the bass is moving slower than usual.
Unlike other types of lures for bass, the classic pork lure is made from real pork skin or pork rind and comes in a variety of shapes that resemble frogs, crawfish, and worms. They are sold and stored in jars containing brine or salt solution to keep them pliable and fresh and preventing them from drying out. Aside from that, soaking them in brine imbues them with an additional scent that carries throughout the water and makes them more tempting to bass fish.
Pork trailers can also be made from plastic, often designed as chunky plastic frogs, crawfish, or plastic grubs with wiggly tails. These are good alternatives for anglers who don’t like dealing with the mess that comes with pork trailers soaked in brine solutions.
Anglers who fish with a jig and pig usually use a fairly stiff rod with a heavy fishing line because you’ll be targeting large bass fish. In many cases, anglers use a six-foot baitcasting rod (or other suitable bass fishing rods) with medium to heavy power and fast action, paired of course with an appropriate baitcasting reel. Such rods (and other rigs similar to it) will be strong enough to battle and land most trophy-sized bass.
Fishing with Jig and Pig
Jig and pig baits are often used by anglers when water temperatures fall below 60 degrees, hopping the bait slowly over the bottom to mimic the backward darting movement of crawfish (which is a common entrée on a largemouth bass’ menu). Also, the flopping legs of the pork trailer make it look like the pincers of the crawfish, which makes it appear more real and authentic to the unknowing bass fish and one of the better alternatives to your usual largemouth and smallmouth bass lures and largemouth bass lures.
Tips When Fishing with Jig and Pig
- Use a heavier jig to make your bait sink to the bottom. However, you don’t want to use something too heavy as this will make your bait sink too fast. Instead, look for something that will allow you to sink your bait slowly to give the bass enough time to take it. This is why many anglers use a bucktail jig since the hairs make it sink slower.
- Be careful with your color choices. Some anglers use color combinations for their jig and pig-like a black and brown combo or a black and blue combo. Some even try to mimic the color of the crawfish which is said to increase their chances of success. If in doubt, you can always stick to the generally accepted rule of using brown in clear waters and black in stained ones.
- Patience is key. Once your jig and pig bait hits the bottom, let it sit there for a few seconds. More often than not, hungry bass fish will strike within that time. If not, shake the jib with your rod’s tip and move it with short hops. This mimics the crawfish’s movement of scuttling around the bottom. This movement is often enough to encourage the bass to take the bait.
- Look for cover. Bass fish in general like to look for crawfish in the brush, rocks, and clay bottom since this is where crawfish usually hides.
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The jig and pig bait (again, it’s “jig and pig” not “pig and jig”) is one of the most successful types of bait to use when fishing for bass especially in cold waters. When learning how to fish a jig and pig, just keep the above-mentioned tips in mind. Who knows, you may just end up with a largemouth bass big enough to match those landed by tournament pros.
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