Jig Fishing Tips, Techniques, & Videos


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It’s as easy as casting it out, letting it sink and popping it up, then repeat that process all the way back to the boat!  The fish will take care of the rest.


(not really, it’s still pretty simple, just more wordy):

Cast your jig out into an area where you believe trout are waiting.  Once the jig hits the water, click your bail, reel up “most” of the slack line while holding your rod tip at a 75 degree angle toward the jig and then let the jig free fall (as you follow that depth with the tip of your rod… all the way down to at least a 45 degree angle) to a depth that you think is close to the bottom.  Once it reaches that depth, then with a flick of your wrist AND no more than a 6 inch jerk from your elbow, pop the jig up and start that whole process over again.  EVERY TIME YOU POP THE JIG, YOU’RE SETTING THE HOOK!  But, remember, it’s not bass fishing so you don’t have to rare back to cross their eyes on the hook set… they’re trout so the simple wrist flick and elbow jerk is enough to set the hook into the roof of the trout’s soft mouth.  
99% of the time, when you reel the fish in, you’ll have it hooked in the upper lip because the fish hit the jig on the fall.

Also remember, you’re using light line and a light OR ultra-light (my preference) action rod, so a good drag is essential to let the fish make their runs without breaking the 2-4 pound line.  Personally, when I get a quality fish on, I immediately switch my anti-reverse to “off” so I can back-reel on the fish when it makes its line breaking runs.

Although the above technique will work at any water level (from low water to 8 units running out of Bull Shoals Dam), I will vary my retrieve based on water flow.  For example, when it’s low water, I will pop the jig until I see fish coming toward the jig, then I will switch to a “stationary depth” swim of the jig… it drives them crazy and most of time, they cannot resist.  This technique is by far my favorite because it turns into a competition of “Who’s the quickest?”… me or the fish!  I gotta say, that up to this point in my fishing career, I’m up on the fish 52,613 to 52,612 meaning I’ve caught 52,613 and 52,612 of them have spit it out before I could set the hook.  I’m kidding of course!  I have no idea how many I’ve caught by sight-fishing, but THEY ARE QUICK!!!  As soon as you see them open their mouths, SET THE HOOK!

I hope to have a video of how to catch northern smallmouth soon, but I’ve either got to get someone to fly me up there (hint-hint) or wait til my freakin’ friend goes back up there to video for me.  Again, I know they work up there because they whacked ‘em this summer in Minnesota!

Until then, again, if you’d like to discuss the techniques, give me a call at 479-466-8202 or we could even meet up on the river sometime and I’d be happy to show you… or even learn from you!