Want to catch big largemouth bass? Bass jigs are a great way to do just that. Learn more, here.

How to Use Bass Jigs

Jigs are a great way to catch huge largemouth bass! Learn all about bass jigs—which ones to use, and how to use them, here.

Last updated: October 30, 2021

By: Jon Stewart

So let me guess:

You’ve heard about bass jigging quite a bit but you’re not quite sure what’s so great about it, why it works so well, or how to properly jig for bass in the first place.

Well, good news.💡

You’ve come to the right place!

Here, we’ll explain everything you need to know about jigging for bass: What jigging is, how to jig, different types of jigs, and a few special tips (that you NEED to know - they work!).

Ready? Let’s get to it!👇

What is a Jig? 🔎

A jig is basically a shaped bit of metal that has been molded around a large hook. It's one of the oldest and most effective designs known to man. Just think of it as a heavily weighted hook that you rig your bait on to. You can add a number of features to diversify it, such as skirts, rattles, and weed guards.

Many people seem to feel that, when you are using a jig, it's a question of being able to prefer quality over sheer quantity. This is due to the fact that you may seem at first to get fewer bites using the jig. But if you keep at it, you will quickly find that the bites you get lead to far more lasting results.

There are many different types of jigs that can be made use of in a wide range of situations. For example, there are jigs that are perfect for shallow water. You can find jigs that are great for fishing right from the bank of the water. At the same time, there are plenty of others that are made for deeper water.

You can use a certain type of jig to fish for bass in clear waters. But you can also use other types to hunt out bass in murky waters. Depending on the type of jig that you use, you can catch a large number of bass in a short time or go for quality over quantity. There is a jig for almost every instance you can imagine.

It should also be noted that a jig can be used for many other types of fish besides bass. You can use your jig to catch batfish, crawdads, and many others. This nearly universal application of the jig all across the spectrum of deep and shallow water is a major part of its appeal. It's the perfect beginner's tool.

With that being said, the jig will always be primarily known as a premier lure to catch bass. It's a classic traditional design that can be produced in very large quantities for next to nothing. As a result, it's one of the world's most cost effective implements to make use of when you are in the mood to catch bass.

Techniques for Using a Jig: Pitching a Jig and Jig Flipping 🎣

There are many ways you can use jigs, but only a few techniques are known to land bass the most. Using jigs require different techniques from that of soft plastics.

The two most basic and common techniques for using a jig are pitching and flipping. If you aren't familiar with these terms, let’s take a closer look at how you can pitch and flip a jig to catch bigger largemouth bass.

Pitching Your Jig Explained

The basic technique for pitching a jig can be outlined in the following steps:

  1. Press your thumb firmly down on the spool. Release the button with the same motion as you would during a conventional cast

  2. Pinch your bait, the line, or both as needed. The place to pinch will be right above your bait. You can use your opposing hand to effect this motion

  3. Pull the bait back in order to fully load up your rod

  4. Use the tip of your rod to aim as squarely as possible at your target of choice

  5. "Pitch the Jig" by releasing the bait. You should release your thumb from the spool at the very same instant

  6. Feather the spool. This will let the line flow efficiently outward without lashing against you from the back

  7. Make use of the tip of the rod to govern the speed of your bait. You want to hit the water gently rather than clumsily

  8. Add some extra pressure to the spool at the instant your bait makes contact with the water. This will help to prevent an unpleasant backlash

  9. Click your reel forward. This will make the start of it being retrieved back towards you and the boat

How to Flip a Jig for Bass

The basic technique for flipping a jig can be outlined in the following steps:

  1. First, release the line. You can do this pulling out between your personal reel and the first of the rod guides

  2. Next, you need to release just enough line to cover the total amount of distance between you and your intended target

  3. When the line is released, set it aside on the floor or ground next to you. Do not let it get into the water

  4. Press your thumb firmly down on the spool and release button. This should be done in the manner of a normal cast

  5. Pinch off the line between your reel and the first guide. You can use your opposing hand to effect this motion

  6. Lift the rod all the way up to a 12 o'clock position. This should be done while the bait is still dangling downward off the hook.

  7. Decide on the target you want to reach. Swing your bait forward in a forward to backward pendulum arc

  8. When you get to the top of the swing, let your line out.

  9. Be ready for a bite!

When and Where to Use a Jig 🗺

You can use jigs all year round - in the spring, summer, fall, and even winter. If you live in a location where the water freezes, and you ice fish in the winter, using a jig to attract bass is a good idea. However, one of the most well-known fall bass fishing tips includes, you guessed it - using a jig. ✅

There are a number of common areas where the use of a jig is best advised. These will include, but will not be limited to, the following:

Heavily Vegetative or Weeded Areas

One of the best places to use a jig will be in areas that have heavy weeds and other vegetation. This is an area known to feature success. Jigs have skirts that act as a guard for your trailer and hook against getting caught in too much aquatic muck and debris. It's always best to use a weeded jig in one of these areas so that you get the most muck protection.

Areas Where Bass Congregate Around Structures

You can also use your jig in an area that features a structure. This can be anything from a buoy to a boathouse. Learning how to properly pitch your jig around these areas will be an absolute must. Doing so will allow you to pitch under a busy dock or even around two boats that are set out very near the shore.

It needs to be kept in mind that this particular casting style is very precise. You may not have the expertise at first to cast for a very long distance. However, with a bit of practice, you should master this art. Once you do so, you will be able to catch bass even in the most remote and very hard to reach areas.

Types of Bass Jigs 💡

There are a wide variety of bass jigs for you to make use of. These include, but will not be limited to, the following:

Arkle Jigs

Arkle jigs, also known as casting or flipping jigs, are the most common type on the market. These are meant to be all-purpose units, perfect for the needs of those who are new to the sport of bass angling. The heads are designed to give perfect balance. They are best used in water areas that have a variety of cover.

Football Jigs

True to their name, these jigs come with heads that are shaped very much like a common football. This special shape makes them move in a wobbly fashion as they sink. They will continue to do so as you drag them across the bottom of the lake or river. This feature makes them the best choice for fishing in rocky bottoms.

Swim Jigs

Swim jigs are a very unique sort of jig. They are a bit thinner and designed to come to a very fine point just at the place where the line tie is located. It has a paddle tail that gives it a very realistic side to side action. This is the type of jig that is best used when you need to stir fish out of deep cover.

Finesse Jigs

Finesse jigs are generally meant for a much subtler situation. This is the type of jig to use when you are drawing out the line slowly over a wide area. At the same time, you may be using very small baits with a light tackle. Finesse gigs will live up to their name in clear water areas that feature very hard bottoms.

Punch Rig

A punch rig is designed to cut its way through thick and heavy vegetation. You will need to use a very heavy punching rod to get the best results from this gig. Punch rigs are built very tough and heavy, normally from 3/4 ounce all the way up to 2 ounces. They can plunge straight through heavy cover to the bottom.

Using Jigs for Bass: FAQs

Do You Put Bait on a Jig?

There are many different kinds of bait that you can and should put on your jig. These include minnows, shiners, chubs, leeches, crawlers, and many other types. Baiting your jig with these specimens will give you a much higher chance of attracting a bass. The live movement will combine with motion to seal the deal.

What Color Jig is Best for Bass?

Did you know that bass are able to see color? For this reason, the color of the jig you choose is crucial. In water that is muddy, you should use bright colors like orange or yellow. If the water is clear, you can use more natural colors such as blue or brown. Adjust the brightness to the clarity level of the water.

What Size Jig Should I Use for Bass?

There is no one size fits all option for a bass jig. Different sizes will need to be used depending on the situation you find yourself in. The closest thing to a universal size for bass jigs will be 3/8 to 1/2 oz. When fishing in deep water, the size should be 2 oz. For a finesse jig, you can lower it to 3/16 oz.

What Does a Jig Bite Feel Like?

A bite on your jig can be felt in a number of different ways. Sometimes a hard hit will register as a very perceptible thump. Other times, the bite may be so soft as to be virtually undetectable. The best way to know if your jig has gotten a bite is to watch its motion in the water for any sudden differences.

Where Do You Throw a Jig for Bass?

There are any number of locations that you can throw a jig for bass. If the water is deep, you may try throwing it under areas where there is lots of silt or rock cover. Use a brightly colored jig to gain more contrast. If the water is shallow, try fishing the shore or in light vegetation with a brighter jig.

Do I Need a Sinker with a Jig Head?

You will definitely need to fish for bass with a sinker or a weighted jig head. This is the best way to get a fully buoyant lure, such as a worm or tube bait, all the way to the bottom. Once there, it needs to stay in place. Most jig heads are made of lead since it sinks easily, molds freely, and is cost effective.

Can You Jig From Shore?

You can use a jig hook from any number of positions near the water. These will include the bank and the shore. But if you do plan to jig from the shore, you will need to make sure that the lure gets cast out into the body of water and then jigged back in a short amount of time. This is a motion you can't delay.