Jig modifications for big summer bass

Jig Pimpin' | So Many Ways to Fish a Jig

Jigs are among the most effective bass fishing lures, in part, because they are among the most versatile. Most days on the water, a jig can be altered in appearance or action to deliver your biggest bite. Maybe even a new PB!

A quick look at how a jig is built will reveal details of how it is intended to be fished. A football jig is designed with a broad head that increases bottom contact for greater feel when fishing deep water or the dark recesses of offshore structure.

Football jigs were created to be dragged along ledges and humps but even such a dedicated design can be used in a variety of ways. When the standard dragging method isn’t drawing strikes, hop the jig off bottom.

Then there’s the ‘stroking’ technique wherein an angler rips the jig off bottom with an aggressive upward snatch of the rod, and then lowers the rod tip allowing the jig to swim toward the lake floor (assuming it makes it that far before a bass is triggered into biting).

Trailer style matters. Sometimes a more subtle trailer will close the deal. 

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Video transcript:

Mikey Balzz:
What is going on, homies? Mikey Balzz here. We are going to talk, a very timely topic, and that's football jigs. I'm going to show you a few different things, a few ways to tweak the lure itself, as well as what kind of trailers you can use on the back for what kind of actions?

Mikey Balzz:
Well, let's start with a few tips on actually tweaking a jig. One's super simple, and you actually hear about it all the time. One thing you want to do with a jig is you want to trim that skirt down, so it comes up to the hook, just like that. I really like to have that hook right at the edge of the skirt, so that when that fish bites, it really gets it in there. I don't want too much bulk, too much flare. And usually they come with a full length skirt. Don't need all that.

Mikey Balzz:
Now, the other one's a little bit tweaky. Now, as you know, there's a brush guard on this football jigger. Right? You can see it right there. One thing a lot of guys don't know is that brush guard comes out of the factory just like that. It's very tubular. It's very stuck together. Well, the whole point of that brush guard is to keep the jig from hanging up, to keep that hook from catching all that stuff. Right? So, one thing that I like to do with all of my jigs, whether a football jig, a flipping jig, whatever, is you literally just spread that joker out, just like that. Fan it out because there's more than enough strands to cover the hook when you do that, and then you get better coverage on that hook, and you're not hanging up as much.

Mikey Balzz:
Let's talk about what you put on the back. There's really three trailers that I use with a football jig, specifically. And I got kind of a funny little phrase with them. One of them's normal, standard, the other one's OG, and the other one's just weird dude. But the OG one, old school gangster, and you guys probably recognize it. And that's a chunk. What's really cool about a chunk is it's very free flowing. Normally, what you do with a chunk is you're just going to slide it right over the hook right there, and it's very loose. You can see it actually slides back and forth. If you're looking for a gliding, free motion action on your football jig, that's what you want to go with. Not much kick, but just a nice little soft paddle to it.

Mikey Balzz:
The other one that I like to use, and this is the weird one, cause Mikey Balzz, a little bit weird. Right? This is sort of a little tweak that I figured out [inaudible 00:02:11] power fishing down in Florida, and I'll take a stick bait, kind of like this. It can be three inch, it can be four inch, even a five inch if you got Magnum fish. And you think I'm going to thread it up the hook right now. No. What we're actually going to do is wackify it. You actually put it on the jig wacky like that, and what's really cool with this is it creates the wacky action, so you have the shaking back and forth. But what's nice too, is it slows the jig down, slows down the fall, slows down how it moves forward, and just creates a very large package. Because we always talk about jigs as being a bulky, big fish presentation. But you can tell me, does that look like a big fish presentation?

Mikey Balzz:
The other one, and this is the more normal style. And that would be a creature style bait, like this Gary Yamamoto. Now, one thing that you need to do with these creature baits though, is oftentimes you need to modify them. The shank of the hook is just about that long. If I put that plastic on, it's a whole lot of dangle going on. You don't always have to have the biggest, bulkiest jig ever. You want it to kind of have a fluid, yet bulky presentation. So, what I'll normally do, I'll kind of measure where the hook shank is and then I'll give that joker a trim. This is another little tip. You can see that that body's pretty flat. If I put that thing on there like that, it's going to hang out a lot. I'll actually take my scissors and do a little creative plasticing, just like this. Maybe make it like a 45, so it sits on there in a little more fluid manner.

Mikey Balzz:
You can rig these things up two ways. One, you can treat it like a chunk, where you just slide it on, but at the same time, it kind of dangles out a bit. Usually if it's more of a compact creature bait, you can get away with this. But if you don't want that body to be sliding up and down as you're dragging it through things, you simply just thread it up the hook, and find that keeper right on there, and pop her on. And that looks pretty, doesn't it? And you have a nice bulky presentation, those flappers, and a kick and glide as you're dragging it through. And you're also not going to get any slide on that trailer when you're actually dragging it through some cover.

Mikey Balzz:
There's a reason football jigs are such a classic part of the bass fishing arsenal. They're big, they're bulky, and they get some big bites. It's a great tool to have in your box during this hot water, hot weather time of year. So, get yourself out football jig start dragging around through cover on that hard bottom, make sure it's bulky, maybe rig it up weird with that wacky rig, and hook yourself some bass.

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