Swimming Jigs Advice from Doug Stange

This post is a continuation of the last post, which was adapted from the “More Tinkering with Trailers” article in the Oct/Nov 2011 issue of In-Fisherman by Doug Stange. Watch Doug and the crew of In-Fisherman TV Saturdays at 8 pm & 11 pm ET and THIS Sunday during “Attack of the Bass” at 7 am ET.

Bass anglers so overlook the last category (the boot-tailed soft swimbait category) but it can be so deadly, that I want to offer a few examples of options to get you started. For rubber-legged jigs most often fished by bass anglersĀ – compact jigs in the 3/8 to 1-ounce range – try 3.25 or 4.5-inch Lunker City Shakers. The Shaker has a flat body and it does a nice job of making most of the jigs move. Experiment by shortening the softbait body to get it to couple with the jig you’ve chosen.

One of my favorite conehead jigs is the 5/8 ounce J-mac jig. yes, it’s a big one designed by muskies. Bass anglers spend too much time fishing too small. The 1-ounce J-mac also works well. At times you need to trim the skirt back a little. The weedguard works in weeks, but it doesn’t deflect wood. A few options include:

Doug with a nice smallie

1. Add a 4.5 inch Lunker City Shaker body and the jig swims (wobbles) modestly on a straight retrieve – and swims well in the fall.

2. Add a 5-inch Berkley Flatback Shad and the jig swims more distinctively on a straight retrieve, but goes dead (doesn’t swim) on the fall. Overall, I prefer the jig to swim on the fall, but many times bass like it on a dead fall.

3. Trim a 6-inch Lunker City Shaker body back by an inch and it swims the package superbly on a straight retrieve and it wobbles a bit on the fall. This one starts to get a bit big for a 2 and 3-pound bass. Trim the Shaker by 2 inches and it still swims great on the retrieve by no longer swims on the fall.


4. Add a narrow-bodied swimbait – hybrid swimbait, as I call them. Many companies offer bodies like the Lunker City SwimFish and the Berkley Havoc Grass Pig, both 5 inches. The bodies move the jig modestly on a straight retrieve and the fall. It’s one of the hottest new options.

I won’t complicate it by discussing at length coupling jigs designed for swim jigging with swimbait bodies, although you should consider it if you fish these jigs. Swimbait bodies work best with heavier jigs. The bodies need a sturdy pivot point to work against in order to swim; so 3/8 ounce is about the minimum weight for jigs with even a thin skirt.

Good fishing to you.