can swim it, crawl it, hop it, drag it, dead stick it, pitch it,
flip it, the sky is the limit. This is the type of bait that when
you gain confidence fishing it, it can really help you fill out
your bag in a tournament or get a kid hooked on fishing. It can
take a little while to get the hang of fishing a jig, but if you
spend some time fishing it, it will pay off.
the spider jig you are trying to imitate either a crawdad or a baitfish,
or both. These plastic baits are available in a multitude of patterns
that can imitate a crawdad, shad, bluegill, perch, pretty much anything
a bass would find in his lake or river. I have also had excellent
luck fishing colors such as bright purple or chartreuse that don’t
resemble forage but obviously press some buttons that get the bass
There are many
ways to rig a spider jig. My favorite way to fish it is to rig it
on a football head jig head. Make sure the plastic bait is threaded
onto the lead head properly so the body sits straight and you are
good to go. I fish the spider jig on heads weighing 1/4 to one ounce.
I like to fish the smaller 4 inch baits in shad patterns on the
lighter 1/4 and 3/8 ounce heads, and I usually fish the 5 inch baits
in more traditional jig colors (black/blue, black, brown, brown/purple,
brown/orange) on 3/8 to one ounce heads. I know a lot of emphasis
is placed on the color of a lure, but I think an angler’s
confidence in a certain color may have more to do with success.
Some days it does seem like the bass really want a certain color.
More times than not I’ve only been getting them on one of
my favorite colors yet when I talk to three other guys that are
only getting them on their favorite colors, they are all completely
different. Concentrate on the presentation of the bait and then
go from there.
head is ideal for fishing around rocks due to the shape of the head
keeping it snag free, although if you are fishing the bait correctly
and keeping it in contact with the bottom you will lose your share
of jigs. If you are not feeling bottom contact then you should go
to a heavier leadhead. A high quality fast tapered graphite rod
and fluorocarbon line will only help you feel every pebble as you
work the bait across the bottom, as well as the sometimes subtle
bite. Some days the bass will try and rip your arms off when they
hit the jig, but sometimes it’s a really mushy bite and hard
to feel. If you feel anything weird or different, swing! Sometimes
they’ll suck in the jig while swimming towards you and you’ll
just notice that you can’t feel the bottom anymore. This part
of jig fishing takes time until you know what’s going on (or
think you know, then the fish will show you what’s up and
keep you in line!).
head is a very effective tool to target prespawn bass staging in
deeper water, often times on points. You’re going to want
to fish the heavier lead heads to take advantage of these nice fish
in 25-40+ feet of water. If you’re trying to fish too light
of a bait then you’ll have no contact with the bottom and
you’ll be lucky to get bit, and even luckier to stick that
fish biting on a slack line. When the wind is blowing or you are
fishing in current, you also have to fish that heavier jig. It can
be a little intimidating throwing the one ounce jig head in freshwater
when you are not used to it, but try it out and see what happens.
You can also fish the heavier jigs in shallower water as a search
bait. You can cast them a long way and retrieve them quickly while
still keeping contact with the bottom. Some football heads come
with a weed guard, but because I am throwing them mainly in rocky
structure I don’t think the weed guard helps me and I prefer
not to use it. When fishing near vegetation, that’s when I’ll
fish the spider jig Texas rigged.
The Texas rig
is another very versatile way to fish the spider jig. It’s
a great way to fish the jig through grass and other vegetation.
The point of the hook is imbedded in the body of the bait, so you
can fish where the fish live without hanging up constantly. Dragging
the bait or shaking it like you would a plastic worm are two of
my favorite ways to fish with this rig. You can choose to either
peg the weight right above the hook, particularly if you are flipping
or pitching the jig in heavy cover, or just let it slide freely.
You can also thread a glass rattle on the line between the hook
and worm weight when shaking the bait to add a realistic click clack
sound like a crawdad that can really be the deal maker some days.
Tungsten and brass are the preferred material over lead for this
application because they are harder and make more noise when hitting
the glass bead. Although it will cost you some extra dough, spring
for some tungsten bullet weights. They are about half the size of
a similar weight lead sinker and are more sensitive due to the denseness
of tungsten. It’s just another advantage you can take to give
yourself a better feel of what’s going on down below.
I briefly touched on equipment. Fishing a jig on a parabolic fiberglass
rod is not going to work out to your advantage. You want a stiff
graphite rod with a sensitive tip to let you handle the jig, feel
what’s going on, and really set the hook properly. I prefer
bait casting rods to spinning rods for fishing a jig, although there
are some spinning rods that would definitely be up to the task.
I prefer seven foot rods and I fish the jigs on eight to twenty
pound test fluorocarbon. I usually stick to twelve pound test and
up, although when fishing the smaller jigs trying to imitate a shad
in clear water I’ll go down to eight pound. Monofilament also
works well, although it’s not as sensitive as flouro. Braid
is also a viable option, particularly when flipping and pitching.
Make sure, particularly when fishing around the rocky stuff, that
you check your line for fraying often and retie if you even think
the line may have suffered some abrasion. You don’t want to
give the fish any type of advantage, especially when you stick that
double digit prespawn momma. It may take a few extra seconds every
time you retie, but what are you going to remember? Tying a few
extra knots or the heartbreak of dumping a pig that you know you
shouldn’t have lost? Take the time and retie often.
Give the spider jig a try. No matter what type of water you are
fishing, no matter if you’re fishing for largemouth, smallies,
or spots, or whatever month of the year it is you can catch them
on it. Be creative. Try it on a Carolina rig. If you like to bed
fish, a white spider jig can be very effective. Please practice
catch and release, or if you are going to take some fish home for
dinner then by all means respect your catch and do it right on the
Nietzel's passion is fishing and writing about it.
This article Copyright
© 2011 Chris Nietzel. All rights reserved.
Please write to him for permission
to use this article for distribution in
company newsletters, for commercial usage or distribution to other sites.