Quick Swim Jig Tips – Bailey Boutries

capture2Bailey Boutries

One of my all time favorite lures and technique is swimming a jig. It seems no matter where I go, or what the conditions may be, I can catch them on it. You may not always catch numbers, but most of the time you will catch good quality fish.

When the water temperature hits about 65 degrees in the spring, which is when the bass typically start to spawn, I will have a swim jig tied on. Late fall into early winter is when I will usually put my swim jigs away. We all know that during the fall, bass follow the shad into the backs of creeks and onto flats. This seems to be the most productive time to swim a jig.

Having the proper rod and reel setup is crucial to how many fish you hook up to. I like using a 7′ 3″ Heavy action Duckett Ghost rod. It has a nice soft tip to allow accuracy when casting, but has a strong back bone to penetrate the hook and get them out of cover. Burning a swim jig right under the surface of the water is my favorite way to fish it, so I go with a higher gear ratio reel, but any will work. Personally, I have my rod paired up with a 7:3:1 Ardent Apex Pro reel.

With the way I fish a swim jig, which is really fast, line visibility doesn’t seem to matter. Unless I am faced with some pretty clear water, my reel will be spooled with 50lb braid. If I am fishing clear water, I will switch to 20lb fluorocarbon. If you choose to go with braid, you must be disciplined enough to allow the fish to eat it for a second, before setting the hook. If you don’t, you will rip it out of their mouths every time.

When choosing styles of swim jigs, I go with two different baits offered by L.A. Jigs. The type of cover I am fishing dictates which style I will use. The first one is their original swim jig – it has a pointed head but also has a flat bottom. captureWith the flat bottom, it allows you to skip the bait really well under cover. If I am fishing docks or lay downs, this is the one I go with. The next one is a bullet head style jig, which will be available soon to be purchased. When your fishing grass, you can’t go wrong with this style. The pointed head, and vertical line tie enables it to come through grass very well.

Like any other lure you may throw, matching the hatch is critical.Find out what type of forage is in your lake or river, and match your jig color to it. In the spring, I will go with a Bluegill color because bass will be garding their beds from the bluegill. During the fall, I will use a shad color because the bass will be chasing shad. There are all types of colors offered on the market, so you should be able to find one which matches your local forage well.

capture1With many years of experience fishing a swim jig, I have been able to put all the parts together to make a great setup. If you put all of these tips together, you will find yourself having better luck on the water with a swim jig. I hope these few tips help you out, and good luck on the water.