It’s no secret that I enjoy fishing for several freshwater fish, but in all honesty, I would have a hard time picking my favorite species to target. Certainly, trout rank pretty high on my list, but bass are right at the top with them. I guess my favorite would be the one I’m fishing for at the time. I began chasing bass almost as soon as I started fishing as a teenager, and I never stopped. Like a lot of bass fishermen, I too accumulated a variety of lures, many of which I still use today. I do however have about a half-dozen favorites that I am almost sure to utilize when I’m off on a bass lake somewhere.
One lure that I’m almost sure to put into action is a skirted jig. Skirted jigs have been around for quite some time but like all the other lures that we bass enthusiasts like to use they have undergone some changes over the years. Most of the skirted jigs these days are made with silicone skirts that come in a wide variety of colors. Lead jig heads too have changed over the years; instead of just the round head jig you now can choose from a variety of head shapes including the popular football jig head. Different jig heads apparently offer different actions when retrieved. I still use the round head jig a lot, but I will trade off once in a while.
In my early days of bass fishing the skirted lead head jig with a piece of pork rind attached-known as a “jig and pig” was a popular choice of many bass fishermen. You can still buy pork rind in various shapes and colors but most anglers today opt for rubber or plastic add-ons and believe me there is no shortage of possibilities. Today’s soft plastics often fall into the category of “creature baits” or imitations of existing critters like crayfish or just plain creatures or critters with multiple legs, fins or other appendages that are not found naturally. The point is if it just resembles some kind of edible creature it will likely bring strikes, and indeed the jig and creature bait has proven worthy.
I tend to go with natural colors most of the time-browns and subdued greens with a similar color for the soft plastic that I add to the jig. I wouldn’t rule out flashier colors like chartreuse in dingier water. While the lead head jig is often thought of as a deep water presentation, it can also be effective in shallower water as well. The skirted jig has proven itself many times even in around lily pads but here is best to go with a weedless rig to avoid hang-ups.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your add-ons; I recently read a piece where a bass fisherman utilized a swimbait on his skirted jig. The swimbait is a minnow like critter with a flat, boot-like tail that provides added action when retrieved. I generally like to keep my jig close to the bottom, even bumping bottom frequently stirring up plumes of mud. Don’t be in a hurry when retrieving your jig; often times a stop and go retrieve with short pops will produce strikes.
The skirted jig is one of a number of good lure choices for bass. I hope to cover some more good producers throughout the summer, and that means I have to spend some more time doing “research.”