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How to to fish with softbaits

Uppdaterat: 27 dec. 2023

Most new fishermen buy baits and don’t really know how to fish with them. I know I have been in those shoes before. The more experienced you get as a fisherman the more you realize that it isn't the lake’s fault you aren’t catching any fish, it is your fishing technique that’s holding you back.

What are jigs?

The most popular fishing bait pro fishermen use is jigs. Jigs can be used to catch anything from pike, perch and bass, but almost any other predator fish will chase after the jig. What makes them so sought after is that they are inexpensive and come in all varieties of sizes, shapes and color. But most importantly, they prove to be the most versatile bait for freshwater fishing. Jigs are made out of a soft plastic body, usually replicating the shape of a fish or a worm. A jig needs a jig head to be fishable. A jig head is a metal weight melded with a hook, which should be one third to one half of the jigs total length.

How to rig a jig

A jig is one of few baits which needs to be prepared before you can fish with it. You will need a jig body and a jig head with a hook attached. First of all you need to measure the length of the hook and body, do this by placing the body aligned with the hook. The head should be where the body start. Place your finger where the hook comes up from the body and hold it there.

Measurment between jighead and body
This is how you measure the jig to the jig head

Make a tiny mark where your finger is placed using the hook.

marking the body with the head
how you should be marking the body

Force the hook into the front and push it through the middle until you reach the mark. Push the hook out of the body where the mark is. Now you are done!

Finished product
this is how the finished product should be looking

The first few times this won’t work like a clockwork, and the body will look distorted. The body should be as straight as possible to give the jig the best movement, but don’t re-do too much because of micro mistakes, as that will end up as a butchered bait.

How to fish with jigs

Fishing with jigs is the hardest fishing technique to master, but also the most rewarding. First of all when fishing with a jig you need to match the weight to the depth of the area you are fishing. If the depth is 1 to 2 meters use a 7 gram jig head, 

2 to 4 meters 10 gram

4 to 8 meters 14 gram

8 to 12 meters 18 grams

12 to 15 meters 20-25 grams

Jig fishing is all about sweeping the bottom of the lake. The jig is going to dance up and down to the bottom at all times. This is done by reeling a bit on your rod, sometimes one or two turns in one motion, and sometimes one turn of the reel and a quick pause and then another turn. When jig fishing you don't need to only have one motion, switch your reeling motion often. You can also use the jerk technique which means make a jerk movement towards yourself to make the jig dance up from the bottom, and then reel in the loose line fast as the jig moves down. The problem with this technique is that you can miss a bite from a fish when the line is loose. When the fish bites you will either feel vibrating movement in the rod, or you will see the line make weird movements. Both these are alarms for you to jerk the rod to ensure the hook sets on the fish. Usually the fish will bite when the jig is dropping towards the bottom.

When jig fishing in cold climates you need to slow your roll. That means about one or two turns on the reel, then a pause for 3 to 7 seconds, to let it drop to the bottom and lay there a bit. This is because the fish are slow and not very active in cold climates. When fishing in cooler climates you need to be fishing deeper, because the fish tend to seek deeper water at this time. And the jig is perfect for deep fishing, as they are supposed to sweep the bottom.

In the summer you should be reeling your jig fast. Try reeling 1 or 2 turns on your reel and wait for 1 or 2 seconds. You can try going faster sometimes and slower sometimes. I like to use the jerk technique on summer times because fishing at a fast pace won't give the line time to get loose.

You should always try different tactics if your technique isn’t working. These are just tips to get you an idea of how you can start jig fishing. As you get more experienced with fishing you should aim to create your own fishing style that works for you, and your local fishing water. 

I hope you understand the basics of fishing with jigs now. If you still aren’t sure of the process, don’t be afraid to ask for tips in the "ask me something" section on this blog. See you next time!

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