All About Jigging

A quick guide to vertical fishing

Do something different and try fishing the jig!

Jigging is all about vertical—rather than horizontal—fishing. You are fishing the water column all the way to the bottom. Your fish-finder tells you how far down the bottom is and shows you everything in that water column between you and the bottom.

In order to fish with a jig, it is important to know how to measure the depth of your jig. In order to do that, you must know how many feet of line comes off your reel every time the level-wind mechanism covers a full trip from one side of the reel to the next. On most reels, you are looking at a distance of approximately between ten to fourteen feet.

There are three parts to the jigging process:

  1. Drop Your reel must be set on free-wheeling. You control the drop with your thumb on the reel for two reasons. Number one, you want to speed up and simplify the action of your jig as it moves down through the water column. Number two, when you feel a strike, you can instantly react and set the hook.
  2. Jigging When you are a foot or so above the bottom, you attempt to move the lure the way a wounded bait fish would move. That requires aggressively twitching the lure up six to twelve inches and then allowing the lure to flutter back down. Repeat this motion five or six times. If it does not create a strike, there probably is no fish there.
  3. Fast Retrieve  Reel in your lure at a reasonably fast rate. We call this “burning it in.” If it is too slow, the fish will recognize the fact that they are looking at a piece of metal rather a bait fish trying to escape.

The more often this three-point process is repeated, the more fish you are likely to catch.