How To Fish a Jig and Pig Bait

Fishing a Jig and Pig

Wisconsin Department of Rescources/flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

One of the best baits for big bass is a jig and pig. Check the results of most any tournament and many of the top finishers will have used a jig and pig. For a quality bite, they are great.

You can also catch a lot of fish on a jig and pig, but it is a bait that is generally fished slowly, so it is hard to cover a lot of water quickly. Flipping and pitching are the usual methods of fishing them, but they can also be cast or jigged. They are great for largemouth and smallmouth as well as spotted bass.

The jig of a jig and pig is usually a lead head jig with a fairly big hook. It is normally dressed in either a rubber skirt or hair. The pig is a trailer, often of pork rind, hence the name, or plastic. The concoction imitates a crawfish, and plastic trailers are often made to look like a crawfish.

A fairly stiff rod and heavy line is the norm for jig and pig fishing since you are after big fish and are usually fishing heavy cover. I fish mine on a six-foot casting rod and use 17 to 20-pound line, usually Stren or Trilene tough lines. The "Mean Green" Trilene works well around cover.

Tie on a jig heavy enough to keep on the bottom. If the wind or current is strong, you will need a bigger jig but go with a light one if you can. I like 1/4 or 3/8 best, but will go to a half ounce when necessary. I like a jig that sinks slowly, giving a big bass time to hit it. For that reason I am fishing hair jigs more - the air the hollow hairs in a bucktail jig makes it sink slower than a rubber jig.

Add your favorite trailer. A pork rind frog is always good but they will dry out. Match the pig to the size of your jig - a 101 for a 1/8 ounce jig up to a #1 or #10 size for half ounce jig. The curly tail versions are best when the bass want more action, and they make the jig sink even more slowly.

Plastic trailers like the Zoom Super Chunk or any of the crawfish imitations are also good, and they don't dry out. Twin curly tail trailers like the Yamamoto Ika are also excellent. Rig them so the claws or arms stick out from the jig skirt.

The general rule of thumb is brown in clear water and black in stained water. Many people go with a black/brown combo and others match the jig and trailer. Black/blue is also a good combination. I suspect the color is more important to the fisherman than the bass, so choose the one you like best.

Cast or pitch the jig and let it hit bottom. Let it sit there for a few seconds and imagine the legs on the jig waving and wiggling, enticing any nearby bass to eat it. if you don't a strike, shake the jig with your rod tip and move it with short hops. Think of a crayfish scuttling around on the bottom and then jumping backwards when scared. That jumping motion may make a bass think his dinner is leaving and draw a bite.

Keep working the jig and pig as long as you are in the cover. Brush, rocks, and clay bottoms are all good since they are the type places bass look for crawfish. Repeated casts to good, isolated cover is always worthwhile to make a reluctant bass hit. Big bass often do not hit a bait quickly but repeated casts often will irritate them enough to make them bite.

Set the hook at the slightest indication of a bite. Watch your line and set the hook if it moves at all. If you feel the weight, don't wait until you feel the bass spit out your jig and pig to set the hook.

Try a jig and pig this fall and winter. It is a good cold water bait. Don't give up on it too quickly - wait on that hawg to bite!