Jigging for Bass Overview
Anything that a bass eats can be replicated by a jig. Whether it’s a crawfish, baitfish, shad, or bluegill, there’s a jig style and color that will imitate it. In this guide to bass fishing, we’ll be teaching you how to fish jigs, where to do it, and when you should be jigging for bass.
- Arkie Style Jig Head
- Customizing your Jig – Water Clarity & Presentation
- Seasons and Bass Jigs
- Jigging Equipment
- Retrieval Techniques for Arkie Jigs
- Jig Trailer for Bass
- Conclusion & Final Tips
- Other Resources
Each type has its own qualities and characteristics, with their respective strengths and weaknesses. Each bait style should be fished during the correct conditions to get the best results and catch the most fish.
Understanding what fish will bite in on clear vs murky water, and cold vs warm water temperatures will set you apart as a bass angler.
Arkie Style Jig Head
The Arkie Style Jig Head is a bait that’s traditionally used as a skipping or flipping jig. They’re perfect for fishing in cover along shorelines or laydowns, and when you need something that you can cast with accuracy.
This jig style is great around rocks, trees, and other obstacles, and it’s widely considered to be an all-purpose bait.
This bait is usually fished inshore, but it works just as well for catching bass offshore. However, your main goal should be finding shallow water and looking for docks you can skip under.
One drawback to the Arkie Jig Head is that it doesn’t move through the grass as well as other jigs do. This bait tends to get hung up easier on weeds, and grass often gets caught between the line tie and the lead.
Customizing your Jig – Water Clarity & Presentation
If you’re serious about catching fish, you should customize your jigs to make them more effective for your unique environment.
You can modify a jig to be more effective for targeting pre-spawn fish, getting bites on bass beds, hammering post-spawn bass, and getting a consistent summertime bite.
Clear Water Jigging
If you’re fishing in a clear water lake or reservoir, you want to use a color that will give your bait the most natural presentation.
Green pumpkin or brown colors will best resemble a baitfish or crawdad and will be far more realistic than say a chartreuse skirt. We recommend Half-ounce Shooter Lures Jigs for a great natural presentation.
Murky Water Jigging
When fishing in dirty or murky waters after a rain, you want to use a color that will stand out more against the water clarity. Two of our favorite colors are “flipping blue” or “sapphire blue”, as they aren’t too foreign, but they have a better contrast against muddy or brown water.
If you can find a trailer in these colors, it works great to match it with a brown skirt material so you’re still imitating crawdads or crayfish colors.
Domeki Mama Jigs work well in both dirty or clear water, depending on the trailer you use.
Seasons and Bass Jigs
Arkie Jigs work great pretty much year-round when fishing in between heavy cover, but you can refine your approach for different seasons.
Winter is the most ideal time to be fishing these baits, and you should really be throwing these before trying anything else when you get out on the water.
Bass prefer bigger baits like jigs during the winter, and there are ways you can improve your jigs to give them a larger profile. Try adding longer trailers with more volume.
Even if you want to use smaller trailers you can slide your trailer down on the hook so it isn’t pressed directly against the lead head.
When summertime comes around one of our favorite strategies is to move out in the lake and cast into deeper waters.
If you have a sonar or a fish finder you can look for deep cover, but if not try to estimate the depth and fish in 20 – 35 feet of water. If this isn’t your style, we also have a great guide on how to fish for bass in shallow ponds during the summer.
During the spring, these jigs work great up in the shallow cover where fish will be staging up to spawn.
Try to alter your approach and your retrieval speed when doing this as the bass will have different feeding preferences.
Jigging Equipment – Rod Choice
When you’re fishing an Arkie Jig you want to equip yourself with a heavier and larger rod that has stiffer action. This is important because as we mentioned earlier, these jigs have a lot of resistance in the grass. You need a stronger rod to work your bait through the cover, and you also need to be able to pull the hook through the weed guard on these jigs.
Line For Jigging
What kind of line should you use? Well, we recommend a stronger line to go with the heavier rod. Try to find 15 to 20lb test fluorocarbon. If you’re going to be in heavier grass lakes, you may even consider using straight braid on a baitcasting reel.
Reels For Jigging
We recommend Abu Baitcasting Reels to get the job done. With this setup, part of your criteria for finding the best Arkie Jigs should be choosing a bait with a heavy-duty hook.
Retrieval Techniques for Arkie Jigs
The best way to use Arkie Jigs to help you catch more fish is to flip or skip them into hard to reach places. Once you’ve made your cast, you want to give it action to imitate a crawdad, which means working your bait slowly along the bottom.
Flip your jig into cover, and let the bait sink down to the bottom first. Then, to give it action, lift your rod tip up and use the same plastic worm retrieval technique. Let the bait sink back down to the bottom and then pause for a second. Repeat this pattern all the way back to the boat/shore.
Jig Trailers for Bass
If you don’t know what jig trailer to use, try your best to match it with the color of your jig skirt.
If you’re fishing a brown jig skirt, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use a brown trailer but find something with a similar natural and dark presentation.
Rigging a Trailer
You want to thread the trailer through the hook with the purpose of making your bait have a larger profile.
If you’re fishing in dark/murky water a good option is to use a black or blue trailer. Alternatively, if you fishing in clean or clear water, you want to go with a natural color like brown or green.
Best Jig Trailer Brands
A great recommendation we can give you all is to get a Chunk Style Trailer by Zoom. This jig trailer is great because it has flapping claws that mimic a crayfish, and you can rig them up in different ways.
If you want to have a more compact presentation, slide the Chunk Trailer all the way up to the jig head. If instead, you want a larger profile bait, keep it sitting right on the bend of the hook.
This makes it really easy to switch up your approach if you’re not getting a strong bite.
Conclusion & Final Tips
Overall, you should be flipping your jigs in places that have heavy cover. Try to work your bait around structured pieces, hard to reach places, or anywhere else that we’ve mentioned in this guide.
Jigs aren’t difficult to understand, and in general, they’re a simple technique for catching trophy-sized bass.
Sometimes when it comes to bass fishing, the more straightforward you can make it, the more fish you’ll catch. When it comes to jig fishing, this definitely holds true.
If you want to know how you can fish other types of lures to catch lots of fish, check out our detailed guide on some of the best bass fishing lures that’ll work in any river, lake, reservoir, or other body of water.