My Jig Presentation Technique

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wayne gustaveson

Staff member
Each individual has a style. With fishing there are countless ways to present a jig. My method is zip-bounce-bounce-bounce-rip-zip.

Translated, ZIP means a short cast with a fast falling heavy head (3/8 to half ounce) and single tail grub. I want the jig in the selected spot immediately and on the bottom one second later.

BOUNCE - the slack is taken out, the lure felt and lifted off the bottom and then returned. Process is repeated 2-3 times.

RIP - after the last bounce the lure is retrieved in a slow swimming motion for a few feet and the pace is constantly increased until I am reeling as fast as possible when the lure is close to the boat.

ZIP - another spot is selected and the next cast made. Process is repeated.

My style should not necessarily be your style. I fish way too fast. My goal is to entice aggressive fish that are easy to catch. These guys are chasing and trying to be the first to find food. I concentrate for just a moment after the bait settles visualizing bass following the bait to the bottom. For a moment the lure, rod and I are ONE on the first pick up.

The first hop is when I do my best work. The fish and I will meet here most often. He mouths the bait and I use my best feel and sensitivity to detect his presence at the first pick up. I give it two more token chances on the next 2 bounces and then lose interest and pick another spot to cast.

The rip is designed to get trailing bass (those up in the water column eating fish) to attack the fast moving lure. I use the grub as a crank bait on the latter part of my retrieve.

My methods don't give the fish a chance to look over the bait and take a few moments to decide. I am using it as a reaction bait - take it or leave it.

Is this the best technique - not always. When this doesn't work I move to deeper water find the edge of structure and drop the bait straight down. Then bounce - bounce - bounce - rip - drop. I need a heavier head (at least 3/8th ounce) to get quick bottom contact. I am not looking for bigger fish with a heavier head and quick drop. I am looking for a quick catch rate.

If fishing with another angler using a lighter head there would some days that I would have 6 fish in the boat before he felt comfortable with his first cast. There would be other days or spots where he would have 4 fish and I would be fishless.

His technique is just as good. The smaller jig head falls slower which may be the presentation technique needed that day. Adding a double tail grub increases surface area and slows fall rate even more. Using a different colored painted jig head provides a choice for an inquisitive fish. Today a bass may eat yellow but not red as he swims around inspecting the bait. The fish is no longer reacting (take it or leave it) but now choosing (selecting) what he prefers to eat.

There is no right or wrong here; unless you are trying to duplicate what I do and it is not your nature to rip fish. Find out what works for you. Understanding your own style will help you catch more fish.

The most important thing I have learned while fishing with soft plastic is to not give up after missing a fish. Many times a bass will pick up a bait and then let it drop when pressure is applied or it will come a short distance and then come unhooked. My common practice is to “kill the grub” after a fish comes unhooked. By that, I mean as soon as I know the fish let go I just open the bale and drop the lure to the bottom. When it hits I take up the slack and then set the hook. I don’t test to see if the fish has returned I just set the hook because I know that more than 50 % of the time the fish will be holding the bait once more. If I miss the second set I drop again and 33% of the time the fish will be there and can be caught on the third attempt.
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