The football jig, my new favorite bass fishing lure. Not only will it catch you fish, but it will catch giants.
In this post, we are going to take a look at some tips on how to fish a football jig to catch bigger bass.
What is a football jig?
What makes this jig unique is the shape of the head. The head portion of the jig looks much like a football, thus the name football jig. Unlike other jigs that are designed for finesse fishing, this jig has been designed for open water fishing. It works best in situations where it can get down deep, be able to be dragged across a rocky bottom and create some noise.
Where to fish a football jig?
As we mentioned, these jigs are meant to be dragged across the bottom of the water. The reason is because they are designed to imitate a baitfish or a crawfish that is feeding on the bottom. However, they will have very little success if you fish areas with a muddy bottom. Location is thus a key factor to having success fishing these baits.
You need to look for areas where there is a hard rocky bottom. Begin by looking for crawfish. Most likely they will choose rocky areas as it offers protection from predators and it is a good source of food. In addition, rocky areas will make a lot of noise when you drag your jig across the bottom. Noise is a good thing because it will draw fish toward your lure.
Some great places to start throwing a football jig are: rocky points, edges, and rocky slopes.
How to fish a football jig?
Drag it. Simply, cast it out, allow it to hit bottom and drag it back. Sounds pretty simple right? How can I mess this one up? One common mistake that many anglers make is they drag the bait with their reel instead of their rod. I am not saying you won’t catch any fish with this method, but you will have more success if you use your rod.
Think about it, rods are made with very sensitive materials that will help you figure our what is going on beneath the water. Use this to your advantage. For example, if you feel that you are stuck behind a rock or log. Play around with your lure a little bit. Make some noise, get some attention before popping it over the obstacle. Things like that can give you the advantage and make you a better fisherman.
Another mistake I see many anglers do with a football jig is they work it too fast. Remember the football jig is imitate a crawfish. When have you ever seen a crawfish speeding across the bottom? You haven’t right? Neither have bass. Slow things down. This is especially true when fishing cold water as bass tend to be moving and reacting at a much slower pace. Remember, lures like crankbaits, swimbaits and spinnerbaits are great for covering a lot of water. Football jigs are not! Fish it slow and you will get more bites.
Drag and Hop it. Another great way to fish a football head jig is to drag it across the bottom, but from time to time you can give it a quick jerk with this rod. This will pop it off the bottom and just might create enough action to entice a strike.
A few things to keep in mind when employing this technique. First, we are talking about short hops just like a crawfish. So, when possible always try to keep contact with the bottom. The success of this lures depends on the heavy head that can be used to create noise bumping into rocks. With that in mind, if you aren’t bumping into things on the bottom, you risk not getting bit.
Lastly, when the water temperature is warmer you can do more hops. When things cool down, less is more.
Stroking. A more aggressive way to fish a football jig is called stroking. This is done by jerking your rod upward which will lift your lure off the bottom, and then allowing it to fall. Generally, we try to make the lure come off about a foot off the bottom. This technique can create some noise and get some attention. Keep in mind, that most bites will come on the fall.
Learn more about this technique in the following video:
What is the best color?
As when fishing most bass lures, we want to choose natural colors when fishing clear water. This is important because bass will have more of an opportunity to take a closer look at your bait. If it looks off, they won’t bite. So for most areas, this would include sticking to your brown, green, and pumpkin colors.
When the water is dirty you want to choose darker colors such as: black, blue and black or purples. These colors will create a better silhouette underwater and hopefully a better chance of getting bit.
What is the best football jig trailer?
There are two different types of football jig trailers. Those that give off action and those that don’t. Which one do I choose? That really depends on where you are fishing, how you are fishing the jig and what the fish want. If you are fishing an area with a lot of crawfish. Try starting out with a beefy trailer that has two appendages. If you are trying to imitate a baitfish, choose one that doesn’t have that much action.
The best suggestion I can give you on this one is, don’t be afraid to experiment. One trailer might be killing it one day, but the bass won’t look at it twice the next day. So get out there and experiment.
For me personally, I like to throw a less action trailer in the early spring months or late fall. In the summer when bass are aggressive, I like throwing a trailer that gives off a lot of action. However, I always carry both in case I need to make a switch.
Another question many people have with regards to their trailer is: Should the trailer and skirt match? While many fishermen swear by this one, I say, no they don’t need to match. In fact, I encourage you to mix this up.
Sure, if you can get them to match perfect that’s great. However, don’t be so overwhelmed about getting them tomatch perfectly. Instead, focus more on throwing what you think the bass are feeding on. For example, if you only have a brown skirt, but you think the bass are feeding on bluegill, put on a black and blue trailer.
Fishing football jigs in the summer can be a lot of fun, but is also can be effective in cold weather too. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and throw some football jigs.
Now it is your turn. Share with us your tips on how to fish a football jig in the comments below.