Jig Heads – The Most Versatile Artificial Lure

Fishing with a jig head is simply a time-tested, effective way to catch a variety of species. A jig head’s versatility allows this lure to be used in a variety of different ways to catch anything from trout in a stream to striped bass in the ocean. Whether you tip a jig head with bait, soft plastic or some skirt, jig head’s should be part of every anglers tackle box.

First, everyone should understand exactly what a jig head is. A jig head is a weighted hook. Near the eye of the hook (the eye is where the line is attached) a ball of weight has molded to the hook and painted. Often, eyespots are painted on as well to give the appearance of a head at the top of the hook. Jig heads come in various hook sizes, weights, and colors for all of the different fishing conditions one may encounter. Also, many jig heads now have a small barb near the head to help keep bait and lures in place.

I am sure we all understand that a weighted hook (a jig head) is not going to catch fish on its own, and that’s not what a jig head is designed for. A jig head is designed to be tipped with something else. Bait is the number one choice for most anglers and is easily the most effective way to catch fish. A jig head can also be tipped with soft plastic bait imitations. The soft plastics lures can last longer and cost you less in the long run than adding fresh bait to your jig after each fish. Finally, you could get a skirt to your jig head. Skirts are frilly plastic that can imitate anything from a squid to a shrimp and in general just look like food.

Properly tipping your jig head is essential to catching fish. A jig head is designed to give action to your bait or lure, so proper placement is a must. Let’s use a baitfish as an example of how to appropriately tip your jig head. First, you want to insert the hook point into the mouth of the fish and run the hook down the fish’s mouth. Then push the hook point through the back of the fish near the dorsal fin. Finally, push the entire baitfish up to the head of the jig. If your jig head has a barb near the top, make sure that you push the baitfish onto the barb. This same process would be repeated with any bait or artificial lure, simply slide the head of the bait of lure towards the head of the jig and the hook point through the back.

Now that your jig head is adequately tipped, it is time to fish it. Jig heads were designed to be jigged. Jigging is simply lifting and lowering your lure. Simply drop or cast your line out. Let the line go out until it hits the bottom of the body of water you are fishing. If you drop your line straight of the edge of a boat, lift the jig head off the bottom a couple of feet and then let it fall back to the base. Repeat this until you hook something. If you cast your jig head out lift it off the bottom and retrieve some line, let the jig head fall back to the bottom and keep lifting, recovering and dropping your jig head until you need to recast. You can jig in the middle of the water column, but unless you know that there are active fish in the water column fishing, the bottom will yield more fish.

Jig heads have been in most fishermen’s tackle for many decades and with good reason. Jig heads help to present a realistic bait to a fish, are easy to use, and are incredibly useful. Next time you plan on going out on the water make sure you are equipped with a good supply of jig heads.