The art of jigging is a timeless tradition as well as a treasured skill among fishermen. Mostly a freshwater activity (you wouldn’t want to jig when going tuna fishing for example), jigging entails the use of an artificial lure. Jig lures tend to be a single hook with a lead head at the top of the shank. Traditionally, a long thin slice of pork rind is used on the hook to simulate the tail of a bait fish, such as a minnow. Other traditional baits like worms or night crawlers are used on the hook as well. The lure is cast out into a chosen area and retrieved slowly using a jerky motion. The key is to find the areas of the lake or pond where the target species of fish tends to reside. The fish spots the irresistible lure and strikes.
Today the art of jigging is more popular than ever. With this increase in popularity, fishing lure manufacturers have created entire lines of fishing jigs for both fresh and saltwater uses. Jig lures have evolved immensely from the simple lead head with a hook. The fishing jig of today looks more like the bait-fish that the species they intend to catch would eat. Some of the companies that manufacture jig lures have been in business for over a century. Their use of colors and shapes make them more like a work of art than a fishing lure.
To compliment the jig, many companies specializing in fishing equipment have begun manufacturing their own versions of a jigging rod. These fishing rods are usually much longer than traditional rods are. They are designed that way to achieve greater distance and accuracy in casting. Jigging rods can be expensive and many can be tailored to the specifications of the particular fisherman or woman. These custom made rods often become collectors items over the years as well.
There are about as many techniques to jigging, as there are jigs. Vertical jigging is a popular method in deeper water. With this technique, the jig is cast and allowed to sink to the bottom of the lake or pond. The lure is then retrieved straight upward in a jerky motion. Deep water largemouth bass and walleye often strike with great ferocity with the use of this technique. Sometimes, the best method for catching big fish is to find sunken trees and limbs that they use for shelter. Dragging a jig lure across sunken wood seems to work wonders. However, to becoming a jigging master takes a great deal of patience and practice.
Jigging is the most popular technique that sport fisherman use today. Fishing jigs have become sophisticated and artful in their designs over the years as well. There are now classes available that teach the art of jigging, and specially made fishing equipment that compliment this unique way of catching fish. There are jigging rods and low ratio reels that aid the jigging master in catching that lunker. Professional tournaments with high dollar prizes have also been developed around the use of lures such as jigs. Therefore, its no wonder that sport fishing has become such a popular pastime these days.
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