Pro Tips & Swim Jigs Strategies / Get Better at Swim Jig Fishing

Pro Tips and Swim Jig Strategies

We can all use a little help from our friends… or… from professional bass anglers.

The following quotes were something I came across in a recent issue of In-Fisherman. If you’re not already subscribed, please consider supporting this publication by heading over to:

(I do not have any sort of affiliation with them, but it’s important that we keep quality magazines alive for as long as we can – so be a part of that with me!)

There is no doubt that money has been made using swim jigs. The following quotes explain why this presentation has become somewhat standardized and constant for the pros – especially in spring and early summer.

I pay a lot of attention to the skirt. Color and material are both important. And skirts with fewer strands produce more action. I like ones that are hand tied and wrapped with wire.

Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, WI

* Skirts that are not as dense appear to “breathe” more underwater, and the different materials (usually living rubber, mylar, hair or tinsel) all react differently on the retrieve. Jigs can also appear to “pulse” when paused if the skirt is not too thick. It’s common to see “30 strand skirts” on swim jigs, as opposed to 50 or 60 like we might find on standard bass jigs.

I use a swimbait as a trailer when shad are spawning along shorelines, docks, or other shoreline cover, then switch to craw styles with pulsing claws when they’re feeding on crawfish or bluegills.

John Cox, DeBary, FL

I prefer an Arkie-style head for fishing around brush and docks, and I keep my rod tip high and add quick hops to the lure. But in vegetation, a steady retrieve with a more bullet-shaped jig works better.

Shane LeHew, Catawha, NC

* Notice both of these pros are giving some insight into when and where to tie on a swim jig, when (in their opinion) they have the best chance to excel, and where they are the best tool for the job.

I fish swim jigs in the thickest cover you can find, so I use 40-pound braid on a flippin’ stick and a reel with a 6.2:1 gear ratio. That slower speed keeps me from retrieving too fast.

Randall Tharp, Port St. Joe, FL

I adjust the weedguard to match the thickness of the cover, leaving it fuller and thicker for the thick stuff, and trimming the fibers around sparse vegetation or even cutting them all off.

Darrell Davis, Dover, FL

* If you’re ready to experiment with some swim jig modifications, grab a few extra off of our Top 10 Swim Jigs List, or run a few ideas past some custom jig makers.

On deeper structure, say 10 or 15 feet, I sometimes swim a 1-ounce football head with a bulky 3-inch paddle tail, keeping it a couple feet above bottom.

Fred Roumbanis, London, AR

It’s a great shallow technique so I keep the jig high in the water column to make it easily visible to bass. Adjust jig weight and retrieve to match their mood, but moderate speed usually works best.

James Niggenmeyer, Van, TX

I rely almost entirely on three colors – black/blue, white and green pumpkin; it’s important to keep changing colors if the bite slows, it can make a big difference in a swim jig.

Bill Lowen, Brookville, IN

* Notice he said “almost entirely”. Grab a few extra trailers in different colors so you can experiment.

I fish them around docks, especially near the mouths of spawning coves where prespawn and postspawn bass hold as they transition from deep to shallow water. Keep a high rod and reel at a moderate, steady speed, with the occasional twitch and pause to let the jig fall a bit.

Scott Suggs, Alexander, AR

I fish swim jigs in rivers in early spring , but in lakes they seem to work best once the water reaches around 60°F and all the way through fall. I retrieve steadily. Up North, if you twitch them, pike strike them too much.

Seth Feider, Bloomington, MN
Canada Pike Caught on a Big Swim Jig
Canadian Pike Caught on a Big Swim Jig

I fish swim jigs around any shallow cover – grass, lily pads, stumps, laydowns, and standing timber. Back home, we have a lot of ‘gator grass, and they’re deadly in that stuff.

Greg Vinson, Wetumpka, AL

Moving Forward

With all of the advice floating around out there, it’s a good idea to cross-reference the “tips & tricks” you come across online with what the pros have to say. I know that throughout this process of re-researching this presentation, I’ve picked up a few extra ideas that will get put into practice in the coming months.

I hope you found them useful as well.

Watch the Weather & Plan for Success
It’s almost time to get back to work…

Next, I’ll show you the 3 jig-and-trailer combinations that I will be starting with this year to begin the season.

I am very excited to get back to stickin’ bass – tight lines!

NEXT SECTION: 3 Killer Swim Jigs to Start With
PREVIOUS SECTION: 6 Swim Jig Strikes

[ Back to the Index Page for Learn How To Fish a Swim Jig ]

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