Jig and Worm

In an effort to continue our quest for old-school techniques that still work today, we’ll look at a rig that started in the northern and mid-west region but when used west coast style, can be deadly on all species of bass and even saltwater fish. I’m talking about the skirted Jig and Worm. Many of the early bass tournament anglers started out fishing jigs.

These fine anglers launched their fishing careers using this tried-and-true technique. And guess what…bass still eat it.

There are few that understand the effect of using a worm as a trailer instead of a piece of pork, or plastic claw trailer, better than the pioneers of this sport. And there are few who have careers quite as illustrious as Al Lindner. Lindner claimed two Bassmaster wins along with many other events in his early years using the jig and worm as his primary tool. “I used the simple Jig and Worm a lot in those early days.” says Lindner, co-founder of the In-Fisherman magazine and Lindy Lures. “It was used in the early 1960’s; primarily in Northern Illinois and Indiana about the same time Texas rigged worms were being used by a few anglers in the south.”

Today, many of us like using the shaky-head, a version of the jig and worm without the skirt. It’s simple, easy to rig, casts well and catches fish. However, there are still a few that know when to throw a skirted jig and worm instead of the bare lead-head and worm. With both in your arsenal, you’ll come to learn when to choose one over the other. I find it a personal thing, you just feel it. Some of you have been using the jig and worm rig for many years now but for those of you that haven’t, you really should give it a try because it really catches fish. Here are some examples of how the skirted jig and worm can be used.

Shake It:
Most fans of the Jig and Worm will fish it much like a shakey head. Small twitches on a semi-slack line will produce most all of the time. A 6’6” to 7’medium action spinning rod rigged with six to ten pound test will be just fine.

Hop It and Drop It:
There’s nothing better than lifting the Jig and Worm up over a rock pile and having a bass slam it on the drop. This is reaction fishing, so you might want to beef up the line class and go with a casting reel for this one.

Flip it and Pitch It:
It’s a jig and it’s a worm. Fish it in places and ways you would normally fish either jigs or worms solo. Only here it’s a combo platter. Yummy!

Swim It:
This technique is a slow steady retrieve enhanced by using a curly or ribbon-tail worm.

When fishing the jig and worm, there are two basic ways to rig it. We usually slide a worm onto the back of a jig. Another way is to cut the weed guard and rig the worm Texas style, like you would on a shaky-head. While the rig with a weed guard may be great around docks and when flipping heavy cover, rigging jig without a weedguard is great for ledges, gravel beds and weed lines. You’ll find the hook-up ratio a bit more in your favor, if you use a drop of super glue when sliding the worm onto the jig shank. This lessens the chance of your worm slipping down and balling up on the hook. Some like to trim the jig skirt, if you do, be sure to trim the weedguard just above the hook point. If you want to thin the weedguard use a pair of needle-nose pliers and pull out one strand at a time until you get the desires stiffness.

Most jig and worm fishermen find that this original form of finesse fishing is best when using the lightest jig possible or on “A small head dressed with a small worm trailer.” as Al Lindner puts it. Lindner should know as he used the Jig and Worm to qualify for three BASS Master Classics the three years he fished on tour.

Next time you visit your favorite fishing hole, before you tie on a shaky-head, a Texas rigged worm or put a pork trailer on your jig, try the jig and worm. You just might like what you find.
Effective? Yes. Winning tool? You betcha!

Tags: #FishingTips

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