Many smallmouth bass anglers turn to hair jigs in the winter because as they sit on the bottom, the hair flutters and appears to breathe. You can leave the jig sitting on the bottom and it will attract the attention of sluggish cold water bronzebacks.
As Doug Stange shows us, the hair jig is an old-style bait that is making a resurgence and can be fished in a variety of conditions and with some modifications.
Hair Jigs For Smallmouth Bass
Andy Vallombroso says he basically utilizes two presentations: #1. Slowly dragging or swimming the hair jig along the bottom, incorporating pauses 6-8 seconds long, and then impart 3-4 very short hops. “The key to this presentation is pausing! Many times this is when the bass will lightly inhale your hair jig.” #2 Swim the Hair Jig. “Smallmouth bass (As well as Largemouth’s) will move shallow on clear blue bird sky sunny days. Swimming the jig either along the bottom or at the depth they are suspending will draw reactions strikes as the hair jig swims in front of them.” Vallombroso, suggest anglers utilize the rattle concept by lightly making the tip of their rod quiver while swimming his Rattlin Hair Jigs! Source
There are many options out there for hair jigs. The biggest problem I have with hair jigs is snags. I fish where there are a lot of rocks and snags become a problem. Swimming the jigs as the water warms may be the way to go.