Author Topic: Jig Questions???  (Read 1590 times)

Offline SteveTheChimneySweep

  • IceShanty Rookie
  • **
  • Posts: 13
Jig Questions???
« on: Apr 08, 2019, 04:21 PM »
I am new to the jigging process, and it seams so simple yet so confusing.  I have been reading as much as i can and watching A LOT of videos on the subject.   I am not new to ice fishing used to use tip ups but got away from it when my kids were born and now I can't wait to get back into it.

From what I can surmise, the jig is used to call or lure the fish to the line by being very visible in color, glowing or by making some noise like a rattle or bouncing it off the bottom.  These actions may cause the fish to come over for a look but may not cause the fish to strike.  Now I have learned that we need to add something else to the jig or lure in the form of a piece of bait in the form of a spike, waxi, or a plastic that, may or may not, be in some form of attractant. 

Now the questions.

Why is the fish not striking at the jig or lure by itself like while open water fishing?

Is the bait added just for scent or is it also a sent lure?

If it just a sent lure, why not add it directly to the lure?

If it is just for a visual, why not make it a permanent part of the jig or lure?

Sorry if this has been covered, but I am in between sweeping seasons and the brain is working to much.

Thanks
Steve

Offline meandcuznalfy

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 658
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #1 on: Apr 08, 2019, 04:58 PM »
The bait acts as both visual and scent, plus hides the hook from the fish. I've also added extra scent to jigs.

Offline slipperybob

  • Team IceShanty Maniac
  • **
  • Posts: 4,883
  • LX5 or die...maybe extra battery.
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #2 on: Apr 09, 2019, 03:23 AM »
That pretty sums it up and why I could just get by with a lead sinker and never have to buy a jig in the first place.

Now, when it comes down to actions after you've already attracted the fish.

1. Reaction bite.  Fish will bite it out of pure reaction.
2. Food.  It's food.
3. Curiosity.  It killed the cat...catfishing.  These can be harder to catch in winter time than crappies.
4. Mental.  It's all about personal mental confidence.  When it's just that for some people certain things just works for them or for yourself.

For more information read my MN nice journal

Offline SteveTheChimneySweep

  • IceShanty Rookie
  • **
  • Posts: 13
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #3 on: Apr 09, 2019, 04:11 PM »
Thanks for the info.  It is making a lot more sense to me.

Steve

Offline meandcuznalfy

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 658
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #4 on: Apr 09, 2019, 04:23 PM »
You'll get it figured out. It's a great way to catch fish. I carry different sizes, colors and styles, the fish will let you know what they want.

Offline RyanW

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 903
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #5 on: Apr 10, 2019, 03:39 AM »
First thing, how do you know they arenít biting bare jigs in open water? Have you ever spent more time than realizing you need bait and fished a bare jig? For multiple days? Also, fishing with a buddy who is putting bait on the jig doesnít count. Hereís why I think that. Fish, in general, are pretty dumb. They behave on instinct. That means, usually, searching for things that behave like their natural food source. Color, lack of scent, and Iíll even say shape (not size or profile) is less important than size, profile, and presentation. If your buddy is using bait and your jig is bare, the fish will keen in on the baited hook because it resembles the presentation of a natural food source better than just a ball jig. However, if it were just you, I would bet that if using just a plain jig in the proper size and presented with finesse (finesse is the key here) that you would get more bites than you would think. Especially bouncing along the bottom. It would be a cool experiment to conduct when fishing gets slow. I would fish a plain jig slow.

Second, presentation. Bait adds to your presentation. Not only aesthetically but it adds water resistance. Fish sense the resistance that bait creates with their lateral lines. That resistance is what we anglers call action. The action of the bait creates water resistance. That resistance can be helpful in many ways. Other than the fish sensing it, we can use it to our advantage to offer several different presentations. Do we want a quiet, conservative presentation so we donít spook the fish? Do we want a loud, erratic presentation to gain attention to our jig? Sometimes we want commotion, sometimes we want finesse, and sometimes we want something in between. That could mean using 3 spikes instead of 1. Could mean just downsizing your current rig. Could mean using paddle tail instead of a straight tail. Then theirs color and sound. I try to compliment color and sound to the water conditions Iím fishing and not necessarily what I think the fish want. If itís dark and murky, Iíll tend to use a brighter jig or a jig with rattles. Same goes for water with extreme current or rip-rap (like under a dam). Those conditions are fast and loud and I want to try to give as much attention to my bait as possible. A bait with a lot of action can help too. If the water is clearer and calmer, Iíll tend to offer a more natural looking, slower, more finesse presentation.

Third, scent. I couldnít tell you if scent works or doesnít work. I canít smell under water and, for me, their are too many variables to ever comfortably conclude of scent was ever a contributing factor. Now if your hands were covered in gasoline or something Iím sure it would deter fish but Iíve seen many heavy smokers just nail the fish. Scent is just another thing we as anglers can do to make our presentation more appealing to fish. If anything I think it just plays on fishes instinctual curiosity.

And forth, instinctual habits. A lot of the times we catch a fish itís because their instinct told them to. Doesnít matter if they are hungry or not. A fish doesnít always put something in its mouth because it wants to eat it. A fish doesnít have hands so it must use its mouth to feel contours and texture. Have you ever walked into a friendís house and seen something cool and interesting and went over and picked it up? Fish do the same thing in their underworld too. This can be seen all the time with underwater footage of stream/river trout. They have an ever changing scenery to observe and believe it or not but trout are very instinctual and curios fish. They constantly take in and spit out things. Just feeling around. Sometimes they canít even help it, surfacing to hit leaves, thatís instinctual curiosity. All other species do this too, itís not exclusive to trout or even fish. But why do fish do it? More often than not, to know what is food and what isnít. Sometimes it might be a reactionary strike. Thatís where presentation comes back into play. . Do you want a subtle contrast change between your jig and the water? Do you want a strong reflective strobe effect mimicking shiny baitfish? Do you want to gain their curiosity or put it right in their face?

A good analogy for fish responding (or not) to a jig would be how people respond to vehicles. Does a loud throaty motorcycle gain your curiosity or does it annoy you? Do you like the looks of a canary yellow Porsche or an OD green Jeep? Flat black trim or chrome? A two seater or a third row? When you see a sweet vehicle, you want to check it out. When a fish sees something it likes, it wants to check it out too regardless of if it has bait on it or not. We just use bait to try to appeal more to that fishes ďpersonal preferenceĒ. However, like I said earlier, fish are pretty dumb. They behave on instinct and that instinct (for our purpose) is to react to how an offering is presented to them. If our offering makes the wrong movements, it doesnít matter what the color, profile, or intent of the jig is, the fish wonít like it and wonít bite it (this pertains to non-defensive strikes). Again, however, fish also strike as a defense mechanism for those things that donít look right or spook them. Think of it like this; youíre sitting at the park. Someone comes up to you and politely asks for help and shakes your hand. Thatís would equate to a natural curiosity of the fish to strike your jig. The offering was more finesse. Now, the next person runs up to you yelling to hand over your wallet and you either punch them in the face (strike the jig) or run away from (spooked fish). Fish react similarly to what we offer them.

Long story short: I agree with slipperybob.  :tipup:

ďWhen the fish are biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre using. When the fish arenít biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre usingĒ - Uncle Dave

Offline SteveTheChimneySweep

  • IceShanty Rookie
  • **
  • Posts: 13
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #6 on: Apr 10, 2019, 07:36 AM »
Ryan, thanks for the info.  I will have to go back over it a second or third time, so far it makes a lot of sense, all the responses I have received have been very helpful. 

So from what I have pulled so far is that, the bait is not necessary, may or may not hurt, helps with the visual and the olfactory presentation.

So it would help to add bait to open water fishing as well.  Or the lures that are already fishy and buggy looking a little scent can help.

It's all about the mood of the fish.  Kind of like dealing with your wife, some days you can do no wrong and everything is right in the world, the other 364 watch out.

Offline RyanW

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 903
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #7 on: Apr 11, 2019, 08:14 AM »
Ryan, thanks for the info.  I will have to go back over it a second or third time, so far it makes a lot of sense, all the responses I have received have been very helpful. 

So from what I have pulled so far is that, the bait is not necessary, may or may not hurt, helps with the visual and the olfactory presentation.

So it would help to add bait to open water fishing as well.  Or the lures that are already fishy and buggy looking a little scent can help.

It's all about the mood of the fish.  Kind of like dealing with your wife, some days you can do no wrong and everything is right in the world, the other 364 watch out.

Nailed it! Lol

Yeah, when I get into a response like that it takes me doing constant editing to make sure Iím coming across clearly. I can confuse my self sometimes but you pretty much got the idea.

I can tell you for certain though that the one things that trumps EVERYTHING is getting on top of the fish. None of the things mentioned matters if there isnít any fish in the area which can make it difficult to learn how any lure/jig/bait works. The next thing that also trumps everything else is fishing pressure. Fish that donít experience heavy fishing pressure will usually hit just about anything because itís something different in their environment. Theyíve never seen it before so they are going to ďeliminate the threatĒ by eating it. On the flip side, a fish that sees multiple lures thrown by him multiple times a day is going to be more keen on what a lure looks like. Ever had a great bite going just for it stop, then it picks back up after you switch jigs/bait? Well, the fish got used to that presentation and learned that particular offering wasnít actually food.

Thatís also where catching mature fish vs. catching young fish comes into play too. That mature fish will be much more selective on what it thinks is food especially if itís been caught and released a few times. A younger fish just sees something and goes after it. Weíve all struggled trying to get our bait past the dinks so the bigger fish under them have a chance to see it. We catch all of the dinks because they donít care what youíre using. This goes back to trying to get on top of quality fish to begin with. It all starts with finding the fish.

Honestly, your wife analogy was perfect.
ďWhen the fish are biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre using. When the fish arenít biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre usingĒ - Uncle Dave

Offline Seamonkey84

  • Team IceShanty Maniac
  • **
  • Posts: 1,952
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #8 on: Apr 11, 2019, 09:08 AM »
Are you referring to jig heads? When does anyone fish with a bare jig head? Though almost everything in ice fishing is referred to as a jigging, we do use different lures, spoons, flies and yes, many many different jig heads. I fish mostly spoons and lipless cranks like chubby darter and slab rap. Some days you donít need bait, other days you need to tip the hook. Then just like open water, soft plastics can work just as well. All depends on the attitude of the fish that day and the types of forage that are in the lake.

Offline RyanW

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 903
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #9 on: Apr 11, 2019, 10:13 AM »
In my posts, when I say ďjigĒ Iím referring to any jig head but it can also refer to any offering because the means of conveyance doesnít really matter. Like the point we are all getting at, it comes down to the mood and the conditions the fish are currently experiencing. As the angler, we have to figure out what to offer relative to weather conditions and fish behavior. Fish behavior is most often dictated by the weather conditions including water conditions.

On the specific topic of why fish donít seem to bite bare jigs in the summer, after discussing it for a while, I forgot all about lethargy. Most fish become very lethargic in the winter and wonít usually chase after a meal. Sure, they may roam around looking but it wonít be at an accelerated pace and it sure wonít expel unneeded energy to go after anything (like they usual will in the summer). Instead they try to find things even more lethargic than them (or too small to make a difference, like scuds and small minnows). They usually canít afford to waste energy in the hopes of gaining minimal nutrition. In the summer, when a fish has more energy to gain and use, that bare jig more than likely doesnít look appealing because there are more substantial offerings (both natural and artificial) to choose from and they have that energy to expel to get it. They can be much more choosy when it comes to sustaining themselves because they have the prerogative to be. Not so much in the winter.

For what itís worth, Iím a panfish guy. Mainly bluegill and crappie. Most fish tend to possess the same behaviors based on the same factors. However, any and all of those factors are dictated by the individual body of water. Just being on the right water can eliminate a significant majority of problems that we have trying to catch fish. I suppose thatís why they call it fishing and not catching lol. In the winter, for jigs, all I use is tungsten. The occasional small spoon and size 3 rippin rap. I always tip my tungsten. Always. I will also tip my spoons 99% of the time and I never tip my rippin raps. Like I said though, getting on top of fish really makes a difference in judging what actually works to catch fish.
ďWhen the fish are biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre using. When the fish arenít biting, it really doesnít matter what youíre usingĒ - Uncle Dave

Offline SteveTheChimneySweep

  • IceShanty Rookie
  • **
  • Posts: 13
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #10 on: Apr 11, 2019, 10:51 AM »
Ryan,
I didn't even think about the fish being slower in the winter vs. the summer, kind of like us.
Growing up and when i fished with my brother and his kids we always set out tip ups through holes we drilled with a hand auger.  If the fish were there great, if not we at least caught a buzz for the afternoon, we weren't about to go moving a bunch if tilts around the pond.  Then when we got the gas auger we just drilled a lot more hole, but in the same general area, better but not great.

What got me back into it was the new cordless drill adapters, easier to move and set up.  Then i found a lot of stuff on Youtube about jigging and at the same time found this site and a new fire was lit.   I used some Cabela's points and bought a fish finder, came in to late for this season, but watch out next year.  It seemed that jigging is the way to go, like open water fishing if nothing is there you need to move. 

During open water fishing i seemed to go to rivers and streams and using Mepps spinners and flies, bait never entered my mind as a way to increase hookups.

So to address Seamonkey, I was not just thinking about bare jigs but maybe heavy bead headed flies that had the visual attractant built into the lure you were using, which i will try, but will add a little scent to help close the deal.  I also just got some jigs from energized outdoors.

Thanks to all who have responded to this thread and to my other threads, and for all the info i have found on the site.  It is fun to rediscover and old hobby with new ideas.

Looking forward to this summer to get the garage cleaned out to start working on my sled and gathering new equipment.  I have an idea running around my head for combining a smitty sled with a golf cart for a mini-smitty..

Thanks
Steve

Offline meandcuznalfy

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 658
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #11 on: Apr 11, 2019, 11:02 AM »
I found with the fish being slower that a sesitive rod helps feel them. A lot of the fish I caught last winter I'd just feel their weight on the rod when I lifted it, not really a actual bite

Offline SteveTheChimneySweep

  • IceShanty Rookie
  • **
  • Posts: 13
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #12 on: Apr 11, 2019, 11:11 AM »
That makes a lot of sense.  From what I have read and watched, that seems to what is happening.  You have to almost hit them on the head with it to make them bite.

Offline meandcuznalfy

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 658
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #13 on: Apr 11, 2019, 11:18 AM »
Yea, not always, I caught quite a few on a rod I built for hand lining, they'd actually hit hard enough to pull a bobber under the water. Some days you can hit them on the head and not get them to bite.

Offline SirCranksalot

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 917
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #14 on: Apr 11, 2019, 04:25 PM »
I found with the fish being slower that a sesitive rod helps feel them. A lot of the fish I caught last winter I'd just feel their weight on the rod when I lifted it, not really a actual bite

For light biters in winter, such as small lakers, some of us use a slip float.
Keep yer stick on the ice!

Offline meandcuznalfy

  • Team IceShanty Addict
  • *
  • Posts: 658
Re: Jig Questions???
« Reply #15 on: Apr 11, 2019, 04:46 PM »
For light biters in winter, such as small lakers, some of us use a slip float.
Yea, I like the ice buster bobbers, they detect the lightest bite.

 



Follow Iceshanty at Twitter Iceshanty Facebook Page Iceshanty Youtube Channel
Iceshanty | MyFishFinder | MyHuntingForum
Contact | Disclaimer | Privacypolicy | Sponsor
© 1996- Iceshanty.com
All Rights Reserved.