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#64 Picking the Right Jig: Part 2
Posted by Matt MagnoneOctober 29, 2014, 7:48 PM
Matt Magnone
Staff Member at Last Chance

Now that we've outlined some of the more common jig head styles, let's take a walk into the world of the Football Head. This week we'll be discussing general head sizing and hook configuration.

For those of you that may have missed it CLICK HERE to go back to Picking The RIght Jig: Part 1.

The Football Head Jig is without a doubt my ace in the hole of the aforementioned jig head styles. Being that I've had the privilege of being raised around the deep clear lakes of Southern California, it only comes natural for this head to have a special place in my arsenal. As stated in the previous blog, the Football Head almost always has a line tie positioned between 60 and 90 degrees in relation to the shank of the hook. The elongated football shaped head allows the jig to be drug across structure with excellent deflection values allowing it to "rock" and "roll" without finding its way wedged into a snag.

When it comes down to picking the right sized jig, this is solely dependant on your individual body of water and gauged activity level of the bass. Case in point, Lets say you're in the dead of Winter. FIsh are extremely lethargic but with warmer days, the bass have been found sunning themselves shallow on the West sides of every main lake rocky point. While there may be a variety of techniques that'll produce strikes in this scenario, the jig is my go- to technique when dealt with adverse conditions. Knowing that the water is at it's coldest, you can assume the activity level of the fish is going to be a lot slower.. They're not going to want to move a great distance to chase down their meals. They're going to want it to come to them. This is a time I would throw a lighter weight jig. I'm talking in the 1/4oz - 3/8oz category. You want there to be a little "hang time" as the jig falls giving these fish a more delicate approach that isn't as invasive. Not to mention giving them a chance to see it. In combination with the fall rate being slowed, the ability to work the jig through shallow rock will be both a great deal easier and a lot more life-like in action compared to the 1/2oz or 3/4oz head sizes. Although the Football Head is a great choice, this time of year I'll often switch it up to a Round Ball Head with a cut down skirt if the fish simply just don't want to respond. I'll go into this scenario in a later blog.

Now let's say we're dealing with the Pre-Spawn and you're finding active fisn in 30' - 40' of water getting ready to move up and down the bank into their spawning zones. The activity level is a lot higher as these fish have seemingly fasted through the WInter and are beginning to feed heavily again. In this case I'll often use a heavier head in the 1/2oz -3/4oz sizes. The heavier head makes it extremely easy to work these deeper zones as their weight gets them down a lot quicker than a 1/4oz -3/8oz and allow me to cover water a lot quicker. Now don't get me wrong there are times when I'll opt for a slower fall in deeper water, but as a general rulle of thumb:

Water shallower than 30' I fish a 3/8oz Jig 

Water deeper than 30'  I fish a 1/2oz. Jig

And in the rare situations where I REALLY need to cook the jig ,or get down DEEP, I'll opt for a 3/4oz Jig.

There you go. Keep it REALLY simple. No need in having a slew of sizes when you really don't need them. Now like I said above, when it comes down to picking the right sized jig, this is solely dependant on your individual body of water and gauged activity level of the bass. If you're dealing with water shallower than ours out here in the West; obviously substitute accordingly. If you're fishing water where 30' is considered deep; More power to you! Your jig box just got a lot lighter! As a gneral rule of thumb, these sizes have been core in my arsenal for years and haven't failed me yet.

I know when you view our site, you'll notice there are a slew of different style Football Jigs with a hodge podge of available hook sizes and styles. Don't get overwhelmed and keep it extremely simple.

Smaller the trailer bait; Smaller the hook

Larger the trailer bait; Larger and heavier the hook

The reason I put reference to a large and heavier hook on the oversized jig is simple. If you're water allows you to fish a BIG jig, more often times than not you're fishing for the "upper sized fish" These fish are mean, they don't play and are ruthless. There's a reason these bass have  lived long enough to reach that size. In general with hook sizing, I try to stay out of the debate as the beauty of Bass Fishing is that everyone has their own confidence.

If you like an EWG hook; killer!

If you're into a round bend; that's cool too!

If you like barbless hooks; I don't know why you would, but..... RIGHT ON!

Use what you have confidence in. Me personally, I'm a huge fan of a 60 degree eyed ,round bend, regular wire hook. In specfic I really like the Mustad 32798 BLN hook. Yes, it's a cheaper hook but it's strong, sharp and was tough enough to land my personal best Largemouth Bass at 14.3#'s. If it held for a teener; It'll hold for most any size. If you have no clue what the Mustad 32798 BLN hook is; never fear.  A lot of custom jig guys and even some factory companies use this or the Gamakatsu equivalent in their head designs. It's a great value priced hook and is just awesome to fish. Hook sizes will vary from jig head to jig head. Heavier jigs, will often run a large hook to keep the distance porportioned correctly and vise versa a lighter jig will often run a smaller hook.
On average, You're looking at a 3/0 hook for the 3/8 oz jig and a 4/0 or 5/0 hook for the 1/2 and 3/4oz head. Again keep it simple. Match your hook size to the jig and trailer you're intending to fish. 

Check out Last Chance for a variety of Football Head Jigs.

Stay tuned. Next week I'll be going over choosing  skirt material and trailers
Category: Fishing Blog
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