Fishing Tips >>
swim jig secrets
What I’m going to share with you here is a relatively new fishing technique that got its start in the upper Mississippi River, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and it’s a technique called swimming a jig. Swimming jigs imitate fish and are worked in a similar style as a spinnerbait. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You fish a jig head, but instead of dragging it on the bottom, you swim it through the water column like a baitfish. This technique does have some idiosyncrasies that we’ll cover to help make this technique work for you.
Most importantly, you need to have the right kind of jig. You can go to any tackle store and find a lot of different jig styles, but the best option are those made for swimming and labeled as “swimming jigs”. There are a number of companies that produce these jigs
All Terrain Tackle Swimming Jig, RC Tackle Swimming Jig and the Tom Monsoor Swimming Jig being the most popular. Monsoor is one of the anglers that developed and refined the technique of fishing the swimming jig in the Mississippi River, and you can find his products at most Bass Pro Shop Stores. The difference between a swimming jig and a standard jig that is used more for flipping is that the head of the swimming jig is more pointed so that it travels through the water with less resistance. A standard flipping jig has a banana shaped or fatter head, whereas the swimming jigs are fuller and have more of a bullet shaped head that allows the jig to move through the grass and water column more like a fish.
Most swimming jigs have an eye on them to imitate a fish, and that’s important,
because most of the time you fish this lure you’re trying to imitate a shad or
bluegill. In the summer time when there’s a lot of shad in the area and fish are
feeding on the surface and in the grass, I’ll throw a white swimming jig. In the
springtime when the shad are scattered and there are beds with the bass about
to spawn, I’ll throw a black and blue or brown swimming jig.
There are two sizes I tend to use - a 1 /4 ounce or 3/ 8 ounce jig. I throw the
1 /4 ounce jig most of the time, because I’m not really concerned about getting
the bait down to the bottom. If you’re fishing deeper water you’ll need to go with a heavier style jig so you can run it where the bass are holding. But in most cases I swim the jig through the water column similar to how I work a spinnerbait so it runs six inches to two feet below the surface.
The 1 /4 ounce jig works really well for the shallow water presentation, as it has a really subtle fall to it, and when you slow it down while going over logs, grass or any other type of cover, it has a really soft fall to it that keeps the bait from nose diving too fast. If your jig is too heavy the bait will nose dive to the bottom which is not natural for a baitfish. It needs to glide through the water very naturally and fishlike.
The other thing you want to do with a swimming jig is to rig it with the right trailer. There are a number of options, but the one I use the most is the Bruiser Crazy Craw or a Bruiser Super Swimmer. I try to match the plastic trailer to the color of the jig. I’m throwing. If I’m throwing something black, I’ll add a blue and black tail. It’s important that you have your swimming jig appear as much like the baitfish in your area as possible.
For the perfect presentation and bait control, you need the right rod and reel. The setup that I have found to work the best for open water or light cover is a 7’ Heavy Okuma TCS matched up with a Helios Air 7.3 casting reel with 15 pound fluorocarbon. In heavy cover I prefer a 7.3’ Heavy TCS with the same reel, but spooled with 50 pound braid. Like any of the techniques I use, you need to practice different ways to present and work a swimming jig. One you perfect your presentation, this is a very effective way to catch more and bigger bass every time you’re on the water.
Steve Mortenson’s Gear List for fishing the Swimming Jig:
12 Pound Seagaur Fluorocarbon for light cover/50 pound braid for heavy cover
Okuma 7’ or 7.3’ Heavy Scott Martin TC
Okuma Helios Air 7.3 Casting Reel
Bruiser Baits Crazy Craw
Bruiser Baits Super Swim