If you’re like most bass anglers, you’ve
cast jigs, flipped jigs,pitched jigs, hopped jigs, crawled jigs and
even jigged jigs, but the only time you ever swam a jig was when you
sprinted it back to the boat to make another pitch, flip or cast.
you’re missing out. There’s more to jig fishing than what you’ve been
doing. It’s time you started swimming a jig. For that, you’ll want a
good instructor. Luckily, we have one of the very best in the business.
Bill Lowen of North Bend, Ohio. What’s that? You already know Lowen —
two-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, Elite Series pro and generally
all-around good guy who just happens to be the High Priest of jig
But did you know that his nickname is
“Turtle”? Well, it is. And you definitely need to know when and how he
swims a jig because it’ll put more bass in your boat.
came by jig swimming honestly. He didn’t pick it up from a buddy or take
it from a tournament partner. He discovered it the same way most great
fishing techniques are discovered. He stumbled upon it by accident.
was fishing a jig out on the Ohio River one day years ago and not
having much success. After a cast I was reeling my jig back in to make
another cast when I saw a bass chasing it. A few casts later, after I
was done hopping or crawling the jig along, I reeled it in and another
bass took a swipe at it. I thought, ‘Hey man, maybe there’s something
Something indeed. After that experience,
“Turtle” started swimming a jig more often. And it worked… a lot! He
found that he was catching more bass by swimming the baits than by
hopping or crawling them; and some of the bass he was catching were big!
Swim a Jig? So why would anyone want to swim a jig when you could just
as easily use a spinnerbait or crankbait or even a swimbait? The short
answer to that question is, “It works.” Bass will strike a swimming
jig, and sometimes they prefer it to those other lures.
example, the swim jig is more subtle than a spinnerbait or crankbait.
It’s not whirring, spinning, rattling or shimmying as it goes through
the water. This not only makes it different from a spinnerbait or
crankbait, it also makes it a great choice on heavily pressured waters
that see a lot of blades and cranks.
Remember a few
years back when everyone decided to use square-billed crankbaits in the
places they had traditionally fished spinnerbaits? Well, now a lot of
bass have seen the crankbaits. It’s time for something different. Swim
jigs are that something different.
But what about
swimbaits? Why not throw them instead? Well, for one you can put a
weedless jig in places that you just can’t work a big,hard swimbait
with treble hooks. And soft plastic swimbaits have big tails that kick
up lots of fuss. If the bass want something subtler, a swim jig might be
What’s a Swim Jig?According to Lowen, you
can swim any jig on the market and get bit .But if you really want to
succeed, you’ll do much better by using one that’s designed for the
job. To that end, he’s worked with the folks at D&L Tackle to
design “Bill Lowen’s Swim Jig” with all the right features.
are the right features? “You really need a bullet-shaped head so it will
slip through grass and cover with a minimum of hang ups,”says Lowen.
“And the underside of the head needs to have a flat,planning surface.
That flat part will help the jig glide over brush and other cover, but,
more importantly, it gives the jig a little lift so that it comes
toward the surface on the retrieve.”
That lift is more
subdued, but similar to the lift that blades give to spinnerbaits and
buzzbaits. It’s important to the way that Lowen likes to retrieve his
swim jig, and it helps to keep his bait out of trouble.
Right Stuff For years, Lowen did all his jig swimming with a flipping
rod, and at the end of the day he was exhausted. The rod just didn’t
have enough tip action and he was fighting it all day to make accurate
casts and pitches.
According to the Ohio pro, the
perfect swim jig rod is between 7feet, 3 inches and 7 feet, 6 inches
long and has the butt and main section of a flipping rod, but the tip
of a spinnerbait rod. The soft tip allows for more accurate casts and
pitches and helps on hook-ups by giving the bass an extra moment or two
to inhale the jig. The stout butt and shaft offer plenty of hook
setting power with the heavy lines that Lowen prefers.
likes the Abu Garcia Revo STX in 7:1 for his jig swimming.The fast
retrieve gives him the speed he needs to keep the bait up and moving.
And, as he puts it, “If the reel’s too fast, you can always slow down.”
line, Lowen uses Stren Sonic Braid in 30- or 40-pound test for all of
his jig swimming. “It acts like monofilament or fluorocarbon,”he says.
“I always use braid, no matter the water color or the cover I’m
fishing. I just don’t think the extra visibility of braid matters if
you’re swimming a jig.”
It won’t be long before fall fishing is here. The bass will really
start to key in on the shad in the creeks and put on the feed bag. One
of the hottest baits you can toss is a swim jig especially if your lake
has docks or shallow grass. The swim jig is overlooked by most anglers
who prefer to throw a spinnerbait or a crankbait. This is one of the
reasons why the technique is so good. You can give the bass a
presentation that they don’t see as much and a white jig zipping by is
such a good baitfish imitator.
I like to take my jig
and cast it out there and try a quick retrieve where the bait is just
under the surface. I’ll give the jig twitches asI am reeling it back
because a lot of times the fish will run under the bait and as soon is
it jumps when I twitch my rod they will strike it.If you’ve got grass
throw it in the open lanes and make it bulge the surface. Another way
to fish the jig is to take it and throw it out there and let it sink to
the bottom. Start to reel slow and have it constantly ticking the bottom
on a steady retrieve. I like to picture the jig as rooting the bottom
like a crankbait. A lot of times when you hit a bigger piece of cover
and your jig comes over it you’ll get abite. This can work wonders on
bass relating to rip rap. If your fishing jigs around the docks
sometimes burning the jig and then killing it at the posts will get you
some strikes. Typically when your swimming a jig the strikes are so
visual and that can make for an exciting day of fishing.
your going to swim a jig make sure you have a heavy rod with a soft tip.
I like to use an AiRRUS Ultra XL rod in the 6′9” length in medium heavy
because I can make accurate casts and have the power to set the hook.
For this technique you want a burner type reel with a 7.1gear ratio
because the bass sometimes hit your bait and run straight to the boat.
Spool your reels up with 20lb test GAMMA Edge Fluorocarbon line because
the fish don’t have a chance to see your line anyways.
it comes to jigs the OMEGA Revelation Swim Jig works great for fishing
around grass and the docks. It comes through the grass really well
because of its head design and the weed guard has just the right
stiffness to keep it coming through the cover and easy to hook up with
big bass. If I’m hitting the bottom with my jig I’ll pick up an OMEGA
Almighty football Jig because nothing comes through the rocks better
than a football jig. I like to throw the 1oz because it stays down
around the bottom and I can reel it at a quick pace to get those
For jig trailers I really like the
Netbait Paca Chunks in white on my swim jigs. They give off a nice kick
and make the bass go crazy. A twin tail grub is another great trailer
for your swim jig. Figuring out what the bass want just takes some
experimentation. A lot of times I’ll pick the trailer based on what
profile I want to give the bait. If thebaitfish are smaller I’ll throw
a twin tail. If they are bigger I’ll throw a paca chunk. I just try and
match the hatch with my trailer colors and skirts.
WE HAVE VIDEOS ON SWIMMING JIGS AND OMEGA TACKLE TIPS IN OUR VIDEO SECTION Northeast Bass Fishing For Trophy Bass