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3 Effective Methods of Cast and Retrieve Jigging

Working jigs is a very effective way to catch a multiple variety of saltwater and freshwater fish. Today, I’d like to share three basic methods of jigging along with some interesting tips to make your jigging even more effective.

Recommended Jigs

The following are just a few recommended jigs to use with the jigging techniques listed below: twister tails, buck tails, shads, worms, and tube jigs.

Twister Tail
Tube Jig

Bouncing/Hopping your Jig

Bounce your jig 6 inches off of the bottom, or 12 inches off of the bottom. Either way, simply lift your jig off of the bottom, and let it drop down on a semi-slack line.

Twister Tail
Twister Tail

Try different lifting techniques, meaning; snap the jig quickly off the bottom, letting it fall with a slack line - this is called rip jigging, and is very effective on aggressive feeding fish; or lift the jig slowly off of the bottom and again let it fall on a slack line - this method will always work under any condition for all fish, this is known as “Finesse Fishing”.

Should you be faced with any tough fishing conditions where the bite has shut down (ie after a major cold front) then downsizing your bait and finesse fishing is the only way to go.

Swimming your Jig

Also try swimming your jig at different depths. Here, you simply cast your jig out, and count down the number of seconds - generally speaking, a 3/8 oz jig will fall at about one foot per second. Once you reach your desired depth slowly retrieve the jig. The slow retrieve will allow your jig to stay at the same depth, as faster retrieve will surface the jig.


During the retrieve, you can also twitch your jig periodically: which may be just what the doctor in ordered to get a bite.

Dragging your Jig

Dragging your jig on the bottom is probably the most effective method in which to work your jig. If you are dragging your jig over a mud-bottom, then you will be creating a bit of a stir, which will arouse your fish to come check out your bait.


If you’re dragging it over rocky structure, you will want to “feel” your way through the rocks so you don’t get snagged.

Although a standard round-head jig will work well with any method of retrieve, in this case try using a “football” style jig-head. This jig-head provides a unique action: I have learned over the past many years that this style of jig-head and jigging combination will catch you more fish.If you’re fishing weedy waters, then the bouncing or swimming technique would be preferred. Dragging your jig will just catch you a whole lot of salad.

Best fishes and wishes,

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