Capt. Bill Watson, (www.fishsabinelake.com) a Sabine Lake fishing guide and Jan Maizler, a member of the Bass Pro Shop Pro Team share information on jig heads and how to fish them.
Texas coastal anglers use jig head weights anywhere from 1/8 up to 1/2 ounces. The main thing to remember when choosing the right weight is the sink rate. The shallower water, the lighter the jig head. The more sluggish the fish, the lighter the jig head. Maizler says that when in doubt go the with lightest jig that you can cast.
Watson says when he is fishing for the bigger fish in the cooler water, he throws a 3/8 or 1/2 oz jig head. He wants distance on his casts, so the fish won’t see him. He wants to be as far as he can from the fish. Normally, he likes a 1/4 oz jig head for 90 percent of his fishing.
The favorite jig head shape among Texas coastal anglers is either the bullet or shad head. Painted or not painted is the angler’s choice, although color can make a difference especially in off colored water. Many anglers prefer a shape or color to match up with the soft plastic lure they are using.
Working a jig head/soft plastic combination:
“I believe in letting the fish tell me how they want it,” says Watson, “but basically I’ll use little, short flips with the rod tip. I don’t work my bait with the reel that much. Work it with the rod tip. You will see people who never stop reeling. They’re popping the rod and reeling at the same time. I always stop my reeling…pop, pop, short little distance hops, created with short flips of the rod, kind of dance the bait in place. You are not trying to move it through the water column so fast, but trying to give it a lot of action.”
When he is fishing for trout or redfish, Watson tries to keep the bait within a three foot depth as he brings it back instead of bouncing it off the bottom. “I trying to work in the middle column of the water and let fish see it from several different angles.
“A lot of times a trout will run up behind a lure, grab it, and keep coming straight at you,” adds Watkins. “You won’t really feel a strike…just kind of loose contact with your lure, a mushy feeling. That might be a nice trout just swimming with it. When they turn away, then you feel that perceptible thump. You will miss a lot of trout if you aren’t really paying attention to the lure.”