Jigs are one of the most versatile lures, covering a swath of depths, conditions, species and baitfish imitation. Endless styles, weights, colors, and actions fill out our tackle bags. But when and where should we choose a specific style jig to address specific fishing conditions?
Hogy Lures offers a full lineup of Metal and Epoxy Jigs capable of everything from light tackle jigging in the back bay, to heavy duty jigging for several hundred pound tuna. We’ve outlined our favorite 5 jig body styles and how we choose when to use which jig and how we have the best success using them.
Heavy Minnow Jigs: These extremely versatile jigs double down as a long distance casting surface jig perfect for False Albacore and Spanish Mackerel, but feature just the right amount of weight for light tackle jigging smaller groundfish like Black Sea Bass, Snapper, Porgy, and Fluke. The 1/2oz 1.5inch “Mini Minnow” is perfect for imitating tiny bay anchovy, while the 1.25oz – 2.5inch and 2oz – 3inch Heavy Minnow Sizes are ideal for surf anglers looking to increase casting range in a small profile and nearshore light tackle jigging enthusiasts.
HMJ Surface Retrieve: The heavy weight and small profile of the Heavy Minnow are perfect for long distance casting into surface blitzes. To keep the jig swimming along the surface, simply keep your rod tip in the 10’o clock position while using a medium to medium fast retrieve speed. The jig will naturally kick side to side on a steady retrieve, or, use short and fast twitches of the rod tip to dance and dart the jig side to side. Often a mix of a steady retrieve with occasional rod tip twitches will trigger strikes from fast moving gamefish.
HJM Vertical Retrieve: The compact profile of the Heavy Minnow Jig is ideal faster vertical retrieves. Allow the jig to settle on the bottom, using the rod tip, use sharp 6 inches to 12inch snaps to work the jig quickly at the desired position in the water column. The erratic action and holographic finish offer excellent flash, imitating a wounded bait fish. These jigs are best suited for light fluorocarbon leader, giving them a very natural baitfish appearance.
Squinnow Jig: These unique heavy weight jigs feature a small profile, perfect for targeting smaller ground fish in deep water and heavy current. These tiny but mighty jigs are a favorite for Sea Bass, Porgy, Snapper and other smaller bottom fish. Perfect for kids and adults to enjoy the steady action on light tackle!
SQJ Vertical Retrieve: We’ve found the Squinnow Jig to be most productive with a low and slow style retrieve. Allowing the jig to reach the bottom, use short slow rod twitches to hop the Squinnow Jig 4 – 12 inches off the bottom. This low as slow style retrieve is great for creating little puffs of sand and mud, similar to a feeding crustacean or bait fish. This slow hop is deadly on Sea Bass, Porgy, and Snapper.
Sand Eel Jig: Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and our life-like Sand Eel Jig is the perfect Sand Eel / Candle Fish jig. We offer three sizes to match various stages of the sand eel life cycle. We’ve found these jigs to be highly effective when sand eels are abundant and fish become very picky.
SEJ Suspended Tickle: Some of the toughest fishing we encounter during the season when sand eel schools inundate the coast line. Once gamefish like Striper and Tuna hone in on the sand eels, it can be nearly impossible to get a bite on conventional tactics. Our top strategy for success is to work the outside edges of sand eel schools, working the jig suspended in the mid and lower third water column. Using the rod tip with the jig suspended, use a 2inch – 4inch shaking motion of the rod tip to “tickle” the Sand Eel Jig, creating a short fluttering action while maintaining the suspended depth.
Herring Jig: This is our go-to metal when fish are keyed in on larger profile forage. Available in 3.5oz and 4.5oz weights, the Herring Jigs are a perfect upgrade from traditional Diamond Jigs. Sporting lifelike holographic baitfish finishes and a unique herring body shape. These versatile jigs have an excellent side to side kick on a surface retrieve, yet double down with controlled flutter on a vertical presentation.
HJ Surface Retrieve: The Herring Jig’s weight and bigger profile are perfect for long distance casting into surface Striper and Tuna blitzes. To keep the jig swimming along the surface, simply keep your rod tip in the 10’o clock position while using a medium to medium fast retrieve speed. The jig will naturally kick side to side on a steady retrieve, or, use short and fast twitches of the rod tip to dance and dart the jig side to side. Often a mix of a steady retrieve with occasional rod tip twitches will trigger strikes from fast moving gamefish.
HJ Vertical Retrieve: We’ve found the Herring Jig to be a perfect upgrade to standard diamond sytle jigs for vertical jigging. The flattened edges of the Herring Jig offer a superb vertical flutter on a slack line drop. Utilizing a slower jigging motion, move the herring jig 3′ – 4′ with the rod tip, allowing the jig to drop on a slighly slack line. The bite often comes on the fall, pay close attention to your line on the drop and set the hook on any slight twitches or excess slack, signaling the jig has been eaten.