Home Fishing Tips & Advice What is a Skirted Jig?

What is a Skirted Jig?

This is a lure that is generally used to catch bass. The skirted jig was originally made to mimic a crawfish but now it does so much more. It also can mimic bluegill and shad, or anything that a bass likes to eat. This is a very versatile jig. It is great to use as baits to catch big fish. The skirted jig has many applications from swimming to stroking to pitching/flipping. If you are a bass fisherman, this is a lure you should have in your tackle box.

What is a Skirted Jig?

The jig is a lead head that is molded on a hook. Around the jig head collar, there is a rubber, hair, or silicon skirt. It is affixed to the collar by being tied on with a thread or wire or rubber band. They come in a variety of shaped heads designed for different applications. It is generally fished with some sort of a trailer. The hook size depends on what type of fish you want to catch. 

They could be of heavy wire for getting fish out of cover or light wire with round small bends. The skirted jig usually features a fiber weed guard. This is what acts as a deflector for the point of the hook. It will help to keep your hook from snagging on various types of cover like grass or wood. It is not completely snag-proof though. It is just efficient to keep the jig from getting snagged most of the time.

Types of Skirted Jigs

With the skirted jig, you can swim it rapidly under the surface or into heavy cover to mimic a baitfish that is fleeing the scene. To mimic a crawfish, you will just have to let it crawl in deep water on the bottom. If you make it hop like a baitfish or crawfish, the bass will think they have been scared by a predator. With a skirted jig, you can:

  • Crawl it over cover
  • Punch it through matted vegetation
  • Swim it through grass
  • Skip it under docks
  • Cast it to rocks

You can pick apart areas that are deep or shallow and do it slow or fast

There are six categories of skirted jigs

Casting Jigs

The trademark of this jig is the small, light wire hooks and the design of the small head. This is to be used for working it back along a do-nothing or sloping bank and for casting. They will be most effective in areas where there is mostly rock and sparse cover. Use a smaller diameter line for sensitivity and better casting. This jig works great in cold and clear water with smallmouth and spotted bass.

Football Jigs

This type of jig is great for catching bass that are living in deep water. Its name comes from the football shape of the head that is perpendicular to the hook. This will let the skirted jig come easily over rock bottoms. They are not as snag resistant as the other skirted jigs. They weigh between one-half to one ounce. This jig is effective when it is dragged along shells and rock on a creek or river channel in search of schools of bass.

Flipping Jigs

On these types of jigs, you will find an Arky style head and a big hook. It sort of resembles a flat banana and has a heavy weed guard. This type of jig is made to be able to pierce heavy cover so you can get it in the hiding spots of bass. Its purpose is to tempt the bass into biting. With this jig, you should use a heavy power rod and heavy line when in shallow cover fishing. When you hook bass in this type of cover, you will have obstacles to overcome to get them out. In an instant, you will have to turn the bass’s head, pull them out of their cover and into the open water. If you try to use a softer rod or thin line, it will be harder to do.

Finesse Jigs

These have a spider cut skirt with a small ball head. They range in size from one-eighth to three-eighths in weight. They are good to use in Clearwater impoundments to catch largemouth and spotted bass. They are also good to use when casting to rocky banks on reservoirs with clear water.

Bladed Swim Jigs

This is a skirted jig that falls between a spinnerbait and a swim jig. The blade on this skirted jig gives it a tight vibration. With it, you can catch lots of bass from deep or shallow water. They weigh between one-fourth and one ounce.

Swim Jigs

The heads of these jigs come through cover easily and are a staple for shallow water fishing. You should use this type of skirted jig if you are fishing around shallow covers like grass and wood. To get the bass to react to this jig make sure that you reel them in fast. Changing the speed of your retrieve and weight of your jig will let you fish in water that is only inches or a few feet.

Why Use a Skirted Jig

  • The skirted jig can be the one thing that can lead you to the most bites from a bass.
  • The color contrast of the skirted jig will add to the effectiveness of the skirted jig so make sure that you are using a different color for the tail and the skirt.
  • When the bass is deep down, the skirted jigs shine more to get their attention. They are most effective when the bass is at twenty-plus feet of water.

Conclusion

  • The skirted jig is something that should be in every angler’s tackle book when fishing for bass.
  • There are six variations of the skirted jig so one is sure to suit your needs.
  • Bass are driven by their appetite so when thinking of the color of a skirted jig, think forage; have the ability to mimic something natural you would find in the environment like white for shad.
  • Use a full-skirted jig if you are fishing for larger fish.

Interested in other lures? Read: How to Fish a Senko

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Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing. His favorite fish to catch is a striped bass and his favorite bait to use is bunker. Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years.