FOOTBALL HEAD JIGS
Providing the most accurate crayfish imitation of all jigs, the football jig can be handy in many situations. But in order for it to be handy for you, you need to understand how it reacts with it environment. Its wide “football” shaped head creates a rolling-forward action when the jig is dragged across a hard surface. This whole motion creates a realistic crayfish turning, and sort of jumping action. This repeatedly happens as you drag it across hard bottom, and over hard objects creating a presentation no other lure offers.
Where to use a football head jig
Grass edges, around brush piles, around laydowns, and steep drop offs are all great places to fish a football head jig. These places also commonly hold real crayfish, therefore bettering your chances of coming across bass that are on the search for crayfish. I will fish edges of cover with a football jig after I fish the middle of the cover with another bait, so it is used as a follow up, or clean up lure.
Any rocks forms is worth fishing with a football head jig because that’s where they really shine. Their action is at its best when being dragged across rocks. This includes rip-rap (steep rocky banks), and rock pilings shallow and deep.
Year long, is when you can and should fish a football jig. From fishing around beds in springtime, fishing rocks and grass in the summer, fishing deep cover in fall and winter the football jig can do it all.
How to fish a football head jig
This is the most common technique and sometimes the most productive. Make sure to hold the rod to your side, up slightly to achieve maximum sensitivity when dragging the jig. When dragging the jig move your rod 1.5 ft to 2.5 ft, then reel in your slack to repeat. Don’t drag the jig with your rod way back towards you because you need to have room to swing on a fish it when it takes the jig. Play around with the retrieve speed and pauses between drag.
Just like working a flipping jig, you can hop a football jig, especially while dragging to create a reaction strike. If the bass aren’t taking the jig when you drag it, this should create them to. Sometimes in close quarters when I don’t have room to drag it I will just hop the jig back to me, or I will do what’s called stroking:
This is a very dramatic hop of the jig and is really going to get the attention of aggressive fish. Great for close quarters, or for long casts in big areas when you want the fish to really see the bait.
A trailer is a must have on a football jig for a more beefy presentation, for a realistic crayfish imitation, and for confidence. I like to keep the both the trailer color and the jig skirt a natural color for clear water, and for dirty water I will mix trailer and skirt colors to help the bait stand out.
What gear to use
- Rod: 7’4” to 7’6” Power: heavy, Action: medium – fast
- Reel: 6:4:1 to 7:1:1 to gear ratio reel
- Line: either 40 lb braid to 12 – 17lb fluorocarbon leader or straight 12 – 17lb fluorocarbon. line weight depends on jig size and if I’m fishing around heavy cover.
What colors to use and when
As I mentioned above, for clear waters I prefer a natural colored trailer and skirt. On top of that if I can find out the actual color of the crayfish in the water then I will try to imitate that color as close as possible. For stained, stingy, and muddy water I will use colors like blues, blacks, chartreuse’s, and purples. On top of that I like to mix up the colors and make the trailer color oppose the skirt color for extra bait visibility.