Jigs? Really, what is a jig other than a hook with a split-shot attached to the end of it? That IS what a jig is, you know. Tie a hook on your line and squeeze a splitshot around the shaft just below the eyelet and you have a rudimentary jig. Put a minnow on it an drop it down to the walleyes. When they are biting, they don’t care if the presentation isn’t a horizontal one.
That being said, a jig is a fancier version of the hook/splitshot combo that serves a few different functions. Because the hook on an authentic jig is bent up so the eye is up on most common jigs, it is a presentation lure. It holds your minnow out and presents it to the fish. In a current or when trolling with a minnow or a plastic tube or twister tail body, it straightens out with minnow or other bait in tow and just sets itself up for a predator to predate.
Jigs like the ones in you see in the photos above tend to hook fish in the upper lip making them easier to release with minimal damage while providing a very secure hook set.
I think that it should be common knowledge that when fish are biting, they usually don’t care about color. This is not common knowledge, but it should be with all fishermen. That is why we have a few customers who actively seek out plain ol’ lead jigs. Talk about boring. It’s right up there with hooking on a minnow to snelled hook with a sinker about a foot up, but if your goal is to bring fish over the side of the boat or canoe, then whatever works is what you should do. If your goal is to catch fish plus make your buddies “oooo & ahhh”, then you need Wahoo jigs in your box.
When fish are not actively feeding, we use colored jigs to invite a strike. Also, some colors work better on different days. I usually tend to apply the old color-selection adage with pretty good results:
- Dark Days = Dark Colors
- Bright Days = Bright Colors
- Partly Cloudy Days = One or the Other
It’s pretty basic and it seems to work for many species and I have seen days when it worked int he exact opposite, but more often than not, dark/dark, bright/bright seems to work. Some companies went so far as to sell a light-meter device and had about 30 lures tuned to it for the color you would need for the most accurate selection based on ambient light conditons. That meter was a little on the spendy side and also seemed like work. It was like testing the chlorine content of the water in your swimming pool every time before you jumped in. There was no spontaneity and we all know that is one reason for not using that stuff. For myself, when you start narrowing it down to a science like that, it sucks all the fun out of fishing. It also didn’t really work that great and the system flopped around for a few years and now appears to have all but faded away completely. Instead of a meter and looking only at dark and light colors, lets throw in a twist: stripes and bring back that spark. Tie one on, bait it up and live as fisherman have always lived: on hope. I’d say that bright striped colors would still be dominant on bright days and you’re going to want to have extras of each color in your box as conditions change. I’ve literally had days where a color switch meant the difference between reaction strikes and no strikes because color draws attention more than that camouflaged minnow you’re dragging around down there. Never thought of that, did you? Minnows are camouflaged so fish can’t find them that easily.
The colors that you see in the Wahoo jigs are UV coated colors. What that means is that they reflect back Ultra Violet light which makes them look a bit like they are glowing especially in low light conditions, but they don’t glow – they reflect – better than non-UV colors. Wahoo Jigs make better use of ambient light to reflect it out and draw attention. Stripes make the jig look sexy plus they break it up a little. Theoretically, playing hide and seek with the fish – break up a bright color with stripes – makes the fish more interested. Aside from watching animated films made by humans, I have no idea how we know that fish like to be enticed by stripes, but these jigs look cool. The Wahoo jigs with the little spinners on them have to be quite the attraction as well. If there’s any way to dress up a minnow and make it look presentable, I would say these UV Wahoos are a good start short of buying a little suit and tie for your minnow.
Note that the Live Bait Series has that little bent piece of wire on it that runs along the shank of the hook. That’s a “keeper” and when you slide a plastic body over it, the body does not end up sliding down the hook shank as can happen with traditional-style jigs with the lead spike keeper behind the head. They work pretty slick and will also work with organic bait.
So there you have it. New Jigs at Red Rock and you can get some online right here.