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To Jig or not to Jig, that is the question

 

There are two options when ice fishing. You can jig a lure, spoon, fly, or bait, or you can let it sit there. That is about it. Jigging is active and can do a great job at attracting fish, and even get them to strike. Set lining, or in other words, just letting bait on a hook sit there will outlast even the most patient fish, as it just sits there, motionless, waiting....waiting....and waiting some more for a fish to bite. On any given day, either will work. Here is what I have picked up from my experience.

To jig or not to jig.

To jig or not to jig.

Hard jigging with lots of movement catch few fish, save for whitefish when Wetaskiwins are involved, and northern pike, and on occasion, burbot, when spoons are involved. Lighter jigging catches more fish. Light movement catches the eyes of a lot of fish and they will come over to investigate. Light jigging where it kicks up a little of the bottom sediment will catch even more. When the fish comes over to look, if it figures what you are offering is edible, your lure or jig will be gone in one quick gulp. Adding bait to jig increases bites, be it maggots for perch, worms for trout, or minnows for walleye and pike, bait is often the threshold for a fish’s commitment to bite.

Jig and a minnow is a great way to catch walleye.

Jig and a minnow is a great way to catch walleye.

Where allowed, bait catches fish. It really is that straight forward. Put any sort of bait on a hook and drop it down near bottom and you can be assured that if a nearby fish is in the mood to feed, you will be getting a bite. One of my favourite set ups has been putting bait on a small jig and setting the rod and reel into a JawJacker. That way when the fish bites, the hook is set automatically, and all you need to do is go over and reel in the fish.

JawJackers catch fish.

JawJackers catch fish.

Match the jigging to the mood of the fish.

Match the jigging to the mood of the fish.

My go to approach is to set one line up stationary with bait, and work the other line by lightly jigging it, hopping from hole to hole, looking for active fish. If I do not get bites on my jigging rod, or if my stationary set up is getting more bites, I switch both lines to a stationary presentation and wait them out.


Previous Fishing Tips & Facts

(1) Down Stream Dry Fly Fishing

(2) Fishing Streamers

(3) Fishing Streamers

(4) Fishing Streamers

(5) Barbless Hook Blues

(6) Salt Water Fly Lines

(7) April: The Last Ice Hurrah for Ice

(8) What are your boating needs

(9) Keeping It All Together

(10) To Jig or not to Jig, that is the question

(11) The Strip Strike

(12) Sticks and Stones

(13) Fly tackle for new waters

(14) Fish imitating flies are prime for trout

(15) Float Fishing Hoppers

(16) Setting the Hook

(17) Backcountry Fishing

(18) Rigging Foams and Boxes

(19) Securing Shiners

(20) Precision Mending

(21) The JawJacker - A fish catching machine

(22) Optimal performance boundaries

(23) 90 Per Cent of the Fish

(24) Heavy Line for the Big Fish

(25) Go Small and go Natural

(26) Fishing the Foam Line

(27) Trip Planning Tips

(28) The Seven-Year Twitch

(29) What is that Shiny Silver Fish

(30) The Art of Mending

(31) A well-stocked Fly Box

(32) Weight Forward vs. Double Taper Fly Lines

(33) The Evening Walleye Shift

(34) On the Fly

(35) Memories Aren't Made of This

(36) Selecting the right fly

(37) Road Trips

(38) The Roll cast

(39) Fly-fishing for Pike

(40) Walleye Tip

(41) Mountain Lakers

(42) Hints For Dry Fly Success

(43) Survival Strategies For The Silly Season

(44) Local Advise

(45) It's A Pink Year

(46) Ice Fishin Safety

(47) Third World Travel

(48) Casting Angles

(49) The Rocky Mountain Whitefish Rig

(50) Using Sinking Leaders

(51) The Pike Fisherman's Vest

(52) Walleye Tips

(53) Trophies Are In The Eye Of The Beholder

(54) The Right Tool For The Job

(55) Respect The Weather - Expect The Weather

(56) Approach

(57) Gearing Up For Ice Perch

(58) Do It Yourself Excersions

(59) Shots

(60) Atlantic Salmon Fishing Techniques

(61) Fishing Etiquette In Crowded Conditions

(62) Swinging Caddis Flies

(63) Selecting a Fishing Rod

(64) Pike Angling Retrieves

(65) Detecting The Strike

(66) Unmatch The Hatch

(67) Off The Grid Air Travel

(68) Practise

(69) How Deep Are They Biting?

(70) Netting and Landing Your Fish

(71) Texas Travel Tips

(72) Quick Tips for Triggering Strikes

(73) Be the Last Man Standing

(74) Water Temperature & Trout

(75) Visiting Reindeer Lake

(76) Stillwater Stratagems

(77) Those Crazy Cohos!

(78) Leaders & Tippets

(79) Big Water Strategies

(80) Small Stream Stealth

(81) DO I GET UP EARLY?

(82) ACCESSIBLE PLACES TO FISH

(83) Travelling Angler Tips

(84) Choosing The Right Fly

(85) They come out at Night - Our Friends that is

(86) Fishing at Night

(87) Having Troubles Catching fish?

(88) Having Troubles Finding Fish?

(89) Stay Skinny To Catch Fish

(90) Tips For Fishing With Kids

(91) The Wonderful Woolly Bugger

(92) Wading Safely

(93) Double Your Fun

(94) More About The Red River

(95) Rookie Rod Buying Tips

(96) Hook Sharpening

(97) Going Light

(98) Hopper - Dropper Rigs

(99) Tips For Buying A Pontoon Boat

(100) Fishing Tips and Facts for Sturgeon

(101) Three Flies to Live by

(102) Reading Rise Forms

(103) Tips and Facts for Early Season Success

(104) A Fly for All Seasons

(105) Ice Shelters – Seeing is Believing

(106) Effective approaches to working small streams

(107) Unburdening the Travelling Angler

(108) 5 Flies for Anyones Fly Box

(109) Road Trips

(110) Dry Flies for High & Dirty Water

(111) Tips For Dealing With Biting Bass

(112) Summertime and the Fishin’ Ain’t Easy

(113) Depth and Light

(114) Rigging Large Dry Flies

(115) Best Rod for Spring Angling

(116) Stream Etiquette for Floaters

(117) Tackling Whites Through the Ice

(118) Angling Tips for Finding Books

(119) Winter Smart Open Water Angling

(120) Fall Primer for Pike

(121) Packing Tips

(122) Tips and Tackle for the High Country

(123) Hunt them Shallow

(124) Polarized Sunglasses
The smart anglers’ advantage.

(125) Fishing Tips for Early Season Flyrodding

(126) Know Your Knots

(127) Alternative Thoughts about Ice Fishing

(128) Tips for Mexican Bonefishing

(129) Techniques for Tantalizing Grayling

(130) Understanding Fly Leaders & Tippets

(131) Catfish on the Fly

(132) Get Your Backswimmer On

(133) Reading the Sonar

(134) Insect Identification Made Easy

(135) The Sinker and Floating Plug

(136) GADGETS & GIZMOS for "OLD GUYS"

(137) Fishing Drop Offs

(138) Stay On Fish

(139) Landing The Big One

(140) Fighting Fish on a Fly Rod

(141) North Saskatchewan River - Be River Aware

(142) Backswimmer Pothole Trout Frenzy

(143) Hunt for Suspended Fish

(144) Reading Your Waters Before You Cast

(145) Setting Up Your Bait Casting Reel

(146) Fishing Journals

(147) First Casts of the Season are at a River Near You

(148) The Crazy Whitefish Days of Last Ice

(149) The Bait of Choice

(150) Shallow Water Jumbo Perch

(151) Getting Started on the Ice

(152) Plan an Ice Fishing Getaway

(153) Brookie Season

(154) River Fishing is Heating Up

(155) Become a Better Angler

(156) The Forgotten Pike

(157) Get Out Your Plugs and Spoons

(158) Slip Bobber is King in Spring

(159) See You at the Show

(160) Red Hot Whitefish

(161) Staging Walleye

(162) The Lure of Lake Whitefish

(163) Great Rainbow Fishing At First Ice

(164) A Simple Approach to Ice Fishing

(165) Big Pike Combo Approaches

(166) Gearing up for Fall Whitefish

(167) River of Gold

(168) Bottom Bounce Your Way to Success

(169) Small Stream Fun

(170) Consider the Spawn and Water Temperature for Early Season Fish

(171) I Believe - The Glow in Glow Jigs

(172) Tricks to Improve Your Ice Fishing

(173) Trout Fishing is Red Hot

(174) Dealing With Fishing Pressure

(175) All I Want for Christmas: Fishing Gift Ideas

(176) Staying Warm on the Ice

(177) Hunting Big Browns in Lakes

(178) Where Did All Those Walleye Go?

(179) Keep an Eye on the Weather, Fury of a Storm

(180) Great and Affordable Fishing on the West Coast

(181) Lake Whites in the Summer? You Bet

(182) Prime Time for Lakers

(183) A Slip Bobber is so Much More

(184) Ice Fishing for Pike and Walleye

(185) Catching a Big Pike

(186) Purchasing a Rod

(187) Catching Rainbows through the Ice

(188) Gearing up for the Snow and Ice

(189) Gearing Up For Pike

(190) Getting the Most out of Your Fly Fishing Set Up

(191) The Bottom’s Up in Fishing

(192) Fish Where They’re Biting

(193) Three Standard Walleye Presentations

(194) Two Early Season Presentations for Pothole Trout

(195) Tackle Tips for Catch and Release Fishing

(196) Keeping Your Head Above Water

(197) HEALTHY BAIT CATCHES FISH!

(198) Beginner Baitcasting Tips