Skipping jigs

Reaching fish hiding beneath docks isn’t as hard as you think

If you’ve ever seen an angler that really knows how to skip a jig under a boat dock, you’ll see why they are so good at catching bass around these structures.

Casey Ashley, the 2015 Bassmaster Classic champion said people seem mesmerized when they watch him skip a jig, but he said it’s really not that difficult.

“They’re amazed by it, but it’s not that hard of a thing. It takes a lot of practice,” he said.

Ashley’s first tip is to spool up with the cheapest fishing line they can find.

“Buy you the cheapest line you can find, and spool it up, because when you’re first learning, you’re going to get a backlash,” he said.

While many anglers may think the key is arm strength, Ashley said the secret lies in making the rod do the work for you. That starts with using the proper rod for skipping.

“I like a 7-foot, medium-heavy rod with a good, soft tip that helps give the jig momentum. If you get a real stiff rod, the rod doesn’t help you much as far as your cast, so you’re trying to overpower it, and that’s something that you don’t want to do,” he said.

Instead, when you begin your cast, let the rod load up with the weight of the jig, make a fluent, sidearm cast, and allow the flex of the rod to send the jig on its way.

“You’re not forcing that jig. You’re just making a nonchalant cast, roll of the wrist, and let the jig and the rod do the work for you,” he said.

One big mistake many people make is they tighten the brake on their reel down too much.

“The first thing people want to do when they backlash is to tighten their reel down, but that’s the worst thing you can do, because that makes you force the jig,” he said.

Ashley recommends anglers use jigs that are hand-tied as opposed to ones with rubber bands. Skipping the jig will cause the rubber band to tear, and the lure will fall apart. He also recommends a jig trailer that is threaded on to the hook as opposed to hang-on trailers, which create a lot of motion that makes it difficult to skip when first starting out.

Grubs are good, but pork chunks are not, at least not when first learning this technique.

“You want it threaded on the hook so there are no moving parts, so when you get that skip down, there’s nothing to stop the momentum of your jig,” Ashley said.

About Brian Cope 194 Articles
Brian Cope of Edisto Island, S.C., is a retired Air Force combat communications technician. He has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina and has been writing about the outdoors since 2006. He’s spent half his life hunting and fishing. The rest, he said, has been wasted.

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