The one fishing lure you need during the summer
It was at least two decades ago that I attended a bass tournament weigh-in on the Alexandria Chain of Lakes and watched with wide eyes as one team weighed a bag of fish that easily earned them first place.
Being the inquisitive sort, I walked a little closer to them and happened to overhear one of the team members respond to someone else who asked what they caught their fish on.
“Jigworm,” was the response.
I’d never heard of such a thing, but it wasn’t long before I was at the bait shop asking what in the heck it was. Its simplicity was surprising: A simple mushroom-head jig and a plastic worm.
I bought a few in various sizes and began experimenting. It wasn’t long before jigworms became my go-to lure all summer long. All these years later, I still use jigworms all the time. If you asked me what lure I would use if I has to choose just one, it would be a black mushroom-head jig adorned with a 4- or 7-inch, natural-colored plastic worm.
The beauty of jigworms is there’s almost no wrong way to fish them. I typically cast out and let them drop to the bottom, then work them back to the boat by bouncing them along the bottom. Other guys cast them and let them sink, then reel them slowly just above the bottom.
I generally fish them for bass, but any fish that lives along a weedline will hit them, including crappies, pike, sunfish, and walleyes. I’ve also had plenty of success skipping them around docks or beneath trees that hang out from the shoreline. But by far my favorite way to fish them is to cast just inside the deep weedline and let them sink. It’s not uncommon for fish to hit jigworms before they get to the bottom. It’s also not uncommon for them to hang up in weeds before they get to the bottom.
Whether the jigworm hangs up on a weed or hits the bottom, the first thing I do is jerk the rod sharply. More than half the fish I catch hit after that initial jerk.
As we move into the heart of the summer, give a jigworm a shot. If you’re like me, it’ll change the way you fish.