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Swim jig color


pts9889
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So I have caught quite a few nice largemouth with a swim jig this spring and now I want to translate that over to my stream smallies.

 

What do you guys think about color? What color combinations have been most successful for you in different color waters? I know a lot of people say color doesn't really matter that much in the river since smallies are such opportunistic feeders so I don't really know how important it is. Any advice is appreciated.

 

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I've found that what seems to make a difference to me anyway is the color of flash. I fly fish mostly and over the years have found that gold flash seems to work better in off colored water and silver is sometimes better in clear water. SNot very scientific but does seem to have some merit.

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Simple suggestion but the best colors imitate the baitfish/crawdads etc in the waters in which we fish. Kind of that "match the hatch" theory that fly fishermen talk about all the time. But to your point, I'm a huge fan of the theory that hungry fish eat what swims in front of them so the reality is that color may not make that much difference in that scenario. One more thing: not to complicate matters too much but you also should think about what color trailer you are going to fish on that swim jig and what type of trailer you are going to thread on the swim jig as I don't know too many people who fish it without one. I suppose you can but I don't. Now you have to think about a color for the swim jig and one for the trailer that goes with it.

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Great point, Dan.

All I can add is that it isn't fail-safe with color.

On a Kankakee River outing, I decided to use a garlic Chomper that was a spittin' image of the crawdads running.

I mean, it was dead-on.

Showed people I was fishing with as I dunked it and craws were darting around.

We lost it among them, it was so close.

Fished it stubbornly for 5 hours in every type of condition available, and never got a bump.

 

Being the rocket scientist that I am (NOT), it finally dawned on me that the smallies had a mouthful of the real thing, and they weren't getting fooled, weren't hungry enough or didn't see it among the parade of live specimens.

 

Would something a little different on the bait make it stand out or trigger their instinctive nature to strike?

If so, how much is color, and how much is presentation (like injured prey, etc.)?

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For many lures a visible color such as white allow an angler to see the action imparted by rod movements. Then when a strike happens, you can often see what made it happen.

 

The fish see your bait on every cast, without the data of knowing how bass react to your lure, you won't catch as many of them.

 

Do they flee? Follow? Strike on fleeing attempts? When a lure bumps obstruction? Disinterest despite full view? Following? What gets them to strike?

 

Color matters in this case in how you can see it and watch the fish react to your puppet strings. I strongly believe cadence is more important than color.

 

Yet, very rarely do you see the question come up, "How do I work a Swimjig?" What if they won't commit to a strike? etc..

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Yet, very rarely do you see the question come up, "How do I work a Swimjig?" What if they won't commit to a strike? etc..

 

I would like to add the above question to this conversation...I ordered some of Jonn's swimjigs a couple weeks back and have had ZERO luck with them. I am using the Big Hammer trailers and kept letting my buddy use the Big Hammer jig heads while I used Jonn's swimjigs. He has been completely outfishing me and I have been switching to the Big Hammer Jigs and catching fish. I tend to believe I am just not fishing them correctly... I have been slow retrieving them, fast retrieving and bottom bouncing them. Any advise woudl be greatly appreciatted!

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There is no wrong way to retrieve a swim jig, thus making it one of the most versatile lures out there. If your buddy is out fishing you, then they're not interested in the jig that day. Be versatile yourself and make the change, like you did. Like anything else.... some days they want it, some they don't.

 

Also, look in the archives of the newsletter for articles on swim jigs. I know that there are a couple of good ones in there.

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Jim is dead on. While the swim jig is a DYNAMITE lure, it will not work all the time. From what I have found, they work best in clear to stained water conditions. IMHO, the trailer is important. Normally, I fish my swim jigs fairly fast. I am trying to cover the mid water column. I am fishing them fast to catch the active fish and then when all of them are caught I will switch to something slower - tube, jerk, fly, etc.

 

I have been on the water many times when a swim jig outfishes EVERYTHING ELSE! Matter of fact, a few of my jig clients are now clients because they saw first-hand the power of the swim jig while fishing with me. In addition, it has been common place that the swim jig will catch the largest smallie of the day. This may be a function of the size of the swim jig vs. smaller offerings such as tubes.

 

The swim jig is not a be all end all. It is simply a tool every angler should add to their box. Simple to use. It casts well and allows you to cover alot of ground quickly. In many respects, the swim jig has taken the place of crankbaits, at least for me.

 

Tim, stick with them and I am sure you will be rewarded.

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Also, look in the archives of the newsletter for articles on swim jigs. I know that there are a couple of good ones in there.

 

Darin Roddick Small's article was good. Most of the info I've read has been about LM and the swim jig. That's why I came here. I've got a couple different ones to try tomorrow.

 

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You're right Paul, Darin's article was one that I was thinking about. I think Jonn wrote one too that was very good.

 

Good luck tomorrow, and let us know how you did. I got out for awhile yesterday afternoon and got a couple short fish. One came on a white thumper, and the other which was a little bigger came on a Brovarney BC's gill swim jig. Seems as though the smaller fish have moved in, while the bigger ones may be preparing to "get busy"! Could just be where I was fishing, tough to say for sure.

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Thanks for the comments guys! I will definately keep working them and see what happens. Let me tell you that I have been super impressed with the Big Hammer Swimbaits....I would say close to 80% of the fish I have caught this spring has been on different colored swimbaits worked in different ways. Including when I lost the skirt on the only spinnerbait I had with me while wading, I put a white swimbait on and was catching just as many as the guys who had the skirted spinnerbaits.

 

The itch is growing by the minute as I sit here at work reading all this good stuff and seeing the wonderful weather outside. Good luck to all who get out this weekend! :lol:

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Many times with a swim jig the fish is feeding up in the water column. Instead of matching the hatch, reverse coloration scheme would be better. Darker bottom of lure contrasting against lighter background of upper water column/sky. Lighter top of lure contrasting against darker bottom of river when lure swam close to bottom. Lots of built in flash thru out lure would help with vision package of presentation.

 

The darker the conditions, either light or water color the more I would want a trailer with lots of thump and some bulk to push water to add to vibration package of presentation.

 

In general with this being a faster presentation I would worry more about contrast in the color scheme as individual details don't stand out as much at higher speeds.

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You're right Paul, Darin's article was one that I was thinking about. I think Jonn wrote one too that was very good.

 

Good luck tomorrow, and let us know how you did. I got out for awhile yesterday afternoon and got a couple short fish. One came on a white thumper, and the other which was a little bigger came on a Brovarney BC's gill swim jig. Seems as though the smaller fish have moved in, while the bigger ones may be preparing to "get busy"! Could just be where I was fishing, tough to say for sure.

 

Jim,

I caught all my fish with a craw bug. I did throw the swim jig some but the water was stained pretty good and I switched over to a spinnerbait. I could only get bit by throwing by laydowns and eddies since the water was really cruising. They sure were hitting soft and for some reason I failed to connect on a couple better fish. From the sounds of Bill's report, I shoulda stuck witht the spinnerbait more. Tough wading/walking with the mud, steep shores, and slippery rocks from the rain. Overall a good day. Good fishing.

 

 

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You're right Paul, Darin's article was one that I was thinking about. I think Jonn wrote one too that was very good.

 

Good luck tomorrow, and let us know how you did. I got out for awhile yesterday afternoon and got a couple short fish. One came on a white thumper, and the other which was a little bigger came on a Brovarney BC's gill swim jig. Seems as though the smaller fish have moved in, while the bigger ones may be preparing to "get busy"! Could just be where I was fishing, tough to say for sure.

 

 

I saw fish spawning today :blink: and counted 10 different beds with fish on them. Surprise.

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Thanks for the report, Paul. Glad you picked up some fish too. And that you got them on crawbugs is also helpful.

 

Brenden, beds already? Must be a lot warmer and drier down there. If the fish were on beds here we'd never be able to see them in the muddy water.

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