choosing bass jigs
David A. Brown

If you think a flipping jig is a hook with a lead or tungsten head, a frilly skirt and a piece of plastic on the back end, you’re not wrong; but don’t stop there.

For optimal jig efficiency — that means presentation and fish appeal — ask yourself these questions:

What Color Should I Use?

Notwithstanding personal preferences, two basic considerations guide this decision — water clarity and forage. Generally, natural colors in the greens, browns and even orange do best in clear water when fish can recognize authenticity.

In stained to murky water, go with black/blue or some other contrasting color that will stand out well in low visibility. When matching forage you can get as precise as you want with accent strands, but you won’t go wrong by using skirts made of white or white/chartreuse for shad; orange or brown for crawfish and greens for bream. (Tip: Adding a few orange and/or purple skirt strands to the latter dresses up the bream look.)

What’s the Right Skirt Length?

This one’s easy — keep the full skirt length when bass are eating big meals, but trim it shorter when they target smaller baitfish. Also consider that larger skirts fall more slowly (good idea when fish are lethargic), while shorter skirts drop more quickly to trigger reactions.

Do I Need All This Skirt Material?

Piggybacking off the previous step, pulling out several strands of skirt material further increases fall rate. If the fish like the slower rate, keep the skirt full.