Weightless Jigging

Hawnjigs

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Right, what? Kinda bypasses the definition of a jig = weight with molded in hook but hey its still a non bait single hook presentation.

Total newbie to bass fishing only got interested last year with opportunity to catch fish in relatively open water. With new friends Bill and Bill taking me to a semi-private bass-bluegill lake WAY out in the boonies had to gear up and learn weedless presentations. After 4 trips settled on weightless 1/0 Gamakatsu EWG worm hooks pinned with cut in half Gulp chartreuse Sinking Minnows and most recent session few days ago caught more and bigger bass than my 2 companions using their go to Beetle Spins and 7" T-rig worms weighted with sliding cone sinkers. Gulp is heavier than standard soft plastic and the weightless stubs I use cast just as far with light braid as their heavier lures on mono. Their long flappy worms are also affected by poor aerodynamics casting into the wind.

Since bluegill are their preferred keep for eating was wondering if a downsize to smallest #2 Gami worm hooks with smaller pins would work? The Bills catch a lot of BG with worms under floats but I'd prefer a non-bait pure jig method. Already tried small open hook jigs and they get instantly snagged on weeds before fish can bite.

So wondering if others have pursued weightless options for presenting plastics or even ties? I consider a float a weight.
 

Hawnjigs

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jiggerjohn

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Just back from the ocean (OBX) and Hawn is right -the half Gulp worm (they call it "sinking minnow" )will cast a mile on its own and has a nifty zigzag action when twitched. Also, the newly reestablished Delong worm company produces a "heavy" plastic worm and tadpole prerigged with hooks that is both castable due to it weighty density, and slow sinking, undulating for best bass catching action, that I'll be experimenting with this year as a "non weighted jig" . Finally, our own "Spoonnminnow" is now pouring "heavier" chubby bodied mojos (tail like former spoonminnow bodies) which I'm hot to cast and work in a weightless manner and below floats!! Let the summer season begin !
 

Hawnjigs

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Most consider catfish caught on lures an occasional accident but a few of us know you can target em on jigs when they are best option. Altho flatheads remain fortuitous surprises right time & place can yield a decent abundance of channels that readily bite scented plastics on jig heads. Altho I've gotten a fair share that way, last year discovered that the above mentioned weightless troos Gulp half stubs T-rigged on Gami EWG worm hooks work even better when cats are in shallow snaggy areas. As anyone knows that learned not to lip lock cats by hand their powerful jaw clamp allows seldom miss T-rig hookset efficiency.

I think pound for pound cats fight harder than largies & smallies, and they can attain much heftier sizes.
 

tacklebox2tn

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Red hooks, it might be just between my ears but I think red is a plus in my favor. I use red hooks whenever I can get them in the style
I'm after.
 

Hawnjigs

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My light wire jig hook choices Gamakatsu & Mustad Ultra Point (now NPBN) discontinued red so hard to find. I don't use Eagle Claw or VMC anymore. Got some red Gami heavy wire 604s on eBay recently but mold fits are a problem.
 

hookup

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I've fished a tube weightless with a spinnerbait hook. Add a little purchase by jamming a piece of senko up the azz of the tube

I love fishing a fluke - and seek out flukes that are heavily salted so that I can fish the first 2-3' of the water column or twitch the fluke along the top

And never use a weight on a senko - they're heavy enough to drop without any help

I don't use Eagle Claw or VMC anymore.

cQ8zn5T.jpg

Last outing I had three VMC hooks break - 2/0 size in pix. Was not happy to loose fish.

Still use Eagle Claw little nasties.

Gulp worm (they call it "sinking minnow" )will cast a mile on its own and has a nifty zigzag action when twitched

I use allot of Gulp 2" or 3" minnows for fishing white perch on my little safety pin spinners. Also get allot of bonus fish

D2djamC.jpg

May have to try them for smallies?
 

Hawnjigs

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Ah, a perfectionist painter. I've never used eyes on my heads, do they really make a difference?

No doubt they get bit, but don't the Gulp minnows tear quickly? For that reason I've mostly switched to more sturdy Powerbait plastics except for the aforementioned chartreuse Sinking Minnow which seems to stay on the hook longer maybe because of thickness.

Amazing how some fish will bite an obviously unnatural contraption with so much metal. Yesterday I only got 2 wipers before the rest wised up and refused to bite that jig and in fact a follow up totally different one. I think maybe they're smart enuf to see the line and avoid biting? Wasn't long before they became alarmed by repetitive presentations and vacated the area despite the presence of abundant baitfish.

Most of the time smallies here aren't particular about what they will hit. Let us know if the spinnerbaits work well or not.
 

hookup

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I've never used eyes on my heads, do they really make a difference?

Only to the angler ;-)

don't the Gulp minnows tear quickly?

Yeah, but perch don't care. I've caught them on a piece of the minnow - never on purpose but I'll fish the minnow as long as the fish still hits it

I also tie a silicon skirt on the jigs and tip with a piece of Gulp. Again, doesn't matter, but I believe the extra piece of Gulp attracts more bites


RZWBqZf.jpg
 

Hawnjigs

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Being a KISS minimalist can't wrap my mind around those complicated high vis contraptions. Do you use them because they work better than simple jigs?

Having gotten comfortable with weightless T-rig bassing daytime, decided last nite to try the tekneek on nocturnal bite critters in Lake Mac. Chose a high vis white pearl cut in half 5" Yum Dinger on a Gami EWG worm hook and results were mixed. Did manage to stick and land a decent 9# wiper + two 16-17" white bass but some hits failed to hookset and another nice wiper dropped off bout 5 min into a fight.

Worth mentioning that the wipers are mostly ignoring my usual weighted jig presentations and maybe weightless extra slow in shallow snaggy rocks habitat made a difference?
 

Hawnjigs

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2nd R&D session pre-dawn as usual confirmed that weightless T-rig jigging is applicable for other species than bass. 3 nice wallys, a chunk cat, & 2 Lake Mac size white bass all stuck and netted 1/0 Gami EWG worm hook with half a Gulp chartreuse Sinking Minnow pinned.

However, the light wire worm hook broke on a wiper fight and again de-hooking a white bass so switching to the Superline x-strong version for the beefy Lake Mac brawlers.
 

hookup

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Do you use them because they work better than simple jigs?

I started building them when a buddy took me out perch fishing. He gave me a couple and we had 100 fish day.

Then I started making them myself and gave a bunch to my buddy to thank him for the trip. He also sponsors a Hero's on the Water even a couple times a year and the vets love them too.

Keeps me busy in the cold winter months
 

Hawnjigs

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Update: Solid catfish bite off the Lake Mac dam before dawn today as alewives are still present and spawning unusually late in the season. Caught 16 on light wire 2/0 Hooksup heads pinned with 3" pearl Powerbait Twitchtails & cut in half 5" pearl Yumdingers. Most were 3-5# with a very few smaller and many bigger up to 10#. When the hook bent out on a snag after #16 decided to change up and tied on a 1/0 light wire Gami EWG worm hook and T-rigged a cut in half 5" Gulp chartreuse Sinking Minnow and stuck something unusually hefty right away. After a lengthy give & take battle was surprised at the weight in the net with much of the tail secition sticking out. Might have been my biggest channel cat yet estimated well over 30# tho maybe shy of 40. Catfish have the tuffest lips & mouth structure of any species I target and the hook drastically bent out of shape removing it and broke trying to rebend. Oh well, good time to call it a night on such a high point.

Dunno, but maybe the advantage of weightless T-rigging is that the jig can be crawled much slower over the snaggy nearshore shallow rocks which might have been a trigger for this wizened survivor of likely multiple C&Rs. Next session will stick with T-rigs instead of the usual jig head pins. Oh, and will upgrade to heavy wire Superline 2/0 Gami EWGs.
 

Hawnjigs

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Gamakatsu 2/0 Superline EWG worm hooks are the best for weightless T-rigging catfish. Been getting a few more 20-30# chunks and those hooks don't bend or break. Not many missed hooksets and when stuck they stay that way.

Super deal on eBay for em.
 
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