It’s no secret that the jig is one of the most versatile bass lures ever created. They work all year long, and while many of us are still slowly hopping them around looking for a winter bite, it’s never too early to think about how to get more out of jigs in warmer times ahead. Too many anglers get stuck in the jig-crawfish or jig-pig routine. Those pairings work, no doubt, but you shouldn’t limit yourself with trailers. Here are couple combinations that are a bit more out of the box and have produced some big bass for me.
Creature Baits: Bass crush dangly, gangly creature baits fished Texas or Carolina style, but they also make killer trailers. A bulky jig skirt gives nice contrast to the creature’s long wavy arms and legs (1). This combo works well on ledges where schools of bass are competing for food and you need a big bait to attract the hawgs in the mix. A lightweight jig and creature combo (2) is great for shallow flipping, especially in swampy areas where the water is dingy and the bottom is mucky. A jig can literally disappear into a soft bottom, but with the added creature, there’s a better chance some arms and legs will remain visible. Finally, remember that creatures are easy to modify. Some of my favorite jig trailers are made by removing a few arms and legs from certain creatures (3).
Swimbaits: During the shad spawn on any given lake, I love a swimbait trailer, especially those with kicking tails (4). You might assume that a jig matched with a swimbait should only be straight retrieved, but that’s not the case. Try leaving the rattles in the jig and the skirt full. Flip it to cover and let it sink just like you’re fishing any other jig and trailer. If the bass are feeding on shad or minnows, the swimbait’s profile and kicking action on the fall will get the fish fired up.
Big Worms: If you’re flipping matted vegetation that requires a jig weighing one ounce or more to punch through, a large worm trailer can really boost hook ups. A big punch jig can disappear into the secondary hydrilla carpet below the mat, or get swallowed up by the soft bottom. If you use a heavy punch jig with a big worm trailer (5), you maintain an overall slender profile, but now you have a worm tail slithering through the submerged vegetation, or sticking out of the mud. It’s insurance that bass will have something to see in case your actual jig gets covered in weeds or muck.