Finesse or Not By: Kevin Dahlke
With many more states starting to regulate the lead use in our fishing tackle, more time is spent finding these alternative material baits. There are a few flavors that are popping up lately these days, but the tried and true ones, that are leading the pack, are the Tungsten jigs.
These jigs come in a variety of sizes and colors and with Kenders Outdoors covering them, with their sizes of 3mm, 4mm and the larger 5mm. Having these three different sizes, this allows you to cover the spectrum from a very light, finicky to almost nonexistent bite to the fast and aggressive fishing action.
The color combinations are practically anything that you can think of and this allows you to adapt to whatever the fish are looking for at that given time. With the color spectrum, there is also the added glow feature built into a variety of these jigs as well, since you can get them in regular paint, glow paint and now the UV glow paint.
So between the three different sizes of the jigs and the wide array of colors to choose from, there should always be a combination for any fishing situation that you may face. By having a variety of these always with you, it is a matter of switching between them and keeping the action going, no matter how the conditions change throughout the day.
The 3mm jig is the smallest of the line and that comes with a #16 hook with the weight equivalent of 1/50th of an ounce. This tiny bait is typically used on those days that a major cold front passes through or maybe your fish are highly pressured.
By adding a small plastic trailer or even a grub, this bait will tantalize those negative fish into biting. By working it very slowly and methodically, and also the smaller profile, these fish may not be in an active feeding mode, but now you can entice them into taking something that they may not have with a bigger sized presentation.
If you are marking fish fairly consistently on your flasher, but they refuse to bite, this is when you would fish this jig and giving them a smaller profile usually is all it takes for them to commit. No need to over work the presentation as it works by barely having any motion and also acts as if it were a dying larva floating through the water column.
The 4mm jig is the middle size and that comes with a #14 hook and the weight equivalent is 1/32nd of an ounce. This middle sized jig is the best all-around jig for most conditions that you are faced with on a given day and by changing the jigs color or the plastic trailer and color, it is a hard combination to beat.
On most days when the fish may be feeding, this jig is the right average size that will attract all of the panfish species. If there was one size to pick from, this sized jig will get the call 90% of the time and usually always comes with good results pending on any major weather change.
By having a couple of rods tied with this sized jig in different colors, and also different plastic trailers, this will allow you to offering different presentations quickly and efficiently. With panfish, if you are seeing them on the flashers and the one rod doesn’t seem to get them to bite, quickly grab the other and that typically will be the time to set the hook.
The 5mm jig is the largest that comes with a #12 hook and the weight equivalent is 1/16th of an ounce. This size jig plays into a couple of scenarios that work on a consistent manor and when the fish are feeding fast and furious, this jig will weed out the smaller fish.
When the fish are aggressively feeding, throwing anything at them, they will devour that bait as soon as they see it. But with this bigger jig, this will eliminate a number of the smaller fish and attract the larger fish in the school, especially if you put a larger plastic trailer on it as well.
A couple of things that the tungsten jigs are good for is the density of the jig allows you to get the bait quickly back into the biting zone. With the denser volume, these jigs fall quicker through the water and get quicker to the fish, as if you wait too long getting the jig back to them, they have a tendency of moving off and then you have to search for them once again.
Another technique that works well is if the fish are relating closely to the bottom, you can take these jigs and let them hit the bottom, doing this a few times to create a silt cloud that will attract the fish to the area out of curiosity. Then once they feel that it is something edible, they either will slightly inhale the jig or totally slam it and it is FISH ON once again.
If you have been using lead all of your time fishing, might want to add another weapon to your arsenal and try some of the tungsten jigs. Every jig has its limits and liabilities, but having more options when going to the lake, puts you the angler, in a much better position of having more consistent fish catching outings.