The jig and pig is a two-part lure. The "jig" consists of a lead head (ranging from about 1/8 to 1 oz. or heavier), silicone skirt and a weed guard. The "pig" part consists of a trailer that's made of pork or plastic. Most jigs and pigs feature heavy-gauge hooks so they can pull big bass out of heavy cover. There are a variety of trailers that can be used on the jig, with crayfish imitators topping the list. Anglers use plastic trailers when the water is above about 60 degrees; pork trailers are more effective in cooler water.
In most instances, use baitcasting rods and reels for fishing with jigs and pigs. Seven-foot medium-heavy to heavy-action rods and baitcasting reels are best, and should be spooled with fishing line that's 12-pound test or heavier. Braided line also is popular among jig and pig anglers, since it is more sensitive than monofilament, and also stronger. Jigs and pigs require that anglers set the hook hard, one of the main reasons to fish them on heavy tackle.
Why a Jig and Pig?
The versatility of a jig and pig is one of the bait's strongest points. When fished along the bottom, they mimic crayfish, a favorite bass food. Some anglers retrieve a jig and pig through the water like a spinnerbait and use it to imitate a minnow or other piscatorial prey species. Small jigs and pigs are good choices when bass require a finesse presentation, while anglers can tie on a heavy jig and flip it into heavy cover to catch bass most fishermen miss. Jigs and pigs are widely considered the best bait for catching a big bass, which is why tournament anglers are so fond of them.
Color is important
Jigs and pigs are available in a huge variety of colors, but anglers should keep a couple of simple ideas in mind. Brown and green jigs are the most natural-looking, and as such are most effective in clear water. Dark, solid colors work best in stained or murky water. Light colors are best on sunny days, while overcast days call for dark colors.
The most popular way to fish jigs and pigs is to flip and pitch them in and around shallow cover. The lures enter the water without creating a lot of commotion, which can be especially helpful in catching wary bass. Anglers commonly flip and pitch jigs and pigs into pockets or holes of heavy vegetation, and heavy jigs can be used to break through even a dense canopy. Another effective method is to retrieve them slowly along the bottom, so they resemble a crayfish that's scooting about. Drop-offs, weed edges, points, and humps are prime places to try this method. "Swimming" the jig and pig can also produce fish: Cast the jig and pig and retrieve it in a steady manner. Keep it off the bottom so it resembles the way a fish swims, and give it a jerk with your rod tip every now and then.