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Jigging in winter

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I have a few questions for the experts out there about jigging technique.

When tipping a jig in the winter, what do you feel works better; tipping a jig with a live minnow, just the head, or just the tail?

Doesn’t the addition of the bait interfere with the jig’s designed action or can this actually make it more enticing?

On a lure such as a jigging rapala, where should one tip it; the bottom hook or the rear hook?

What do you think?


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I'm no expert. But, for me, it really depends on the type of jig. If you are using a regular jig head, then I usually tip with a whole, live minnow. If I'm fishing with a jigging spoon, or jiggin' Rap, I'll tip with a minnow head. Normally, I'll look at the bottom hook of the jiggin' Rap and try to figure which hook will face back and put the minnow head on that hook. When I tip with just a minnow head, it is often a small crappie minnow. That seems to allow more action on the jig.

Good Luck!


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MJC I think nailed it. It really is going to depend on the jig/lure you are using, and how you plan on fishing it. For me, when fishing I will often have a very aggressive lure like a jigging spoon or jigging rapala/Nils Master jigging shad on one rod, and only tip it with a minnow head. Often times on the Jig rapala type lure I will not tip it at all...IF I am setting a deadstick/bobber rod, I will often times choose a smaller lure that just meerly adds color and then hook on a whole minnow. For this I will often use a JB Gem-n-Eye or something like that. I dont jig it much, just let the bait do the work.

Because of the very reason you stated. Many lures are desiged to work best with very little to no bait, the more you add to them the more you hinder the action.

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I usually just use a minnow head on my jigging spoons. Or else I'll pack the treble with maggots. I also like to remove the treble and replace it with a single hook for some situations... especially for catfish through the ice smile.gif

As far as Jigging Raps go, I generally don't tip them with anything, but if I do I'll tip on the bottom treble. Several of my jigging raps also have the front and rear hooks cut-off, helps prevent hooking the bottom of the hook. I'll replace the bottom treble with a larger size and then do away with the single hooks on the front and back. Always seem to hook the fish with the treble anyways...

Somedays I'll put on a couple minnows on one treble if the fish really want a piece of meat, but just a minnow head more often than not...

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