Zen and the Art of Jig Fishing by Jonathan “Ash” Ashcraft
- Zen and the Art of Jig Fishing
By Jonathan “Ash” Ashcraft
When you attain No-thing you attain your true self - Socrates Philosophy
One of my many ah-ha moments with the jig was one day when looking at it – I thought, it looks like Nothing in nature. Some people would say it resembles a crawdad and so I’d put on a crawdad imitation trailer and would not get bit. I noticed that in the area I was fishing there were MANY bluegills – and my thinking would start, "are they eating bluegills or are they eating crawdads? Does my bait look too much like a crawdad? So, I have isolated the fish that are eating the bluegill.” BLAH BLAH BLAH, this thinking would go on and on - so I would change back to the 5" single tail grub - big SIGH of relief (ahh) and start catching fish. To this day, I see the beauty of the jig is NOT in being what it resembles, but what it DOES NOT resemble. It’s the silhouette, along with the action the angler gives the bait, which starts to make it come to life. Be it a crawdad falling from the grass or skittering across the bottom, a bluegill swimming around aggressively eating clams, a sculpin slowly swimming across the rocky bottom - in one retrieve it can become all THREE.
My favorite jigs are basic in coloration and have a high-quality Arkie head for Pitching and Flipping that easily goes through grass and rip rap alike. Such jigs as the Canopy Grenades K.I.S. embodies the Zen of jig fishing and is built with quality craftsmanship, in the USA. If you have any questions on this jig give me a shout, I LOVE fishing the jig and it took me years to find the perfect one and the Canopy Grenades jig is the perfect jig for me.
I recommend sticking to the basics with jigs. You don’t need a bunch of different jig colors – Browns and greens like the K.I.S. or black and blue like Beat Up in 3/8ths and 1/2oz. Both work in 99% of situations and take the color game right out of the equation. Remember, the Zen in jig fishing is that the presentation can mimic a variety of forage and as you move down the bank the action you impart to your jig brings it life.
For trailers, there are the bread and butter basics that work at most lakes, most times of the year. From there you can really start dialing into what color the dads are molting into at this time of the year in these areas (pretty specific). I recommend sticking with the bread and butter for a starting point, and as your comfort, confidence and knowledge grow in jig fishing so can your color selection and bait selection – but K.I.S.
If you were to look at my rods on most of my outings you would probably see this; a brown 1/2oz Canopy Grenades Agent Orange jig, tipped with a Berkely Max Scent Creature Hawg and a black, blue and purple jig such as Beat Up in 1/2oz (maybe 3/8ths depending on what I am targeting and the time of year) with a black and blue Berkely Max Scent Power Chunk as a trailer – this is my go to starting line-up. From there I will dial it down or start through my color rotations – Purples, browns, greens, blacks.
If you ever have any questions or would like to talk jigs please shoot me a DM on Instagram at JM_ASH, I enjoy helping others learn the Art of Jig Fishing!