Jig Tipping Tips
I thought I might share a quick tip about tipping jigs with belly strips or any kind of fish flesh to entice the bite. We often tip a heavy bucktail jig with a strip to enhance the action, but more importantly the smell or flavor. A variety of grouper and snapper are suckers for this combination.
We use a variety of strips depending on what we are catching. We save the belly meat from dolphin we catch and the sides/belly of the bonita or little tunny. Mullet can be used in a pinch, but are much softer and therefore less durable.
Making Strip Baits
Check out our previous tips on making strip baits.
So to start, I trim the strip to a blunted point on the leading end. I want enough length to hang out of the jig skirt to wiggle, but not too long as I don’t want the fish to get a mouthful without a hook in it.
Poke the hook down through the flesh side first so that you are not trying to poke through scales. Stay near the pointy-end. Just far enough back to be in good skin, but no more than a 1/4 to 1/2-inch max. Anymore and it will make the jig want to spin.
This is a good balance between enought strip hanging out to wiggle, but not too much that they don’t have to get near the hook.
So as you jig, your strip will be under attack by the swarm or hopefully inhaled by big mamma. Either way, eventually the fish will strip the softer flesh from the skin leaving you a flimsy, piece of dangling skin.
It is very important to take this off before you add a new strip.
Invariably, the loose skin will end up stuck on the point of the hook creating a shield that will keep biting fish from getting hooked. So pull or cut the worn out skin off your hook once it gets floppy and stripped bare.
Its these little things that make a difference over time and make you a better angler.