In the right conditions, fishing shallow cover with a swim jig can be a deadly technique. When the fish are up around the shallow stuff, swimming a jig is not only a great choice, it may be your BEST choice for catching a giant bag of fish. In this article, I will share some of my favorite strategies for going after bass with a V&M Pacemaker Pulse swim jig.
I usually pull out the swim jig when the water temperature reaches the low to mid 50s. From this point, I will utilize it until the water temperature once again drops down below the 50-degree mark. With that said, where the swim jig really shines on many bodies of water is in early spring and late fall. You can definitely still catch fish all year long with it, but based on my experience it really works the best at these times. During these key times of year, I will always have a swim jig rigged up on one of my RainShadow Revelation rods so it’s ready to go in an instant. It is very hard to beat this bait for targeting bass in water less than 10 feet, which is the depth range I strictly target when throwing a swim jig. This is not a deep-water technique, and other methods are far more effective for probing the depths. The Pulse swim jig is so effective because it can be used to cover a ton of water and mimics a variety of food sources like bluegill, shad, crappie, and perch. Once I find out what the predominant forage is in a given body of water, I will then choose my colors accordingly. Water clarity must also be considered, and if the water is particularly dirty, I will often opt for a dark color like back/blue because it creates a strong silhouette that bass can see much easier.
I prefer to throw the Pulse swim jig around any cover that I think the bass might be around. It’s a bait that I am able to swim into and around tight spots, and can even skip it up under boat docks or overhanging limbs. It also works very well over the tops of grass and stumps, and gets bit often when deflected off cover much like when fishing a square billed crankbait. I am always trying to run the bait into any cover I can find to initiate this reaction strike. If I think a bass is lurking under a log, I will cast past my target and reel the jig right up to the wood, then sharply bump it off.
Bass can’t stand a bait that looks injured or dazed, and often attack it without thinking twice. It’s purely a reaction strike, which is what I’m trying to trigger when fishing the Pace Maker Pulse swim jig.
This bait is so good in a shallow environment because it’s built for durability and to resist snags. Each one is custom built with an oversized 30-degree hook that allows for better hook sets and stands up to the abuse dished out by braided line. The head shape is made to direct the hook point away from cover when you come in contact with it, so snags are few and far between. I can run this jig right into a log or boat dock and not get hung up!
The tackle you choose for slinging swim jigs is very important. You don’t want to use the wrong outfit and have your heart broken when the fish of a lifetime gets away because you weren’t geared properly. I use a RainShadow Revelation 6’8″ heavy action rod for throwing the V&M Pacemaker Pulse swim jig. It has just the right amount of tip to allow me to skip the bait really well, but it possesses enough backbone so I can muscle a big fish out of thick cover without any problem. The reel I prefer is a Lew’s Tournament Pro baitcasting reel with a 6.4:1 gear ratio. This ratio is a nice compromise of power and speed to get the job done effectively! I fill the reel up with 50 lb Sunline FX2 braided line. Braid is an absolute must when you are fishing this technique if you want to have any kind of consistent success. The heavy poundage of braid is very important because it is supremely strong, has no stretch, and can cut thru thick vegetation. When a bass eats the swim jig I can swing back hard and bury the hook, even at extreme distances. Braid affords me the confidence I need to effectively fish the bait around the nastiest stuff!
Swim jig fishing can be deadly if performed correctly and under the right conditions. It’s a technique that is overlooked many times, but can lead to some of the biggest limits of the year. I hope that you can take the tips I talked about in this article and use them to catch the biggest bass in your body of water. Pick up some V&M Pacemaker Pulse swim jigs today and go hit the shallows!