Swim jigs are a huge player this time of year! Each trailer can change the profile and makeup of the bait depending on how you're throwing it. Jeff Sprague helps us out with tips on choosing the right swim jig trailer for all phases of the spawn.
Springtime is prime time to be throwing a swim jig. However, that does not have to be the only time you have it tied on. Sprague explains that “it’s a great way to catch a lot of fish, and big fish” during the spawn and post spawn. This can be occurring at different times across the country, but the swim jig can come into play at any fishery. He likes a swim jig because “it doesn’t have that vibration or that flash, so fish are not intimidated by it,” Jeff states. It can be a subtle presentation when fish are finnicky, resulting in more bites during those tough times. Even though a swim jig is an incredible bait by itself, the right trailer can mean everything.
There are several things that can help you decide on what trailer to pick. Sprague explains that you should choose trailers by matching what the fish are eating at that time, and how you want the bait to “ride in the water column.” This simply means that if bass are chasing bream, you would want something to match that. Same thing with the rest of their forage. You would want to change the way it rides in the water column depending on what you are fishing. If you are fishing super shallow, you would want it to rise more. If it is deeper or there is more cover to go through, you may want it to stay down in the water column.
Jeff states that “the first thing that you’re going to see me throw is a rage swimmer.” This is because the bait is so versatile in what it can look like. It could match a bream, gizzard shad, threadfin shad, etc. He also explains that he likes the Strike King Rage Swimmer because “it keeps that swim jig down a little bit and lets you fish it with the rod and reel.” The jig is just easier to control with the Rage Swimmer because you can control the speed, bring it higher in the water column, or keep it down all through how you retrieve it with the rod and reel.
Sprague also enjoys using a Strike King Rage Menace. “It can mimic a crawfish; it can mimic a bluegill. It can mimic things that bass really forage on the most,” Jeff shares. It has some flapping action, so it is able to ride higher in the water column. This would be a good choice if you wanted to match a craw or bluegill, or if you were fishing some laydowns or vegetation that were a foot or two under the water. The trailer would keep the jig over the cover, but still low enough to keep it away from the surface.
Jeff’s third trailer choice is a Strike King Rage Craw. “The Rage Craw has really big flapping pinchers on it,” Sprague explains. This allows the bait to swim very high in the water column so you can slow your retrieve down. It will not sink as fast, so you can fish it slow through cover where fish are tucked up. It can also be used when fish are very shallow.