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When to Throw a Structure Jig vs. a Football Jig

Keith Combs shares how he decides what type of jig to throw based on the conditions out on the water.

For me, when I’m offshore fishing, I always have a jig tied on—either a structure jig or a football jig. There are situations where one is going to excel over the other one, and I’ll explain when that is. 

The structure jig came out a few years ago and I was excited to get that. The places where I fish in East Texas are where we’re fishing brush piles on Toledo Bend and heavy timber. A football jig doesn’t come through as much when you’re fishing near wood. A football jig excels in areas with a smoother bottom. 

My favorite size for a structure jig is 3/4oz, paired with a Rage Craw. The head design on the jig is unique. It has a big, wide head so it won’t slip down the crevices. But it will slip through wood because of how the eyes are positioned on the cobra head design. 

So in woody situations, I will go with the structure jig. When you pull it, it kicks the Rage Craw up and puts it in a “defensive” mode. It comes through well in heavy cover, and in heavy cover you want a big hook. The structure jig has a great hook.

In a more open water situation, like the Tennessee River with a few gravel bars and isolated stumps, that’s when I turn to the football jig. When you’re pulling the jig along the bottom, the round head of the football jig lends some action to the bait, also a Rage Craw. It will look like it’s almost crawling. Pulling the jig flips the pincers of the craw up in a defensive mode, and that’s when you’ll get a lot of reaction strikes. 

You’ll notice when you throw a football jig and you’re pulling it along the bottom, you can feel every little thing. That’s because it’s grabbing it. That added feel is really nice.

These two jigs are very different but bringing both with you will increase the number of bites and make your day on the water much more enjoyable. Don’t abandon one for the other; make sure you have both baits in your arsenal. You’ll get hung up less and you’ll catch more fish.


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