Trimming jigs

If you’ve ever seen The Nutcracker with a full orchestra, you know that the dancers and musicians get way more attention than the lighting crew; unless the latter screws up and spotlights the wrong performer. Similarly, have you ever noticed how the subtleties of soft illumination marry well that violin interlude, while pulses of bright light complement the crash of symbols?

Same principles apply to jig fishing. The jig is the dancer, the trailer is the orchestra and the skirt is the lighting crew tasked with enhancing the work of the primary elements.

“The skirt style can dictate the rate of fall, and it can affect how well you can get your jig into and out of cover — as far as skipping or penetrating thick cover,” said pro Russ Lane. “Also, the way you trim a skirt affects the way it performs and its attraction in certain water conditions.

“You have to balance your skirt with line size, the weight of the jig head and your trailer size to affect the fall rate of the jig. Say you’re fishing 12 feet deep, casting a 5/8-ounce jig, but you want it to get to the bottom fast; you’re going to trim your skirt and put a small trailer on it. But if you’re flipping heavy cover, you’re going to use 25-pound line and put on a bulkier skirt to make it fall a little bit slower.”

Not a patron of the arts? No worries, we’ll tie this together quickly. Read on.