Be choosy about your jig trailers

Last month I talked about jig choices for various applications. Well, I’m just as fussy about my choice of trailers that I put on the backs of those jigs.

I know some anglers use whatever soft plastic trailer is handy. I’ve found that there are days when the trailer can be as critical as the jig you use.

Here’s a good example of how it can matter. At the recent Bassmaster Elite Series event at Lake Eufaula, I caught 19 pounds, 7 ounces the first day. I was using my favorite Picasso football jig — 1 ounce — in about 28 feet of water.

The jig-and-trailer color was green pumpkin amber red. It’s a combination I like to use in those situations.

After the weigh-in, I was talking to a fellow competitor who showed me a crawfish he found in his livewell, and it matched my jig/trailer combination. Although I didn’t know about that ahead of time, it was a setup I like for those ledges, and my lure and color came close to matching what the bass were eating.

I have a box full of all types of jig trailers, but when fishing offshore I like a twin-tail style trailer. My favorite is the Chompers Super Jig Trailer.

Others will work, but the Chompers body is firm and stays on the jig better, the legs swim well on the fall and I can catch multiple fish on it.

Sure, its old-school, but I’ve used it for years.

I’ll use the same trailer for finesse jig fishing, but if the water is cold, I may opt for a Zoom Baby Brush Hog because I like its tighter swimming action for those conditions.

When the water is ultra-clear and I’m using a finesse jig, I’ll put that Baby Brush Hog on and use a color like watermelon candy and tip the tails with chartreuse dye.

In fact, I nearly always dye the tips of my trailers, using more chartreuse in stained water and less in clear water.

If I feel a need for a bigger profile, especially when fishing around bigger fish, I will use the Strike King Rage Craw because it creates a longer bait and kicks harder. If around really big fish, like at one of the south Texas lakes, I may use the Strike King Lobster Craw which is even bigger.

For swim jigs, I typically use white with a Zoom (twin tail) Creepy Crawler. It’s a bit smaller than the other twin tails I use, kicks a little faster and seems to catch them better.

On my Shooter Jig when flipping docks, I’ll use the Chompers Super Jig Trailer. Again, that’s because it stays on the hook when skipping under stuff, and the legs give off a good action.

I typically match my trailer to the jig color but sometimes a contrast in colors is good. In clear water, I like green pumpkin with a similarly colored trailer.

But in dirty water, I will use a black jig with a sapphire blue trailer. In cleaner water, I will use black with black/blue flake.

When fishing around spotted bass in clear water, I will use green pumpkin and a trailer with some flakes that give off sparkles and a little flash. For some reason, spotted bass seem to bite that better.

But remember, there are no hard-fast rules so it’s important to experiment with trailers. There are times the fish prefer a swimming action over a trailer that has legs that wave often and harder on the fall. There are other times they want something different. Don’t be afraid to mix it up until you find the right combination.