Article by: Ronnie Garrison
A jig and pig, as most of you know, is a lead headed jig with a rubber skirt and a pork frog trailer. It is a super bait for big bass and is especially good during the colder months. Most folks now use plastic trailers but the old pork is hard to beat. A variation is a jig and eel, a long pork eel trailer and it, too can be replaced with a worm or lizard.
To a bass a jig and pig must look like a crawfish, and many of the plastic trailers are made to look exactly like them. Since crawfish are a favorite food of bass - and many other species of fish - they are effective when fished around places where crawfish live. This bait has withstood the test of time, being popular for many years. Lots of baits get popular and then get forgotten since they either don't catch many fish or the fish get used to them. That hasn't happened with the jig and pig.
Back in the early 1980's this bait got very popular when bass tournaments dropped their limit to 7 and then 5 fish, making competitors concentrate on catching quality fish rather than just large numbers of fish. A jig and pig does attract bigger bass. Many tournaments are still won on this bait every year.
I read about jig and pig fishing and, of course I had to try it. For about a year I would fish one for a few casts, not get a bite and then go back to something I was more used to. Then during one Thanksgiving Holiday at Clark's Hill I decided to leave all my other lures in the tackle box and fish nothing but the jig and pig. By 2:00 pm, after six hours of casting practice and no bites, I was regretting my decision.
At 2:00 I pulled up to a shallow brush pile I had put out the year before. I cast to it and bumped the bait over some of the outside limbs. I was not really paying attention since I had not gotten a strike all day, but suddenly noticed my line was heading down the bank. When I set the hook a three pound bass went crazy, jumping and fighting hard. When I got it to the boat and released it, I cast back to the brush pile and caught a slightly smaller bass. I was paying attention now and saw my line twitch when the fish hit. I did not feel this one take the lure either but set the hook when my line jumped. This bass fought hard also. When I made another cast to the brush and caught a third bass over two pounds, I was beginning to like the bait.
That brush pile didn't produce any more fish so I moved out to one on a hump in deeper water. The first cast to it produced a strike. That bass weighed 6 3/4 pounds on my DeLiar hand-held scales and convinced me a jig and pig really would catch fish. I always have one tied on now, especially from October to April.
I like a 3/8ths ounce Stanley jig and my favorite color is black with chartreuse strands in the skirt. I use a #11 Uncle Josh's pork frog trailer on it. This bait is light enough to fish in brush, around blow downs and across rocks without getting hung up too much. I like to slide it along the structure like a crawling crawfish. I will hop it every few feet, like a crayfish that has been scared. When I pull it up on a limb I will let it fall back a couple of times before bringing it over the limb.
A jig and pig is also good for flipping around heavy cover. When flipping I go to a heavier jig, usually 5/8 ounce, with the same colors and trailer. It is dropped in the middle of thick brush, down beside dock pilings and around the trunk of a lay down tree. Fishing slowly around cover like this is a good way to catch a quality bass.