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How To Fish Finesse Jigs (The Best Ways) | Bass Fishing

How To Fish Finesse Jigs (The Best Ways) | Bass Fishing

Glenn: How do you like that? A finance jig. A little finesse jig. Come here, you. There we go. Come here, you. Give me your face. Look at that, right on the roof of the mouth. Finesse jigging. Hey folks, Glenn May here with And today, I wanna talk to you a little bit
about finesse jigs and how to fish them. Yeah, these are really a unique kind of jig
compared to your normal flipping and casting jigs. And everybody should have these in your tackle
box. And let me just show you what this looks like
here. You see that? The strands, the front strands are a lot shorter. The other strands, it’s thinner. It’s not as bulky, not as thick. It’s a small, compact bait. That’s what you want. These are to be used in the traditional sense
of the word. These are great when fishing is really slow
and you have to finesse the fish to bite. This is when they bite, they’re not aggressive,
they’re kinda lethargic hanging out near the bottom. They may be hanging out near cover but they’re
not gonna run out and chase down your baits that are going by them. You’re gonna have to work ’em hard. When traditional jigs are a bit too bulky,
this is a nice, compact size, anywhere you would throw, say, tube baits, darter head
jigs. I’ve been throwing finesse jigs for over 30
years. I have found a variety of different ways to
fish them in a variety of different situations. I wanna take you through that today. I’m gonna really key on two main different
ways of doing it. One is the traditional finesse style of fishing
that everybody does. I’m gonna start off with that and then I’m
gonna show you another way to fish it that some people may not have considered and I
think you’re gonna like it. So let’s start off with how to fish it, the
traditional finesse fishing, starting off with rigging. Okay, so with finesse fishing, that conjures
up an image of light line fishing with spinning tackle. And you’re right, that’s what I have here. This is a 7-foot, medium power, fast-action
rod. It’s got a lot of tip to it, a lot of give. And you’re gonna need that because you’re
fishing a light line. And traditionally, finesse jigs have a light
wire hook. So the key about this with the reel here is
it doesn’t matter too much about the gear ratio on it. Because you’re not fishing it fast, so you
don’t need a high-speed reel. What I’m most interested in is a nice, smooth
drag. Make sure you get yourself a reel that’s got
a real good drag system in it that’s nice and…see, nice and smooth. That’s what you want when you’re fishing these
jigs because when the fish is pulling and fighting on you, you gotta let the rod and
the line all work together with the drag so you don’t break anything. And guys, don’t be afraid to downsize to 6-pound
test. You know, I used 10-pound for a long, long
time, I was real nervous about it. I was afraid of breaking off and losing fish. After a few years of doing that, I finally
got up the courage to try 8-pound tests. Ooh, big step. And I thought for sure I’d be breaking off
more fish or having to tie a lot more often because the line just can’t handle it. Well, I got enough confidence over that over
the years where none of those issues actually surfaced. I’m telling you guys, 6 pounds, 6.2-pound
line, once you work yourself up to it, if you can use 6-pound, that’s definitely gonna
make a big difference. Okay, so on it, I’ve got here a Booyah finesse
jig. What I like here about this jig head, look
at the ball, look at the shape of it. It’s a ball head jig. And I’m throwing it in rocks and cover in
this particular instance. The ball head jig, it doesn’t get hung up
in the rocks as much. It doesn’t have any protrusions, it doesn’t
have an odd shape that can wedge itself in the rocks, so that helps reduce hang-ups. And the other thing is, look, see that? The line ties on the top. I’m telling you guys, this is absolutely critical
when you’re fishing rocks. If you’ve got the line tie in the front, what
happens is if the bait falls down in the rocks then it’s gonna wedge itself in there. And when you pull to try to get it out, all
you’re gonna do is you’re gonna tighten it right up against the rock and you’re not gonna
get it out. If the line ties on the top, a lot of times
you can get the lure to come out the way it fell into the rocks just by that line tie,
the nature of it being at the top. So that’s critical. This is really good for fishing in the rocks. This is good for fishing in light weeds, light
cover, that sorta thing. It’s not designed here to fish in heavy, heavy
cover but that’s not what we’re doing with this finesse style of fishing. So that’s the gear and that’s the reason why
I rig it up the way I do. I’ve got a trailer on here, just a small craw
trailer which helps add in the fall, it slows it down and gives it a more natural look. That’s how I rig it. Now let’s go fishing. There we are. Little guy, he thinks he’s big. That’ll work. Couldn’t stand my little finesse jig. See that? Right on the roof of the mouth. Little guy but they’re fun. All right, so for finesse jigging, as you
see out here, it’s kind of a rocky bank, rocky shoreline, fairly steep drop. I’m sitting here in about 16, 17 feet of water. Drops off pretty quickly and it’s got these
big boulders in between everything, great place to fish. This is a great place, normally you would
fish, say, a tube jig or a football head jig with a twin tail grub, something like that. This is where the finesse jig really shines. The thing is when you throw it out here, first
one I’m gonna tell you is when you’re jigging it back, you lift it up off the bottom but
don’t lift it up very far. Because on a steep grade like this, see, it’s
like this…the lure, you lift it up a little bit and then it travels out, and then it’s
got a further way to fall. So it’s actually dropping more than the amount
you lift it up. So you don’t have to lift it up, you don’t
have to do this big movement. It’s subtle movements. That’s the beauty of fishing the finesse jig. So the first thing you wanna do…I’m gonna
show you a couple different methods of fishing this. First thing you wanna do is just cast it out
there and when it hits the water, let it go on slack line and watch it very carefully. You’re watching the line for any twitches,
jumps, or maybe the line’s going into the water and suddenly starts accelerating, something
like that. That’s usually a fish on the line, so you
probably wanna set the hook. If you’re not exactly sure how deep it is,
what you might wanna do is start a countdown method. Throw it out there and just go, “One, two,
three…” you know, until it hits the bottom. And keep doing that. Pretty soon you get a pretty good idea, say
between four and five is the bottom, for example. Now another time you cast it out there and
after two, it stops falling, well, chances are a fish hit it. Or at the converse, you go, “Three, four,
five, six, seven, eight…” Well, you better set the hook there, bubba,
because that fish is taking off on you, okay? So, you know, that’s a good way of paying
attention and detecting a bite, even on a slack line. You gotta be a line watcher and pay attention
to how long it takes before that jig hits the bottom. Now, once it hits the bottom, it’s a couple
different retrieves. I like to throw it out here, let it hit the
bottom. And after it does, even though I’ve been watching
the line, sitting on the bottom right now, even though I’ve been watching it very closely
to make sure I have a bite, I still reel down, I give it a little feel just to see. Because sometimes, a fish will follow it and
it hits the bottom and he’ll suck it up and you’ll never see it or feel it. So I always check to make sure there’s not
a fish there on the other end. I can tell there isn’t, so what I’ll do is
I’ll just give what I just told you, a little lift, not much. Here I’m just gonna lift the rod tip up a
couple of inches and then let it go right back down. And I’m falling on slack line, I am reeling
up the slack line. But I’m letting it fall straight down on slack
line. Let it sit for a second, lift it back up again,
and let it drop. It’s very subtle, it’s not big, sweeping movements. You’re just trying to get it to hop along
the bottom. And a lot of times, the fish will track it
and they’ll hit as it’s falling. So every time you lift up, expect that there’s
gonna be a fish on the other end in the line. So another way of fishing it, here it’s on
the bottom, is I’ll just get my rod tip down and I’ll just drag it on the bottom. Use the rod and just kinda drag it along the
bottom. And then reel up the slack, let it sit there
for a couple of seconds, and then drag it on the bottom a little bit again and reel
up the slack. And sometimes, you may have to wait and wait
and wait between pauses there before you reel it up. If the bite is really slow, you gotta slow
it way down, which brings me to my next method of fishing it. And that is crawling it. It’s very similar but you really wanna just
go over every little teeny pebble, every little rock, every little piece of wood, whatever’s
on the bottom. Let it sit on the bottom. And all’s I do is a keep my rod tip up a little
bit so I can feel it and I can lift it up and over the bottom. But I just use the reel and I slowly just
pop it up over things. That’s all I’m doing, just barely moving along. And this could take a long time to retrieve
it. I’m not gonna bore you with doing the full
retrieve, but it can take you several minutes, three, four, five minutes for one retrieve. But you’re just crawling it on the bottom. When you feel a little rock or pebble, you
just kinda lift up on the rod tip like I just did and hop it up over it. You’re making it look like a little crawfish
making its way along the bottom and being as natural as possible. And a lot of times, the fish will just suck
it up and you’ll feel the spongy weight on the other end. You’re throwing a 3/8-ounce bait, suddenly
it feels a quarter ounce and little spongy? Well, it’s probably a fish. It can be weeds. If you’re not familiar with that bite, you
might end up picking up a lot of weeds until you get used to it. But swings are free, there’s nothing wrong
with swinging every now and then. So let me show you another way to bring it
back. This is more of kind of a swim style. You throw it out, you let it hit the bottom. And now you’re gonna reel it but you wanna
keep it just off the bottom as you’re reeling it. So lift it up and now I’m just slowly reeling
it. And every once in a while, you hit bottom,
you lift up a little bit, keep your rod tip up so you can keep it up off the bottom. As it gets closer to the boat, you can start
to bring your rod tip down to keep it down next to the bottom. But you’re just letting it kinda swim along. And it’s a subtle way…this works really
well, say for example, you’ve been throwing crank baits and the crank bait dies off, that
bite dies off, switch to this method. And the bite usually picks right back up again. It’s a great way to keep catching fish. One more is kind of a deviation of that, that
you throw it out. And here, you don’t let it hit the bottom
but we lift up, let it drop, lift up, let it drop. And you’re just kinda yo-yo-ing it back to
the boat, that’s all you’re doing. Never let it hit the bottom but you’re just
kinda swimming it in a yo-yo kinda fashion. Again, a lot of times the fish will hit it
as it’s falling, so pay real close attention to that line and be ready to set the hook
at any time. I’ve had fish come right up to the boat and
right as I’m lifting it out of the water will smack it right there. I don’t know why they’ll wait till that last
minute but it about gives me a heart attack every time they do that. But great way to fish it. So those are a couple different ways to fish
a finesse jig in the traditional finesse style. I’m going through it kinda quick for you but
the speed, you’ll have to figure out what the fish want. And a lot of times when you’re fishing this,
you gotta slow it way down. Like I said, it takes several minutes to do
a full retrieve. So practice with that speed and how long it’s
gonna take you to get that lure back before the fish tell you exactly how they want it. All right, so that was finesse fishing, traditional
style. Spinning gear, open-water. Now I wanna show what I do with finesse jigs,
a little bit different than maybe some people think. And that’s basically what I would normally
do flipping and pitching with jigs but I lighten up a little bit and I fish a little bit different
cover. A little bit better. That’s all right. Here we go. Come here. There we go, look at that. You think he wanted it? Look at that, he wanted it. That’s a finesse jig for you, guys. So first of all, what we’re doing here is
I’m using, instead of…you know, a traditional flipping outfit would be, you know, a flipping
rod that’s heavy action, long, with stout 50-pound, 65-pound braid, something like that. We’re gonna lighten up a little bit in the
true sense of the finesse. This is a medium-heavy, 7-foot, medium-heavy
action rod. It’s a little bit lighter action. Here I’m using Seaguar 20-pound flipping line. Actually, it’s 25-pound flipping line. It’s fluorocarbon. And the big reason for that…and I’ll get
to that in just a second but that’s what I’m using. And then the reel, I’m not so much interested
in the speed on the reel as I am the drag. This has about 16, 15 pounds of drag on it. Real strong reel, that’s what you need for
flipping and pitching. And I’m just using, you know, a 1/2 ounce
finesse jig in this case, you know. It’s very similar to the one I just had but
a little bit bigger, right? So that’s the setup. We’re not doing spinning gear anymore, we’re
heavying up a bit. But it’s not the full flipping and pitching
rig like you would think in the traditional sense. The reason being is, you know, this is a nice,
small, compact bait. And the traditional flipping jigs, they’re
big, they’re bulky. And they have, you know, big trailers on them. Great when the fish are buried up in the cover
and you need to dig ’em out and you need a lot of bulk to do that and get their attention
and the fish are actively feeding. Finesse jigging comes in style or comes into
play when the fish, the bite is off. They’re not really chasing baits, they’re
not actively smacking your lure as it’s falling down, you know, down in cover. The other thing is when you’re flipping and
pitching, you bring your boat right up on top of the cover and you’re just in pitching
distance, maybe 6, 7 feet away, right? Or pitching a little bit further away, you
know, so flipping, pitching, you’re only, at the most, maybe 20 feet away. That’s a really long pitch. Most people are a lot closer than that, 10
to 15 feet away. In this case, what we’re doing is I’m taking
the boat and I’m positioning it off away from the cover and I’m pitching it to the edge
of the cover. You wanna pull off away. You don’t wanna get a 20-foot boat right on
top of the fish when they’re real finicky. That can scare ’em off. So in this case, we’ll pull away from the
cover. Again, we’re using the fluorocarbon line because
braid…you know, if the fish are real finicky, it’s a real slow fall, you’re moving it slightly
on the bottom, slow movements. You’re giving the fish time to examine your
bait and then the whole setup. And braid, you can’t hide it. Braid just looks unnatural. Fluorocarbon has less visibility, it’s a low-vis
line, it’s less apt to look unnatural to the fish. Twenty-five pound because we’re still throwing
it real close to cover or just on the inside of it, right on the edge, you know, cover
like you may see in the background here, bushes, flooded timber, things like that. You are just not throwing it into the heavy
cover and right in the midst of it, like you would with 50, 65-pound braid. I hope that makes sense. So we’re positioning that boat out there,
pitching it out there, letting it fall. I set my slack line, watch your line very
carefully. Occasionally they do hit it on the fall. But usually, it happens after you’ve got it
on the bottom. You let it sit for a while and you lift up
and then, bap, they’ll hit it. It’s like they come up and look at it but
they’re not willing to commit. And then you give it a little movement and
they’ll hit it, that happens a lot. Sometimes it happens when you’re pulling it
away from cover. As you’re reeling back up, for whatever reason
it triggers them to come up and hit it before it gets out of the water. You would think they’re not chasing bait but
they do that on the smaller jigs. And I don’t have an explanation for it but
just be ready for that because sometimes they’ll surprise you right at the boat. There we go! Keri: Woa! Hello. Doorbell Glenn: Ooh! Keri: Good Fish. Glenn: Ho ooh. Come here you. Come here. Come here baby. Keri: That’s a nice fish. Glenn: There we go! Keri: Big fatty! Glenn: Has grass in his face. I’m tell ya, if you don’t think finesse
jigs catch good fish, there you go. Ate that thing. Look at that. Nice. Look at the gut on that fish. Let him go on this side. Anyway, that is the different ways to fish
a finesse jig. I hope those tips help. For more tips and tricks and for the answers
to all your questions about bass fishing, visit

100 comments on “How To Fish Finesse Jigs (The Best Ways) | Bass Fishing

  1. As always, great information! I don't have any finesse jigs in my tackle bag right now, but I will very soon. Thanks for making these videos and making them so a novice like me can understand them. Love your channel and website!

  2. I have been fishing finesse jigs for a while now with some success but not a whole lot of confidence. After watching the video, I can't wait to get back out there and try it again. I'm especially excited to try the new retrieves I have learned from this. Love it and thanks!😃

  3. I never would have thought to drag or crawl the finesse jig. Thanks I will be sure to use these. Also love the underwater footage of the crawl so we could see what the jig does down there not enough instructional videos do this.

  4. Great stuff,Glen! I'm using jigs more and more and was wondering what the difference of the finesse jig was. Very informative as always.

  5. I now know the jigs I do have are not finesse jigs and will be picking some up. Thanks for the great tips, as always.

  6. Hey Glenn over here in Delaware the lakes have mostly soft bottoms. Is this technique still good for soft bottoms? Also most of our lakes are no more then 6ft deep in spots, does this have any effect on how to fish these techniques in these types of lakes? Also there is very little to no cover in these lakes other then a few laydowns and a few sparce docks.

  7. I always uses finesse jigs when the bass are getting picky. But the video has good tips. I don't think that I will be using 6lb line any time soon though.

  8. This is really interesting because I usually think of jigs as big bass baits and go to a small straight tail worm for finesse. The finesse jig might pick up bites that I was missing out on before.

  9. I do allot of finesse fishing and I use allot of different types of jigs. My favorite way to fish them is to crawl them on the bottom. but this video gave me a few more ideas to try when my method is not working.

  10. Great video Glen! So much knowledge in all of you videos but this one especially surprised me. I like how you talk about presentation and line because they both are extremely important. I have never fished finesse jig but now I have plenty to take with me next time on the water. thank you!

  11. Glenn,

    ALL your videos are always instructive and informative, and this one is no different!

    I've not really fished jigs a lot (I did buy a few but then NH made lead jigs illegal so I couldn't use them!), but I'm trying to learn.

    So I had never heard of the "finesse jig." I do have some wacky jig heads, but I see these are different.

    Plus, I love using braid, but now have learned how the braid affects the drop rate of the lure. I didn't know about that. I often use a leader (sometimes mono, sometimes fluoro), but I imagine that still affects the drop rate. I've heard how important drop rate is, but certainly have not yet mastered the technique!

    Look forward to learning more through your videos!

    Roger, The Smiling BassHole

  12. I didn't know that you could fish a jig as a finesse jig.After this video I see how versatile this can be. I like using spinning equipment, so I will be trying this method the nest time I go fishing.

  13. Finesse was all new to me but with the help of videos like this I'm at least becoming better at it! Jigs as a finesse bait really threw me. Thanks for the helpful video!

  14. Have fished these before but the video gave me several ideas for additional ways to present them when my usual way is not producing.

  15. I can't catch a fish on a jig. I used them years ago with success and I don't understand why I can't get any fish. I use New Tech Finesse .

  16. I have the perfect place to try this finesse jig technique, where the fish seem to always mock me. Thanks again for the tips.

  17. Good information on the small JIGS. I use the small jigs a lot better than the big jigs.
    Keep the good information coming . Fishing not a job it's fun, go fishing five days a week, one day to do honeydews and rest on the seven day

  18. I never use finesse jigs, bought 1/2 dozen a few years ago and never tied one on…will have to go through my tackle, dig those things out and use them especially as tough a fishing has been down here…

  19. Just learning to use the finesse jig. Your tips will help. I agree with you about them hitting right at the boat. It about gives me a heart attack too.

  20. Enjoyed the video. I just started fishing with jigs last fall with mixed results. Maybe finesse jigs will help to get a bite when things are slow. I will give them a try.

  21. Those tips will definitely help when the bite gets tuff. And I agree with switching to 6lb line. It makes a big difference in clearwater. Another great video Glenn, keep em coming. Thanks!

  22. I just started fishing jigs more this year. I haven't fished the finesse jigs much at all but, after this video I'm going to give them a shot! Great tips Glenn!

  23. I watched this yesterday morning and I downsized to 10 lbs line (i normally use 15lbs). It worked for me. I hooked on a very nice 5-lber. Very cool!
    Super cool baits too.
    Thanks Glenn

  24. I have never used the yoyo method i have always did more of a straight swim jig. I am going to try some of the finesse jig method didnt think there was so many different retrieves. Thank you for your videos i have learned so much from them.

  25. Thanks for the tips Glen. Using floro instead of braid. Keeping backed away versus the close up flip/pitch of a bigger jig. Can't wait to give it all a try.

  26. One disadvantage of 6 lb test is the inability to drive in a hook unless it is fine wire and sharp. Other than that, in the absence of wood and vegetation, 6 lb just requires patience while fighting fish.

  27. I have about as much luck fishing around rocks with 6 lb test as i have teeing off over a pond on the golf course. Extra balls, extra line and plenty of extra finesse jigs.

  28. never have caught fish on this jig. try a few times and go back to what works for me. maybe i will gives these a try again

  29. I think it's really great that you guys explain what to look for in a lure whether it's high quality swivels that let the blades spin well in spinnerbaits or the placement of the eye in finesse jigs that help you bring them through rocks and prevent hang ups. Showing the different retrieves is really great too. It's the helpful and unique insight that keeps me coming back to this channel time and time again.

  30. Thanks for the great videos, I've never had luck with jigs, i just have a few of different styles but i don't have any finesse ones, this video makes me change the way i think, i tough bigger were better but wit this video i learned that some times the size is not all, other think is the line, I've never used 6 lb line, but thanks to you i will try it. Other think is that i was in the believe that jigs were only to heavy cover that's way i only have 1/2 oz and above jigs, the retrieve also is a good tip. I cant wait to go an try it in the water, thanks

  31. This technique better work, Glenn, cuz I just spent 20 minutes of my life watching it! Really liked it and can't wait to try it out.

  32. It does take a lot of practice to fish with jigs like the pro's do, It is one of the harder baits to fish with. Finesse hits this Video on the head. Thanks Rob

  33. Those all are great technics, I actually fish that way currently with no issues. It's very important to have patience with it as well. Its much more relaxing and enjoyable that way… I'm just saying.

  34. Had a buddy that lived on Smith lake who turned me on to 6 lb. clear line back in the 90s and I've been going light and clear ever since……and although I've lost a couple fish over the years I'd rather have them on and loose them than never have them on.outfished my buddy yesterday 6-1 using same bait but different line

  35. I fish a couple of small rivers in my area. It's full of rocks and crayfish. I typically throw a baby D bomb with a 1/16th bullet weight or even a split shot. When the bite is slow I do the crawl thing and I get more bites that way.

    I'm going fishing tomorrow to a local reservoir and I have a box of finesse jigs I want to try if the bite is slow. I've never used them before. I just hope I can figure out where to throw them. Lots of steep banks and clean shorelines and some nice points of course. Where ever I fish them it will be shallow I guess since it's spring.

  36. I've been fishing over 25 year's and never really used a jig and never caught anything on a jig until yesterday and let me tell you I will always fish a jig now the large mouth wasn't but two pounds but he hit like he was 10

  37. i just picked up my first spinning set up the other day bought a st croix premier in 7 ft medium-fast with a lews custom pro speed spin in 3000 size using 15# braid with 12# fluoro leader, i live in fl and im terrified to go lighter with my leader lol

  38. Your videos are exceptional: just being yourself and sharing a wealth of information. You've helped me learn many new techniques. Thank you.

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