One highly effective technique that has been gaining popularity among anglers is the shakey head. These versatile and adaptable fishing lures offer a range of benefits and can significantly increase your chances of landing a prized bass. In this article, we’ll explore what shakey head jigs are, why they are important, provide you with valuable tips on using them effectively, and let you know what our favorite shakey head set up is!
Best Shakey Head Jigs
- Z-Man SMH Jig HeadZ – Our Favorite
- Strike King Tour Grade Magnum Shaky Head Jig – Heavy Pick
- Owner Stick Bait Shaky Head – Versatile Pick
Z-Man SMH Jig HeadZ
Designed by Z-Man Pro Brian Latimer, this shakey head jig is one of our favorites for several reasons. It’s tapered head makes it easy fish through cover. It’s easy to easy to skip and the recessed line tie makes it glide through grass. Paired up with the SMH WormZ these jigs will catch you a ton of fish.
Strike King Tour Grade Magnum Shaky Head Jig
With a name like Strike King you know you’re getting a solid jig. These shakey head jigs are great for deep water fishing. The flat head makes it easy to feel the bottom and also causes a good amount of movement when you drag the lure around.
Owner Stick Bait Shaky Head
The medium sized shakey head is probably one of the most versatile shakey head jigs on the market. We like it because of the rounded head. Easy to fish around rocks or stumps.
What are Shakey Head Jigs?
Shakey head jigs are a type of fishing lure designed specifically for bass fishing. They consist of a jig head with a small hook and a worm or soft plastic bait attached. The unique design of shakey head jigs allows the bait to stand upright on the bottom, mimicking the natural movement of a prey fish.
Shakey head jigs have gained popularity among bass anglers due to their effectiveness in enticing strikes from bass. They offer several advantages that make them a valuable addition to any angler’s tackle box.
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Benefits of Shakey Head Jigs
Increased Bait Action
One of the key benefits of shakey head jigs is the increased action they provide to your bait. The wobbling and shaking motion created by the jig head imitates the movements of a wounded or distressed baitfish, triggering a predatory response from bass.
Versatility in Fishing Conditions
Shakey head jigs are highly versatile and can be used in various fishing conditions. Whether you’re fishing in clear water, heavy cover, or during different seasons, shakey head jigs can adapt to different situations and attract bass successfully.
Improved Bait Presentation
The standing position of the bait on the jig head ensures optimal presentation. The bait remains in an enticing posture, visible and accessible to nearby bass. This presentation increases the chances of attracting bites and hooking more fish.
Choosing the Right Shakey Head Jig
To make the most out of your shakey head jig fishing experience, it’s essential to choose the right shakey head jig for the job. Consider the following factors when selecting your jig:
Jig Head Weight
The weight of the jig head plays a crucial role in determining the depth at which your bait will sink and the speed at which you can retrieve it. Lighter jig heads are suitable for shallow water and slower presentations, while heavier jig heads are ideal for deeper waters and faster retrieves. Assess the fishing conditions and adjust the jig head weight accordingly.
Hook Size and Style
The hook size and style should complement the size and type of bait you plan to use. Ensure that the hook is appropriate for the targeted bass species and can accommodate the chosen soft plastic bait or worm. A well-matched hook will increase your chances of a successful hookset and landing the fish.
Material and Color Selection
Shakey head jigs are available in a variety of materials, such as lead, tungsten, or brass. Each material has its own unique characteristics, including density and sensitivity. Consider your preferences and the specific fishing conditions to choose the most suitable material.
Color selection is another important aspect to consider. Opt for colors that closely resemble the prey fish in the area you’ll be fishing. Natural hues like green pumpkin, watermelon, and black/blue often work well, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors to find what the bass are responding to on a given day.
Techniques for Using Shakey Head Jigs
Now that you have selected the right shakey head jig, it’s time to master some effective techniques for using them. Here are three techniques that can help you maximize your success:
Basic Bottom Hopping Technique
Start by casting your shakey head jig near potential bass-holding structures, such as rocks, fallen trees, or weed beds. Allow the bait to sink to the bottom and then lift your rod tip gently, causing the bait to hop along the bottom. Pause briefly between hops to simulate a wounded baitfish. Repeat this motion as you slowly retrieve the bait, enticing nearby bass to strike.
Shaking and Dragging Technique
The shaking and dragging technique is effective when fishing in areas with minimal cover or sparse vegetation. After casting, allow the bait to settle on the bottom. Shake your rod tip gently, causing the bait to quiver and mimic the movements of a distressed prey. Then, drag the bait a short distance before pausing again. This technique imitates a baitfish foraging on the bottom, making it an enticing target for hungry bass.
Finesse Fishing with Shakey Head Jigs
When bass are being finicky or in heavily pressured waters, finesse fishing with shakey head jigs can produce excellent results. Use light line and a subtle retrieve. Let the jig settle on the bottom, and then make small twitches or subtle shakes to give the bait lifelike movements. This finesse approach can trigger bites from wary or inactive bass that may be less likely to strike more aggressive presentations.
Tips for Success with Shakey Head Jigs
To enhance your success with shakey head jigs, consider the following tips:
Adjusting Jig Head Weight Based on Conditions
As fishing conditions change, be prepared to adjust the jig head weight. If the bass are holding in deeper water, switch to a heavier jig head to reach the desired depth. In shallow water or when bass are less active, opt for a lighter jig head to slow down the presentation and increase finesse.
Using Scent Attractants
Adding scent attractants to your shakey head jig and soft plastic bait can amplify its appeal. The scent trail will entice bass, especially in situations where visibility may be limited or the water is murky. Experiment with
different scents such as crawfish, shad, or garlic to determine which one elicits the best response from the bass in your area.
Experimenting with Bait Styles
Don’t limit yourself to a single type of soft plastic bait when using shakey head jigs. Try different styles, shapes, and sizes to see what the bass prefer on a given day. Straight-tail worms, creature baits, or finesse worms can all be effective choices. Pay attention to the conditions and the behavior of the bass to determine which bait style yields the best results.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
To ensure optimal success with shakey head jigs, it’s important to avoid these common mistakes:
Using the Wrong Gear
Using inappropriate gear can diminish the effectiveness of shakey head jig fishing. Ensure that you have a suitable spinning rod and reel combo with the appropriate line weight for the size of bass you’re targeting. This will help you achieve the desired casting distance and control during the retrieve.
Overworking the Bait
While imparting action to your bait is crucial, it’s essential to strike a balance. Overworking the bait by excessive hopping or shaking can appear unnatural and may deter bass from biting. Remember to keep your movements subtle and let the lifelike design of the shakey head jig do most of the work.
Neglecting to Change Up Retrieve Speed
Varying your retrieve speed can make a significant difference in enticing strikes. Sometimes a slow and methodical retrieve is effective, while other times a more aggressive and faster retrieve triggers a reaction bite. Pay attention to the behavior of the bass and adjust your retrieve speed accordingly.
In conclusion, shakey head jigs are exceptional tools for bass fishing anglers looking to improve their chances on the water. Their versatility, increased action, and presentation make them a valuable addition to any angler’s tackle box. By choosing the right jig, mastering various fishing techniques, and avoiding common mistakes, you can significantly increase your chances of landing that trophy bass.
So, next time you head out for a bass fishing adventure, don’t forget to equip yourself with the best shakey head jigs. Experiment, adapt, and enjoy the thrill of hooking into that trophy bass. Happy fishing!
What types of bait work best with shakey head jigs?
Shakey head jigs work well with a variety of soft plastic baits such as worms, creature baits, and finesse worms. Experiment with different styles and colors to determine which bait attracts the most bites.
Can shakey head jigs be used in saltwater fishing?
Shakey head jigs are primarily designed for freshwater bass fishing. While they may attract other species in saltwater, it’s best to use specialized saltwater jigs for optimal results.
How do I know what jig head weight to use?
The jig head weight depends on the fishing conditions and the depth you want to target. Lighter jig heads work well in shallow water, while heavier jig heads are suitable for deeper areas. Adjust the weight based on the conditions and the desired presentation.
Are shakey head jigs suitable for beginners?
Yes, shakey head jigs can be used by beginners. They are relatively easy to use and can be effective in a wide range of fishing situations. Practice different techniques and experiment with bait styles to gain confidence and improve your skills.
Can shakey head jigs be used in deep water?
Yes, shakey head jigs can be used in deep water. By using heavier jig heads and adjusting your retrieve technique, you can effectively target bass in deeper areas. Remember to consider the water clarity and the behavior of the bass in order to adapt your approach.