In bass fishing, there are several baits and techniques that can be hard to distinguish from one another. In this piece we are going to look at two such baits: a jig and Texas rig. Whether you’re pitching shallow cover or fishing offshore, these two baits can be used to target some of the same bass. Let’s look at which works best for each scenario.
Bass Fishing Lures: Jigs vs Texas Rigs – Fishing Shallow
When I’m deciding between a jig and Texas rig up shallow, a lot of it comes down to whether I’m fishing an exact target or a strike zone. What I mean by that is whether I’m making vertical presentations or dragging the bait along horizontally. If I’m pitching to stumps or bushes, I typically like to fish a flipping jig. If I’m fishing along laydowns, I like a Texas rigged worm. I tend to get hung less with a Texas rig in laydowns than I do with a jig. And I like the big hook of a jig, its vertical fall, and the bulk of the bait around stumps and bushes.
I also like the jig more in the spring and the Texas rig more in the summer.
I think the jig triggers more strikes when the bass are aggressive and feeding heavily in the spring where as the bass are a little more lethargic and stressed in the hot summer months from the hot water. They will eat a bigger, more aggressive bait like a topwater lure, but they seem to position a little differently in the summer months like in slightly deeper laydowns instead of up around the stumps when they’re trying to spawn.
The in-between here is that I’ll use a Missile Baits D-Bomb or a tube Texas-rigged in some of the same places I’ll fish a jig. These are both a little bulkier and more compact than a worm and have a more vertical fall for fishing around cover. Where I would use an offset worm hook with a Texas rigged worm up shallow, I prefer a straight shank flipping hook when flipping a tube or D-Bomb.
Bass Fishing Lures: Jigs vs Texas Rigs – Fishing Deep
When talking about the contrast between a jig and Texas rig offshore, we’re looking at a Texas rigged worm over the 8-inch mark and typically a football jig. There are a lot of other jigs that anglers throw offshore like finesse jigs, casting jigs and heavy cover jigs, but the contrast shows up the most between a football jig and a Texas rig.
For me, a football jig works better in more open water situations with smooth bottoms, rock and little drop-offs. I move to a Texas rig more in grass and brush. Jigs have a tendency to get hung more in brush and also don’t come through vegetation as well as a Texas-rigged worm.
A football jig is easier to keep on the bottom. That’s why I prefer it when fishing areas where I want to maintain bottom contact like drop-offs. When you pull a Texas-rig off of a ledge it has a tendency to glide to the bottom unless you’re fishing it on a heavy weight. As you pull a jig off a ledge, if falls more vertical and can trigger strikes from fish that are sitting close to that drop. A lot of anglers will actually use a magnum shaky head with a worm in situations like this where they want to maintain bottom contact but still use a worm.
Similar to the shallow dichotomy, I prefer a football jig more in the pre-spawn and a worm more in the summer. A lot of that has to do with where I target bass in the pre-spawn, around rock, and where I target bass in the post-spawn, around brush.
Bass Fishing Lures: Jigs vs Texas Rigs – Conclusion
In conclusion, there are a lot of similarities between jigs and Texas rigs both shallow and deep. Honestly, both could be fished in most of the same scenarios, but the key difference is which can be fished the most effectively and where. So the long and short of it, I prefer Texas rigs in deep, dense cover and football jigs in rockier situations. In shallow water, I still prefer the more weedless Texas rig and opt for the jig when pitching to targets.