Friday, October 4, 2013

Year of the Jig: Alternative Trailer Options

As anglers we often talk about the right size or colour, but believe me when I say there are times when neither of these matter, and what the fish really wants is simply somthing different!  And there is no other bait that is easier to tweak then a jig.. simply switching up your trailer can and will offer the fish somthing new, so here are 4 alternatives to the standard jig trailer...

Flipping baits like the Gambler Lures Ugly Otter make great jig trailers. With ribbed bodies and wide flat tails these baits add some serious bulk and water movement to your jig. In times in which you want to slow down your presentation but still make your presence felt, these are a great alternative to a standard claw or chunk. Depending on the size of your jig you may need to trim or bite off a bit of the bait, but the smaller otters fit nearly perfect 

Ribbon tails are not exactly a novel idea and have been used for years by some anglers but I do think they are overlooked by the masses who don't realize how productive they can be on the end of a jig.

What I really like about using a ribbon tail as a trailer is that it gives your jig the look of a faster fall, without really adding much speed. Below Im using a Berkley Havoc Juice Worm, I really like the thicker longer ribbon that Berkley uses on this worm, though it can be a bit long for a trailer. 

Ribbon tails work best on swim jigs, but they do improve the "hop" of your flipping or football jig. 

Pictured below is an El Grande Lures Jr. Gila Monster that I rescued from my dead bait pile. We all have a dead bait piles, that are  filled with baits that have been ripped or torn up by fish. This Gila had head damage but the tail was still in perfect condition, so I ripped the body in half (just in front of the back legs) and slid it on my jig. This really gives the jig a larger.. or longer profile and the Gila tail imparts great action. 

I like a combo like this around timber, it still has a nice slow fall, but the heavily salted tail floats upward on the pause giving the fish a nice target. 

My favourite and most productive alt-trialer is the Power Team Lures Hammer Shad The 3.5" version is great for smaller jigs like the Ganns Performance 1/4 dragging jig (the jig used throughout this article). It has the perfect whip tail that gives the jig extra motion but still that slow fall and compact look.

A reader recommended I give the Power Team Lures Swinging Hammer a try, so I have since placed an order for some.. results to follow

If you noticed all of the above alt-trailers were fished on the exact same jig. The reason I did this was to show you how easy it was to switch baits, without really switching baits. As stated above this quick and simple change will often improve your bite. So forget about colour, forget about size, and try somthing new!

FYI: Of the above 4, the Power Team lures Hammer shad was the most success during my last few outings.


  1. So do you leave punch stop on to be frugal, so its there when you switch back to TX rig or because you think it helps shed the weeds?

  2. frugal for sure, but it also keeps sharp edges off the knot (or so I tell myself)

  3. About same reason why I do it, with a touch of laziness added in...