Jig Fishing 101: Can You Catch Fish With Just a Jig Head?

If you’re someone who’s just discovered your love for fishing or you’re a seasoned angler who can’t get over your jig paralysis, you’ve probably asked—can you honestly fish with just a jig head? Well, we’ve done the research and we certainly have an answer for you!

Yes, you can fish with just a jig head, which is the weighted top part of the lure. Many anglers choose to use a jig and a worm for fishing as it’s easy to rig and is a highly successful method when it comes to catching a range of predatory fish species.

Can You Fish With Just A Jig Head?

If the paragraph above left you with more questions than answers, don’t worry! We’re going to take a deep dive into the world of jig heads and fishing with them in this article, so keep reading!

What Is a Jig Head and When Do You Use One?

A jig head is the very top part of the lure. This part is weighted, which helps it sink easily into the water.

The jig head ends in an exposed hook, which is what latches on to the catch and helps you reel it in.

Though the jig head is technically only the top of the lure, the term “jig head” may also be used to describe the entire object, from the head to the hook.

It’s highly likely that this is probably one of the oldest methods of luring fish in.

You can find a jig head as a part of a complete package, with components such as a skirt extending from the head and covering the hook, rattles, paint schemes, and weed guards, but don’t let this rattle you.

The basic concept of a jig is extremely simple—it’s just a weighted device made of a bit of lead sitting around a sharp hook that’s used to catch fish!

On average, a jig head for freshwater fishing will weigh around or less than 56 grams or 2 ounces.

Jig heads can be used to fish virtually any fish species, whether it’s in the shallows or the deep end.

Many anglers use them to catch predatory fish species, as the lure excites the hunting instinct and kill drive of such fish.

Using a jig head with a live worm gives you the best chances of success at a catch.

To do so, simply thread your worm all the way up the lure until just the jig head is exposed. You can then attach this to your fishing line and get fishing.

Many anglers also team their jig heads with plastics instead of live bait, though, and meet with the same success, so what type of bait you use comes down to your preferences and experience with the two:

However, be careful with a jig if you’re in an area with birds; jigs are toxic to birds such as the common loon as well as other wildlife, due to the lead content.

Types of Jig Heads

There are many types of jig heads available for different purposes.

A few important ones include:

  • Swim heads
  • Arky heads
  • Football heads
  • Brush heads
  • Grass/weed heads
  • Flipping jig
  • Punch jig
  • Structure jig
  • Finesse jig

Advantages of a Jig Head

Many bass anglers hate the jig head, claiming that they just don’t get the same number of bites with a jig head that they do with other types of lures.

While this is true, you’ll find that the few bites you do get are quality bites from big fish—and quality over quantity any day, right?

Jig fishing also has a couple of other advantages, such as versatility and freedom of movement.

Here’s a deeper look at all three advantages:

1. Quality Bites

Big bass flock to jigs, and even if you do enjoy two bites instead of the ten that another lure would get you, you can rest assured that the two bites are from a big, quality fish.

While this demands a lot of patience, as you’ll enjoy bites that are fewer and far in between, the assured reward of a substantial catch from these few-and-far-in-between bites is worth the wait.

Many anglers pull out their jigs after waiting briefly and employ other ones instead but waiting for fish to latch on to the jig actually presents more chances of success.

2. Versatility

Jig heads are extremely versatile. When it comes to picking out a style and model, you have a plethora of jig-head options at your disposal.

No matter what species you’re fishing or where, there’s a jig head to meet your needs, and the best part is that you can manage a catch even if you don’t have the right supporting gear for your jig head—or even the “right” jig head!

For example, don’t let the lack of a flipping jig stop you from using your football jig in a vegetated bit of water—even if it isn’t the most efficient, you can still use your jig to fish.

3. Freedom of Movement and Action

A jig head allows plenty of freedom for movement. You can bob it up and down, leave it suspended, flip it, pitch it, punch it into dense foliage, or hop or drag it along the bed to catch crawdad and baitfish predators.

Do I Need a Sinker with a Jig Head?

Can You Fish With Just A Jig Head?

Whether or not you need a sinker with a jig head depends on the specific fishing situation you are in and the type of jig head you are using.

Jig heads are designed to mimic the movement and appearance of small baitfish or insects and can be fished in a variety of ways, including casting and retrieving, jigging, and vertical fishing.

In some cases, a sinker may be necessary to help the jig head reach the desired depth or to allow it to be fished more slowly and naturally.

In other cases, a sinker may not be needed at all, especially if the jig head is weighted or if you are using it in a fast-moving current.

It is always a good idea to pay attention to the conditions and the behavior of the fish you are targeting and adjust your rig accordingly.

Do I Need a Bobber with a Jig Head?

A bobber, also known as a float, can be useful for suspending the jig head at a specific depth or for indicating when a fish is biting.

However, bobbers are not always necessary or appropriate in all fishing situations.

For example, if you are casting and retrieving the jig head or jigging it up and down, a bobber may not be necessary.

On the other hand, if you are fishing in a stillwater or slow-moving river and want to keep the jig head suspended at a specific depth, a bobber can be helpful.

As with any fishing technique, it is important to pay attention to the conditions and the behavior of the fish you are targeting and adjust your rig accordingly.

What Is the Best Size Jig for Bass?

The best size jig for bass can vary depending on the specific fishing situation and the size of the bass you are targeting.

In general, jigs ranging from 1/4 to 3/4 ounces are effective for catching bass, with the most popular sizes being 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 ounces.

The size of the jig should be matched to the size of the baitfish or insects in the area, as well as the type of cover and structure you are fishing around.

If the water is clear and the bass are feeding on small baitfish, a smaller jig may be more effective.

On the other hand, if the water is murky or the bass are feeding on larger prey, a larger jig may be more appropriate.

It is always a good idea to have a variety of jig sizes and colors on hand and to experiment to see what works best in different situations.


It is possible to fish with just a jig head, but it may not be the most effective or efficient method.

While a jig head can certainly catch fish, it is typically used in combination with other types of bait or lures to improve the chances of a successful catch.

However, if you only have a jig head available or are looking to try something new, it can be worth giving it a shot.

As with any fishing technique, the key is to experiment and see what works best for you and the type of fish you are targeting.

Tight lines, bend rods, and may all your fishes come true!