Card's Catch - Choosing the Right Jig Trailer

By Brandon Card

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There is a lot of talk about selecting the right jig.  Head design, weight, color, skirt material and more are all important things to consider to match your jig to the conditions. One thing that is just as important is picking the right soft plastic trailer.

Changing your trailer can greatly affect the action and also plays a big role in how fast (or slow) the jig will fall. All of these things make a difference at times and for me, the decision comes down to picking from three tried and true trailers.

The 5” Yamamoto Double Tail Grub

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I talk a lot about this trailer and I use it all of the time. It’s perfect for casting jigs like football heads or the finesse jigs I use in clear water. At the same time, it’s also a great choice for flipping a jig. One of the things I like best about this trailer is how it slows down the fall of your jig. It also produces a lot of life-like action and works great in both dirty or clear water.

The Psycho Dad

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This has become one of my favorites when I am fishing a jig in clear water or when I am sight fishing. The ‘Dad makes the jig fall much faster than other trailers because of its slim profile. It’s a great choice when you are fishing really clear water because often that initial fast fall will get a fish to eat the jig where a slower fall in clean water may give the fish too good of a look at the bait.

I’ll also add the ‘Dad to the back of a finesse football head when I am fishing deep water and need the jig to fall faster. It is a very lifelike trailer and really, it works well on a jig or fished alone on a Texas-rig.

The Flappin' Hog

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This bait is available in two sizes, a 3.75” and larger 4.5” version, and I like both of them on the back of my jigs. I usually choose this over other trailers when I am flipping and pitching a jig. The action as the jig falls is much different and the trailer will actually make the jig glide differently. This is key when the fish are pressured and keep seeing the same baits over and over.

Exception to the Cold Water Rule

One thing that’s often discussed and recommended is using bait with less action in cold water. This is true for many soft plastics, but I feel like the 5” Double Tail is an exception. It has tons of action so it works great in warmer water when the fish are aggressive, but the slower fall you get with a Hula Grub jig really makes it an effective choice for cold water as well.

Color and Forage Match

One of the simplest ways to match the forage the bass are eating is to change colors. For example, the Double Tail Hula Grub can just as easily imitate a shad as it can a bluegill or crawfish as long as you choose a color to match. The Psycho Dad obviously does a great job imitating a crawfish and the Flappin’ Hog is a great bluegill imitator.

Generally, I keep my color selection straightforward with all three of these trailers. For clear water, you can’t go wrong with colors like Green Pumpkin Black Flake (#297) and Green Pumpkin Purple & Copper Flake (#330). For dirty water, the standby Black Blue Flake (#021) is always a good choice. If the water is stained, one of my favorites is Bama Bug (#952).

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Each of these three trailers has qualities that make them different from the others. There are times when fish just want a faster fall or slower fall or seem to be keying in on certain colors. Keeping an open mind when it comes to selecting trailers is the best advice I can give you.

Also, don’t be afraid to experiment if you want your jig to fall faster or slower. Each day on the water is different and some days the fish just prefer a different action or fall. The easiest way to change that is by changing your trailer.