Being able to skip bait is one of the more effective things you can learn because it’ll allow you to get in tight spots or under certain things. There are a number of factors that go into the process and in this post, I’m going to be talking about how to skip a jig using a baitcaster.
A lot of people just want to learn how to skip bait because it looks cool but a lot of the time it’s what you need to do to land fish. It can sometimes be tough getting your bait near the fish if they’re hiding out under docks or bushes and skipping it will help you get in those tight spots.
We’re going to be talking about the gear you need to have to be able to skip baits, when you should be doing it, and the technique you’ll want to use. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details on how to skip a jig with a baitcaster.
How To Start As A Beginner
If you’ve never skipped bait before I’d highly recommend you start with something simple and practice that until you get the hang of it. Trying to skip a jig with a baitcaster is a bit of an advanced technique and you’ll most likely run into a lot of problems at first.
The first thing I’d suggest is you start with a spinning rod. A medium-heavy rod around 7 feet should be perfect. There’s so much less that can go wrong and you’ll be able to spend more time practicing and less time untangling your reel. The whole idea at the start should be getting the form down and once you go that you can move on.
The next thing I’d start with is a stick bait (Senko style). Skipping a jig is probably the hardest thing to do and should only be used by more advanced people. I started with a stick bait and I’ll say it’s much easier and I probably spent 5 or 6 hours with that before I was actually comfortable.
The final thing you’ll want to do is not cast too hard. Once you get the hang of it you can cast as hard as you want but don’t start there. Keep your rod parallel to the water (don’t cast high to low) and make a nice and smooth swing.
The first thing we’ll talk about is the fishing rod. If you’re able to skip bait with a spinning rod, you can try using a baitcaster. I’d recommend something around 7 feet long because you’ll have much more accuracy with a shorter rod. You’ll also want to use a medium-heavy rod but you can still use a slightly heavier or lighter option if you want. I just found the medium-heavy to work the best for me.
The next thing is the fishing reel. A more expensive reel with most likely be smoother to cast but that’s not the most important thing. The more important thing is the settings on your reel. When you’re first getting started I’d recommend you turn all the brakes on. This is what helps prevent backlashes. You won’t be able to cast as far but you’ll have fewer issues. Practice with your brakes on and slowly turn them off as you get better. You’ll also want to keep your spool tension fairly loose.
The third thing we’ll talk about is the jig itself. There are a number of different styles out there but you’ll want to use one that’s fairly flat. Just like if you were skipping a rock, you wouldn’t use something big and bulky. Make sure the jig head you’re using has a flatter surface because it’ll make things so much easier. Something between 3/8 and 1/2 oz will be good. Here’s an example of one on Amazon.
Another important thing is the trailer you put on your jig. Pretty much anything can be skipped if you’re good enough but when you’re just getting started you’ll want to keep things fairly light. Make sure the trailer you’re using is fairly flat as well and that will help you out big time. Here are some of our favorites.
The final thing I want to talk about is what fishing line to use. If you’re fairly new to skipping bait I’d suggest using a soft monofilament or braided line. A lot of fluorocarbon lines have memory and are a bit harder to cast in my opinion. They can also be more expensive and it’ll be better having a cheap line on for when you backlash (it’ll happen eventually).
The most important thing here is the technique you use to cast the jig. It’s pretty much the same as if you were skipping a rock. You’ll want to start low and keep your rod tip parallel to the water. You wouldn’t throw a rock downwards if you’re trying to skip it so why would you with a fishing rod. Start low, stay low, and keep things parallel.
You also don’t need to cast super hard. You can cast harder as you get better but it’s not necessary. The rod will do a lot of the work and as long as you use the right lure and have the right angle you should have no trouble skipping it.
The next thing is the location of your boat (if you’re in one). The farther you can be from the target the better because it’ll prevent the fish from seeing you. If you’re flipping baits you’ll need to be fairly close but in clearer water that won’t work. That’s when you’d want to use the skipping technique. It’ll also give you a better angle if you’re further away.
When you do cast it you’ll want to look at your target and not where you’re casting. You’ll then want to make contact with the water about 6 feet in front of you and let it skip to the target. All you have to do is let it sink to the bottom, give it a couple of lifts, reel it back in, and move to the next spot.
The biggest thing though is to get out and practice. You’re going to get tangled and it’ll probably get a bit frustrating but that’s the game of trying something new. Stick with it because being able to skip bait is one of the more effective ways to fish. Most people can’t do it and most people can’t get to the spots where you’ll be able to. That’s why you’ll catch more fish.
Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.
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