Thursday, December 17, 2009

To Snap or Knot

Make no mistake about it, winter fish are fussy and picky about what they will hit. The other night I fished an area with about five other guys. Everyone was using the same stuff, light colored flukes on a lightweight jighead. Another guy and I landed about 30 fish while most of the other fishermen went fishless. What gives here? I'm guessing the attachment of the jig to the line had a lot to do with it.

Here are three ways it can be done with the advantages and disadvantages to each of them. First off (at left), tie on a small snap and snap the jig onto the line. This works out well if you change jigs often. However, there are times that the fish will not take it when a snap is involved. The rule of thumb in jig fishing is to go with the least amount of hardware possible.

Second choice (at right) is to tie a hard knot such as improved clinch knot. This is an easy knot to tie and often works out well. However, sometimes angle of this hard knot holds the jighead in the wrong position, making the movement of the plastic unnatural.

Third choice (at left), the best choice, is to use a Rapala knot. This looped knot allows free movement of the jighead and the plastic body. Realize, though, it is a pain in the fingers to tie on a cold night, especially if you want to change jigs often.

On some nights when the fish are active, it makes no difference on how you attach. On other nights when the fish are picky, it makes all the difference in the world.

For more information on tying the Rapala knot and other fishing knots, go to This is the best website I have ever seen for how-to info on tying knots.