So, what is Jika Rig fishing? Well, it is like a Texas rig and a jig, and a drop-shot. You can buy them online, but they are freakishly easy to build yourself for wicked cheap. How to make a Jika Rig? Basically, you attach a split ring to a hook and then a drop-shot or casting-style weight to the split ring (you can add a second split ring if you like).
If you want the Ferrari of Jika Rigs, you can upgrade the components with a Ring Eye hook, an oval split ring, and a tungsten drop-shot weight. The solid ring provides a superior point to tie to compared to a standard split ring: on a rig that leads with an unprotected knot, every little bit helps. You’ll tie it to the split-ring or solid ring and put whatever bait you want on the hook. So far, the Jika seems to excel with creature baits like a Pit Boss.
Jika rig also does really well with smaller creature baits and craws. Small beaver-style baits have produced very well for me on beds and in the winter.
How to Fish a Jika Rig?
Now, how does it fish? The Jika Rig is relatively snag-free; I would say it hangs up less than a jig. That means you can fish it in a variety of places. It excels in brush and rock and casts very well. The only cover it doesn’t excel in is a weed (though with a Ring Eye hook at a small weight, it does pretty well). All this means you have versatile, customizable bait. And it looks different than anything else. The profile in the water and on the bottom is not the same as a jig or Texas rig, or drop-shot, and that is the key. It is something the fish haven’t seen before, and they react well to it.
I’ve had success fishing a Jika Rig in many of the situations you’d normally fish a drop-shot, jig, shaky head, or Texas rig. You can hop, drag, and shake it. However, the best application for a Jika is probably as a bed bait. I had more than my usual (low) level of success this spring, throwing it on beds. It sits in one place very nicely, and the fish definitely seem to get more annoyed by it than a jig. I can almost guarantee you’ll have success with it with some variation to suit your local waters.
I just finished 3rd in the Virginia Tech Bass Fishing Team‘s Club Tournament of the year. It was a huge improvement on our last effort, and though we failed to adjust to the fish and were perhaps a bit narrow-minded, our extensive pre-fishing and my experiences with the Jika Rig absolutely paid off.
Here is a brief outline of our strategy for the tournament. We planned to catch a limit on jerk baits off a point to start the day. Then, to fish brushy docks with drop-shots and Jikas for upgrades, with perhaps a trip into the hot hole for an extra keeper. That’s what we did.
And it might have worked very well. Unfortunately, for the first time ever, my secret point wasn’t loaded with keeper spots. And many of my docks were in waves and strong wind. We could only sneak one out of the hot hole, and we missed two fish.
Obviously, we could have done things differently with Jika Rig fishing. However, the Jika produced two slammer spots as planned which was a pleasant confirmation and might have kept us doing the same thing for too long.