Trimming jigs | Bassmaster

Trimming jigs | Bassmaster

Full skirt

Here, Lane basically fishes a 5/8- or 1/2-ounce jig right out of the package with the stock jig at full length and thickness. He has particular preferences for this straightforward approach, but notes that it’s always a good entry point — one that may prevent you from overdoing it, but clearly offers the option for adjustment.

“If you have any doubts of what to do with your skirt, I would start off with that full skirt,” he said. “If you’re having trouble getting bites, or if the fish are pressured, then you would trim the skirt down.

“If the fish are really aggressive and they’re biting — maybe it’s a prespawn time of year — and they’re really engulfing the jig, then don’t change anything. But if you’re trying to catch bigger fish, then bulk up your jig with a bulkier jig or even that living rubber.”

Strategy Point: “The full skirt with longer strands will have more movement, so keep that in mind for your presentations,” Lane said. “That might be good under clear water conditions and pressured fish.”

Thinned skirt

With interior strands trimmed for less bulk, this skirt style on a 3/8- to 1/2-ounce jig fitted with a Big Bite Baits Yo Daddy is Lane’s skipping package. Fewer strands create less peripheral drag and allow the trailer to remain the primary contact point. With a proper roll cast, this ensures a smooth, consistent surface for the skip.

Docks get most of the attention, but overhanging trees or anything casting shad on the water is fair game.

Rooster collar

Leaning on this one for his finesse jig work, Lane trims a 1/4-ounce jig skirt’s leading strands to make them bristle around the collar and fits the jig with a 3-inch Big Bite Baits Yo Mama, or a shortened Yo Daddy. Here are two of his top uses:

“A great time to use this one is on a highland reservoir with rocky/pea gravel banks where fish are spawning off the banks in 7-8 feet,” Lane said. “You may not be able to see the fish, but if you get a pattern going on where they’re spawning, they cannot turn down that finesse jig on 12-pound line.

“In the fall, on southern impoundments, you have fish that go to the back of the creeks and they’ll position on isolated pieces of wood. Topwaters are good in the morning, but when the water temperature increases up in the day, it can be hard to make them bite. But pitching that little finesse jig around isolated pieces of wood in the backs of creeks is a great way to catch them.”

Tools and tackle

Standard scissors or line shears will handle your skirt trimming needs, but Lane advises stainless steel for longevity in the elements. He also recommends frequent blade oiling to keep your trimming tool operating smoothly.

Tired of vacuuming skirt strands off your carpet? Here’s a life hack that’ll save you some clean up time: Lay the removable lid from one of your bulk storage boxes below your trimming zone to catch all those unwanted pieces. When you’re done, brushing them into wherever you toss your trash is quick and simple.

While line size varies by scenario, Lanes’ standard jig outfit is a 7-2 Denali Covert medium-heavy rod with a 7:1 reel. He can work with a 6:1, but the higher speed can be a moment-saver.

“Say you make a skip and there’s a little bit of wind that blows a bow in your line; you pick up and you don’t instantly feel the bite,” he explains. “Those extra inches of line you take up with that 7:1 is going to give you more advantage to get the hook in him.”

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