Savage Beauty

So beautiful to look at. Lures and jigs are the jewels of a dad’s fishing tackle box and they’re as close as some men will ever get to owning jewellery. As a child, the shiny silver and bright, enamelled colours were more reminiscent to me of treasure than fishing. And with the vast array of styles, materials and shapes they come in, it’s a surprise anyone can decided what to use from the kaleidoscope of choices. How did someone figure out that a specific tangle of glittered plastic (like those jelly shoes that were popular when I was very young) could attract and hook a voracious snapper, or powerful kingfish? I know they’re meant to mimic food fish, but it seems more like mimicking something about to go out to a fancy dinner and night of dancing than for a final swim.

Much has been written about small lures taking big fish. Known as the ‘jellybean theory’, it refers to fish being similar to people, in that no matter how much you eat, you can always fit in a jellybean or two. Snapper love small to medium sized lures. The trouble is, the small fish as well as the larger ones like lures that fit this profile. In many cases it’s easy to play the numbers game and keep on catching fish until the bigger one comes along.

Jigs, particularly skirted jigs, are maybe not so beautiful and rather lend themselves to being a bit more showy – kind of like the transvestites of fishing.

So what’s a jig? According to Wikipedia: “A jig consists of a lead sinker with a hook molded into it and usually covered by a soft body to attract fish. Jigs are intended to create a jerky, vertical motion, as opposed to spinnerbaits which move through the water horizontally.”

Many pro anglers feel jigs are the most versatile and productive of all artificial lures. They will work for a wide variety of species in almost any type of conditions. Jigs, with the exception of floating jigs, are weighted by melting a metal substance into a liquid and pouring it in a mold which shapes the head and collar. Most jig heads are made of lead which gives the lure its weight. Another popular metal material for weighting jig heads is tungsten, which is heavier than lead and environmentally friendly.

So the next time you have a reluctant child to take out fishing, pull out your collection of lures and see if you can tempt them to interest with some eye candy.

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