Avid angler Joel Nelson shares his must have summer panfish jigs and breaks down where and how he utilizes each jig.
4 Must Have Summer Panfish Jigs
Anytime you are fishing panfish during the spring and summer months you need a couple of different options depending on the mood of the fish and type of panfish you are chasing.
Somedays the panfish want to chase baits down and other days they may prefer a slower presentation like a jig under a float.
Crappies and bluegills can be choosy at times and it’s important to have a variety of summer panfish jigs available, because the style and type of jig can really make a difference.
There are four jig options that I always have ready to go when chasing summer panfish. Two options that work best with floats and two options that work best casting.
Deciding between which jig to use is all determined by how I want to fish and which panfish I plan to specifically target.
I’ll start with the two summer panfish jigs that I use with floats. The first is the Northland Fire-Fly jig. This is the jig I will choose if I want to specifically target big bluegills with floats.
This jigs slow fall rate and small presentation is perfect for float fishing. It can be fished without the aid of livebait and is available in a variety of great colors. It has a smaller profile than most panfish jigs and is really ideal for bluegills and sunfish.
The Northland Fire-Fly jig is a staple of mine throughout the spring and summer months for big bluegills and is a must for any serious bluegill angler.
The second bait that works great under a float is the Gypsi jig.
Its crystal flash body calls in fish from a distance and big crappies can’t resist it. The Gpysi jig also has a slow fall rate and works best when paired with a float.
The following two baits are better suited for casting and retrieving, jig trolling, or vertically jigging. They really shine when they are fished fast through or around cover.
The first is the Northland Mimic Minnow in a 1/32-ounce or 1/16-ounce size. The 1/32-ounce size is best suited for bluegills, while the 1/16-ounce size tends to produce crappies and perch.
This pre-rigged bait is a perfect option for hungry summertime bluegills and crappies. You can cast this bait along ways out and it’s great for covering water.
You can fish it a number of different ways, but it really shines when fished along the weed edge with a moderately slow retrieve.
My second go-to bait for a cast and retrieve presentation is the Thumper Crappie King by Northland Fishing Tackle.
The Thumper Crappie King is deadly for big crappies. It has a small blade that spinners giving off a ton of flash and vibration as you reel it in. It’s available in a number of different colors and it’s also a great option for jig trolling.
No question about it the Thumper Crappie King one of the best casting and retrieving summer panfish jigs available.