Learn how to rig jigheads onto various soft plastics popular for inshore fishing. When you do, you'll catch more speckled trout and redfish!
The fishing in Louisiana can get really good.
It’s so good a novice can fish with poorly rigged tackle and still catch a fantastic box.
I know, because I used to be that guy.
But when the fish got finicky I stopped catching them so easily!
I eventually learned how to throw a jig, and part of that journey was learning to properly rig jigheads in the first place.
Once I mastered that, I began catching more speckled trout and redfish, especially when the bite got tough.
How to Properly Rig Jigheads and Soft Plastics
In this blog post you'll learn how to rig jigheads onto:
Orient The Lure On The Jighead Correctly
The tail must be pointed down and the hook pointed up.
This is how paddle tail baits are made to swim through the water.
Straight tail baits don’t have this feature, so rig them on a jighead them with the belly down.
One exception to these rules are the Deadly Dudley Rat Tails. Rig those with the textured side up.
Berkley Live Gulp Shrimp in New Penny are another. Sometimes they have the darker color on the bottom of the lure, rather than on top.
Rig these with the darker color on the bottom.
Sparkle beetles can be rigged with the red dot on the side, top or bottom.
The above picture depicts the incorrect way to rig jigheads.
They are crooked, upside down and, like the sparkle beetle, just plain wrong.
The soft plastics below are oriented correctly on a jighead.
Rig Jigheads So the body Is straight, not crooked
If a soft plastic has a straight back then it needs to be rigged onto the jighead in such a manner that it remains straight.
The above picture is not the correct way to rig jigheads onto a Vortex Shad.
The body needs to be straight so it swims correctly and hook sets are complete.
This is how it’s done! You want the body straight so the paddle tail can do its job.
Also, the hook is exposed more to better pin the fish.
Rig Jigheads To Be centered, not off to the side
The hook must exit the lure’s body in the center or the bait will not swim correctly.
A funny-swimming bait is less likely to get bit by a fish and makes for inconsistent action when swapping colors or fresh bodies.
If the hook exits the body off-center the lure will swim at an odd angle through the water.
This can deter a fish from striking, especially during difficult bites like this fishing trip from January 15th, 2019.
You want to rig jigheads so that the hook exits dead center from the lure body.
This way the lure swims straight through the water and fish are more likely to bite.
A simple trick to rig jigheads is to lay it over the lure body to visualize where the hook should exit.
This way you get it right the first time and avoid destroying the soft plastic with multiple attempts.
How To Rig Jigheads On Curly Tail Grubs
Rig these like any other soft plastic, but with the special consideration that the tail is facing down, opposite from the hook.
This way water flows against it, and not with it, creating maximum action as the bait falls.
So now you know how to properly rig jigheads on popular soft plastics used for inshore fishing: paddle tail swimbaits, straight tail soft plastics and curly tail grubs.
While these details are not as important as finding fish in the first place, they do make a significant impact when the bite gets tough.
If you'd like to learn more, then you should check out this blog post about 3% Theory.
Want to see how I fish these lures to catch limits of fish? Check out my fishing trip reviews.
That’s 100% the truth! Thank you for commenting.
The difference between fishing and catching are the little things, pay attention !!!
That’s why fishing is awesome, one never stops learning. Thank you for commenting.
I’m 78 and just learned a new trick they all add up thanks
Thank you, Louis!
Very good information!
I’m glad you took time to read it and especially glad you enjoyed it. Thank you!
Wow! I needed this.
Thank you. (Im 47 and still learning)
Very helpful information here Devin. Thanks and keep this stuff coming.
It works for Michael Iaconelli, and he’s won $2,650,205 in Bassmaster events alone. I’d say that’s the way to rig a curly tail grub. lol
Of course, speckled trout are not nearly as discerning as largemouth bass, at least not the smaller schooling types often targeted by inshore anglers.
I’m sure there’s a lot of 3% Theory going on there, but since it takes virtually zero effort to do, it’s how I rig it anyway.
Thanks for commenting!
Have I been rigging my curly tail grubs wrong my whole life?Always rig hook and tail up and. Am a trout fisherman first of all salt species.
Yes, I have. It’s referred to as “Whacky Rigging”. I have not seen it to be more effective than what’s described here for catching inshore species, especially speckled trout.
Have you ever heard of technique where a plastic lure is intentionally hooked belly side up to mimic an injured bait fish?
“Place the jighead on top of the soft plastic to see how it should be threaded and you will get it right every time.” Something so simple, yet it never crossed my mind! Thanks.
I’m glad you liked it!
Learned a lot. Thanks