I live close to the Sacramento River in Rio Vista, CA, it's current is usually very heavy. I usually use anchovies for strippers and use a second rod to practice with lures. When I can afford it, I'll buy mud-suckers. I fish almost everyday and doing the same thing over and over again is getting tedious. I'd like to know how to make a proper jig and how to use it for those conditions. Diagrams or links to diagrams or videos would be awesome.

1 Answer 1


I assume you are asking about striped bass. Although I have never fished for stripers (or rockfish, depending on where you are) on the Pacific side of the USA, this is the species that surf anglers in the Northeast target most passionately. Many of the best places to find them are those with strong currents and places to hide in ambush.

These conditions often require fairly heavy lures, and the bucktail jig rigged with pork rind is typically what anglers use to get down to where the fish are. The weight you need will depend on the depth of the water and strength of the current - and you'll have to play around a bit (and probably lose a few to snags) to figure out exactly what you need. But you want enough weight so that a steady slow retrieve keeps the bucktail 1.5 - 2 feet above the bottom

A good way to start would be to use a 2 oz. bucktail with a 6" or so pork rind. I favor red/white, but local anglers would know what works best. Cast the lure and let it sink until it hits bottom (you may get a strike on the descent.) Start cranking steady and relatively slowly - imagine a non startled fish swimming along lazily. After you have the lure moving well, stop cranking and count how long it takes to hit the bottom again. You want it to be 2-3 seconds or so. If it takes longer, it is running too high and you need more weight. Less time and it's too high and you need less weight. This is the bare bones basics, but it should get you started.

John Skinner is a local author and accomplished angler. His videos are worth watching - and his books worth buying. Here's on on fishing bucktails

On the south shore of Long Island we also use small diamond jigs with rubber tube tails. This might be more in line with what you are thinking, but we really only use these when the bass are focusing on sand-eels in the surf. And we use small ones - too small to be of much use in deep fast moving water.

With both of these lures, the most common way to rig them is to tie a 5-6' length of 20 - 40 lb test fluorocarbon leader to your main line. And then tie the jig directly to the leader. No swivels or snaps. The fluorocarbon, while tough, will not stand up to much Bluefish action, so you'll need to switch to wire leader if they're around.

  • Thank you, sir. That's enough for me to get started. There is one discrepancy between Skinner's advice and yours. - No swivels or snaps, but Skinner says use them because cutting your lead all the time is a pain. -This certainly applies to me because I take forever with setup (I rarely lose anything though). So to save time I'll start off with a leader only rod and take another rod with a swivel/leader. Thanks.
    – zer00ne
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 17:53
  • Yes. I used to use a wire leader with a snap. Some say that stripers are wire-leader shy, but I'm not convinced. I switched to the no hardware setup on the recommendation of a local tackle shop owner, and have the knots down so that switching lures takes less than 30 seconds changing my fluorocarbon takes maybe a minute and a half. Regarding the conflicting advice - I know many that fish with and many that fish without wire leaders. I certainly wouldn't argue either way - except that without snaps you need snips to cut the line when changing lures.
    – That Idiot
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 17:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.