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Jacksonville Fishing Trips
1578 Live Oak Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32246
(904) 866-8055

John Shepherd – Spotted Trout Summer 2015


So you’ve decided that you want to go inshore saltwater fishing in northeast Florida to try and catch the “grand slam” — a flounder, a redfish, and a speckled trout. You’ve heard some great things about using artificial bait to target these species. You know you need a jig head and grub, but you’re not sure which jig head to use? There are so many nuances in color combinations and jig weight and you’re not sure which to choose… Well, in this article we’ll go over choosing the best jig head weight for targeting trout, flounder, and redfish and which to use in each specific situation.

The first step to catching inshore saltwater fish with artificial lures is picking out a jig head. There a many out there, so it can be a bit daunting. First you need to choose which species of fish you wish to target, that way you’ll have an idea of the water depth you’ll be fishing in. Once that is decided, you’ll have a better idea of which weight to choose.

The standard, double eye, flat side jig head in both 1/8 and 1/4 ounce weights are great choices for targeting inshore fish in northeast Florida. That particular style jig head, with its small profile, will get a solid hook on the fish, and will rust out quicker if swallowed. H&H, Wahoo, Arkie, and Cotee all manufacture these jig heads. There are many benefits to using a hook that rusts quickly, but I’ll save that for a future article. For now we’re just focusing on weight.

Standard double eye, flat side jig heads
Standard double eye, flat side jig heads
Weight is critical in deciding which jig head to use because it determines two things: the speed at which the lure descends and the depth at which it bottoms out. The fall speed is important because the lure should “swim” naturally enough to fool the fish. If it’s too heavy in shallow waters, it will bottom out, and if it’s too light it won’t be able to reach deep enough waters. So, much of the decision depends on which species of fish you are targeting. For shallow water fish like flounder, I would probably use an 1/4 oz. jig head, and for a deeper water fish like trout, a lighter 1/8 oz. jig head would be preferable. Below is a list of suggestions for targeting the “grand slam.”

Using 1/8 oz and 1/4 oz jig heads to target trout, flounder, and redfish:

An 1/8 ounce jig head will have a slower fall.
A 1/4 ounce jig head will help stay in contact with the river bottom.
An 1/8 ounce jig head, depending on current strength, will handle depths of up to 5 ft.
A 1/4 ounce jig head will handle depths further than 5 ft (but that is not always the case).
When targeting flounder in shallow water under 5 feet, a 1/4 ounce jig head is a better choice because of bottom contact.
When targeting trout in 10 ft depths, an 1/8 ounce jig head would be a better choice because of the slower fall rate.
When targeting Redfish, try using a mixture of both 4 and 8 ounce jig heads, as bites can come from both lure weights.
Retrieving fish with a plastic grub on a jig head is an art. It requires patience and practice, but being informed on the many versatile choices of jig heads and plastic grubs will go a long way in refining your art form and catch you some big fish along the way! Next week we’ll follow this series up with another article on how to catch inshore saltwater fish with artificial lures.

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