Regardless of the weather conditions or time of year, I keep a jig tied on at all times. Some of the biggest bass of my life can be attributed to jigs and although I may not always get a bunch of bites on ‘em, I know they’ll be the right ones.
When I heard about the new Strike King Baby Structure Jig, I was naturally intrigued. It was designed by the best jig fisherman in the world, Denny Brauer, so I figured it had to be something special that could help me catch a few more fish. After several months of repeated casts, flips, skips and pitches, it has become a big part of my bass fishing arsenal.
Here’s what I found most noteworthy about this jig:
- Excellent hookup ratio
- Sharp hook
- Stays intact
More surface area results in better sensitivity
Sensitivity is a huge factor whenever I’m purchasing a jig. It’s easy to detect bites when you feel that trademark “thump” on the end of your line, but in my personal experience, the biggest bass often bite the lightest. So I want to be able to feel everything my jig is doing at all times.
The Strike King Baby Structure Jig was designed with a “Cobra-Head” design, meaning the head of the jig closely resembles that of a cobra. To be honest, I raised my eyebrow when I first saw it because it’s not something I’m accustomed to, but it has definitely increased my sensitivity whether I’m fishing in shallow or deep water.
If you really think about it, the concept makes a lot of sense. Because the head has such a wide middle section, the surface area is increased as it sits on the bottom. This large midsection allows the head to come into contact with more cover such as wood and rock, which transmits more feeling to your rod tip.
My recent night fishing endeavors really opened my eyes to the Baby Structure Jig’s sensitivity. I’ve been having a lot of success casting this jig to brush piles on the outside-edge of dock lights. I can’t see my line or watch my rod tip in these situations, which has forced me to rely entirely on the feel of the jig. Regardless, I’ve been able to feel the slightest changes in bottom composition and, most importantly, light bites from wary nighttime bass. It hasn’t been the least bit difficult to feel even the smallest “tick” when a bass bites.
When they bite, you tend to catch them
Whether I’m guiding fishing trips or simply taking a buddy fishing for an afternoon, I notice a lot of issues with hookup ratio when fishing jigs. For the very same reason some professional anglers refuse to peg the weight on their Texas rigs, the stationary heads on many jigs force the bass’ mouth open on the hookset.
If a bass gets both the hook and the weight inside its mouth, you’ll often “blow out”—or pop open—its lips when it comes time to set the hook. This often leads to missed fish and lots of frustration.
The Baby Structure Jig’s head design, however, has seemed to make a very noticeable difference when it comes to hookup ratio. If you’ll notice, the wide midsection of the head tapers signifcantly as it nears the hook of the jig which prevents the bass from getting a mouthful of lead when it bites.
I’m also a big fan of the weed guard. It’s tough to find one with a suitable balance of stiffness and limpness— if it’s too rigid your hookup ratio will suffer and if it’s too flimsy you’ll get snagged on everything imaginable. But this particular weed guard enables me to pitch the Baby Structure Jig underneath gnarly docks and into really thick laydowns with very minimal hang-ups while still allowing for excellent hook penetration.
It has a great hook
If you’re using a jig with a wimpy hook, you might as well stick it in your rod locker and head home. It sounds drastic, but it’s true. Jig fishing is synonymous with giant hooksets so it’s essential to have a beefy hook that will stand up to anything you can throw at it.
This jig comes with a razor-sharp and super-tough Owner hook that, regardless of how hard I set the hook, will not bend or warp when it’s put under an intense load. It’s a bit small in order to match the subtle profile of the jig, but I haven’t had any issues pinning big bass in the bend of the hook.
Because the Baby Structure Jig is an excellent choice for fishing rocky banks, I’ve paid close attention to the hook’s ability to maintain a sharp point. I’ve been very impressed and have yet to experience any noticeable loss of sharpness. It’s also worth noting that I haven’t had any hook points roll over, which can be a common problem with very sharp hooks.
The skirt stays intact and doesn’t rot
If you’ve had it happen to you in the past, you know how frustrating it can be. You’ll use a jig for a few hours, stick it back in your tackle box and a few weeks later it falls to pieces when you pick it up. If this happens with a particular jig, I’ll never buy the same one again.
The Baby Structure Jig is constructed wonderfully and even after dozens of fish catches, the skirt and rubber band stays intact. I’ve fished with a lot of jigs whose skirts will become uneven and mangled after an aggressive strike from a big bass, but I haven’t had to tinker with this skirt at all. I’ll catch a fish, unhook it and get right back to casting.
If you like to fish jigs, this is a great finesse jig that catches fish in some really tough conditions. It’s available in 1/4 and 3/8-ounce models, making it an excellent choice whenever you’re faced with stubborn bass.