When you fish soft plastics as much as I do, jig head design makes a huge difference………the way it sits inside your plastic body, the way it casts in the wind, the way it feels when you are working it across the bottom, the way it drives the hook through the mouth, the way it keeps the fish on all the way into the net. I’ve been on the hunt for many years for the perfect jig head. It seems that each one has its pluses and minuses, and it depends greatly on which brand and style of soft plastic bait you fish. I’ve been working with different folks for a couple of years now to develop the perfect jig head for what we do. I use Z-Man soft plastics for 95% of my fishing. I love them for their action and the way they have this ability over other brands to just catch fish. They are also super durable, which is a big bonus for a guide. When we’re on really good fishing, we are often catching schooled up fish like stripers of specs and need a bait that will catch 10 or more fish. I know you can catch way more than that on one Z-Man bait.
Z-Man is offering the Trout Eye jig head, which is a 3/16th ounce jig head with a double barb and large realistic eye. Being the fishermen that they are at Z-Man, they’ve been looking into this with the same level of detail I have. They’ve hit a home run with this one. 3/16th is actually the perfect weight for our shallow water trout, puppy drum, and flounder fishing on the Pamlico. There may be some rare occasions with finicky trout where you might want to go to a lighter head, but for most of what we do, especially flounder fishing where you need to be in contact with the bottom for nearly all of your cast or trout fishing on windy days, the 3/16th is the perfect blend between the 1/8 and 1/4. 1/8 ounce heads can be a little challenging on windy days, especially for more inexperienced anglers, and 1/4 ounce heads can feel a little heavy in shallower water (<5 feet), which is most of what we fish in the Pamlico. The double barb system holds the Z-Man Elaztech plastic in place without any slippage. The hook is very sharp, the bight is just the right width, and the wire is not too thick but thick enough not to break when a bigger fish is ripping drag. The jigheads also work the best I’ve ever seen with other brands of soft plastic baits that have traditional plastic textures and elasticities.
The Trout Eye jigheads are all unpainted but the eyes come in different colors such as pearl, glow (white), yellow, and red. I use nothing but unpainted heads and have been for a couple of years. I just ordered 100 of these with the translucent heads because I think that’s the most natural scenario for small menhaden and finger mullet, which are our two most abundant baitfish in the Pamlico. If you take a close look at a baitfish, their head area is generally a grayish tone and their eyes have a clearish shiny look to them, much like the picture below. There are some exceptions where a bright colored head such as a red, orange, pink, or chartreuse stands out in muddy or off colored water and may get bit better than a natural color; however, in most instances, I stick to the natural stuff, especially in reasonably clear water.
I encourage you to check out these new jig heads from Z-Man. I don’t promote products that I don’t truly believe in and use. I think they will help your fishing. After all, everybody is looking for an advantage.