When it comes to lures, it doesn’t get much more basic than the diamond jig. One key to its effectiveness is that it imitates a variety of baitfish, from squid to herring. The lure’s flat, reflective sides catch the light and draw the attention of predators, which are also attracted to the erratic wobbling action. You can find diamond jigs in different sizes and adorned with everything from bucktail to rubber tubes. While the latter work well in certain situations, such as when small sand eels are prevalent, a plain jig rigged with a single hook usually does the job nicely.
Most diamond jigs come rigged with a treble hook, but many anglers remove the treble and replace it with a single Siwash hook, which results in better hook-sets and also makes it easier to release undersized fish.
Small 1/2- to 1-ounce diamonds work well in situations where peanut bunker, silversides and juvenile herring and butterfish are on the menu and the depth is less than 20’. Medium jigs in the 2- to 4-ounce range are great for targeting fluke and sea bass in moderate depths (20’ – 40’) and current, while jigs in the 6- to 8-ounce range do a good job of imitating larger squid, bunker and herring in deep water (40’ – 70’) and strong current.
Fishing a diamond jig is pretty straightforward. You can cast and retrieve them parallel to the surface when fish are feeding in the upper part of the water column, or you can drop them straight to the bottom and jig them vertically.
There are several ways to vertical-jig a diamond, depending on the species you are targeting. For fluke, sea bass and other bottom fish, simply hop the jig over the bottom using short, sharp 6” lifts of the rod tip. Make sure the lure taps bottom on every drop by letting out more line as you drift along.
When jigging for striped bass in a deep rip/reef situation, free-spool the jig to the bottom, engage the reel and take 5 to 10 quick cranks of the reel, then free-spool the jig back to the bottom. Be sure to keep your thumb on the spool as the jig flutters toward the bottom, as many fish will hit it on the drop. If you feel a tap or a hesitation of the jig’s descent, clamp your thumb down on the reel spool and lift sharply.
Use a 4’ – 5’ leader and attach the diamond jig to the leader with a non-slip mono loop knot, which gives the lure more freedom of movement.
Most diamond jigs come rigged with a treble hook, but many anglers remove the treble and replace it with a single Siwash hook, which results in better hook-sets and also makes it easier to release undersized fish. In recent years, some diamond-jiggers have also found that adding an Owner Dancing stinger hook to the top eye of the jig has increased their hook-up ratio.