As a local trout fisherman, float fishing marabou jigs has become one of my preferred methods for catching steelhead and brown trout on the Oswego River. Shortly after I began trout fishing, I saw an old man named Ken who was catching a bunch of trout on white marabou jigs under a float. I spoke with him about that technique and started fishing the same way. Over the past decade, I've caught more trout in Lake Ontario tributaries while float fishing marabou jigs compared to any other method. After using marabou jigs from Walmart that were made for panfish, I soon realized that I needed a better quality hook to land big trout. So I began hand tying my own marabou jigs for personal use and now sell them as Ozzy Jigs.
The basic concept for float fishing Ozzy Jigs is to set the distance between your float and jig so that your jig is suspended a couple inches off bottom. Brown trout are more likely to bite a jig that's dragging along bottom while steelhead are more likely to rise up off the bottom and take your jig. Upon arriving to a new fishing spot, adjust your float so the distance between your jig and float is longer than how deep you think the water is. If you cast out and your float is dropping because your jig is getting hung up on bottom, then you can slide your float down your line a few inches until your jig is suspended off bottom. I like having my jig about 6 inches off bottom, but you're in the strike zone if the jig is ticking bottom up to a foot off it. If I'm not getting bites, then I fish the jig deeper because those trout are hanging around bottom most of the time.
We float fish 4 different sizes of Ozzy Jigs; 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, and 1/64 ounce. 1/8 & 1/16 ounce are preferred sizes for rivers such as the Oswego River, Salmon River, Genesee River, and Niagara River. 1/32 & 1/64 ounce are preferred sizes for creeks such as Sandy Creek, Maxwell Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, and 18 Mile Creek. These smaller sizes are also effective on Finger Lake tributaries as well. When it comes to jig colors, steelhead seem to have a preference for pink and white while brown trout are more likely to hit green and black.
There are 3 key features about Ozzy Jigs that make them such an effective lure for catching steelhead and brown trout.
- Quality Jig Hook: Mustad 2X strong jig hooks are very strong and will not bend unless put under extreme pressure when snagged on bottom. The conical hook point and micro barb ensure solid hook-sets and easy hook removal. Strong enough for large trout and salmon.
- Krystal Flash: We tie six strands of krystal flash material into the marabou tails on each jig, which gives that jig a baitfish like shimmer that makes trout more likely to strike.
- Powder Paint Jig Heads: Powder paint is baked onto our jig heads, giving the colored jig head a more durable finish. With enough use, some paint may chip off from bouncing off rocks, but that's the nature jig fishing.
Ozzy Jigs are available for sale at The Oz Bait & Tackle Shop in Oswego NY and online at ozangling.com. Value packs are available in 1/8 and 1/16 ounce for anglers who want to get a deal for purchasing 4 jigs at a time. (Ozzy Jig Value Pack)