Deep Jigging:- jig patterns connections and knots

Fishing Equipment

Knots and Hooks, how to jig for salmon

Jigs are a great method for predators and can be retrieved in different ways. A straight wind with the reel handle can catch, but it is better to bounce them very, very slowly along the bottom. Flick the rod tip and retrieve the slack line. Keep repeating this. Swims with little weed are the easiest to target.

Knots & Rigs

BY MARK WILLIAMS

Deep Jigging

published: FISHING WORLD Magazine | 03 - 2007

DURING the past eight years that this column has featured in Fisho, the contributions of many fine anglers have been an integral part of its success. One of the regulars has been my good mate Scott Thorrington of Haven Charters (ph 0419 440 869) based at Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast. Scotty and I go way back to the early 1980s when we were both starting out as young fishos getting serious about the LBG scene on Avoca's famed rock ledges. Since then he's gone on to become a superb all-round charter boat skipper having served his apprenticeship working the decks of marlin boats in Kona and graduating through to skippering a vessel during the Cairns heavy tackle black marlin season. His accumulated knowledge of the world of billfishing is extensive and I'm sure that he's been involved in far more marlin captures than the rest of the Central Coast's populations efforts combined.

In recent seasons Scott has added yet another string to his bow. When the billfish depart the NSW Central Coast for warmer waters each year he's been providing his clients with consistent red-hot deepwater jigging action for hard fighting yellowtail kingfish. He's recently collaborated with Dave Butfield on the Kingfish Secrets DVD as well as some fishing segments on Fox so he's certainly got the runs on the board when chasing hoodlums on jigs. Luckily. Scotty is always happy to share his knowledge with clients and Fisho readers. When chasing deepwater kingfish you rely totally on having a quality sounder or fish finder to locate the fish. Scotty has found that the kingfish often congregate on the up-current side of structure such as reefs or pinnacles and they can often be quite a distance off the structure. It's vital to use a jig of sufficient weight to reach the fish and in shallow waters of 40m or less he recommends lures such as the 150 gram Daiwa Sacrifice Sticks or 200 gram Spanyid Raiders. For deepwater locations in excess of 90m or where you're trying to get a jig down to fish in strong current or wind you'll probably need to use jigs in the 250 to 300 gram range.

Gelspun lines are the only way to go for deepwater jigging and Scott prefers the coloured braids such as Oaiwa Sensor Braid or Sunline PE Jigger 8 HG with 50 to 60 pound braids for use in his NSW home waters and 80 pound in the tropics.The colour marking system of these braids allows you to drop lures accurately to the depth that marked fish are holding. Like most charter operators Scott prefers a fast, reliable rigging system and simply runs two metres of 100 pound hard mono leader material. He prefers Nitra-X or Penn 10X. This he connects to the braid main line using a 50 turn Bimini twist/Albright knot combination. For leader to jig connections he prefers a hard knot such as a uni-knot. Like many seasoned fishos, Scott mistrusts snap swivels when jigging kings as he's seen them come undone with the kingfish attacking the head of the lure. A single Assist hook is rigged to the head of all his jigs with preferred patterns being the 4/0 Daiwa saltwater Assist pattern and

the 8/0 Williamson single Assist pattern. Always check the gape of the hook pattern you intend using to ensure it doesn't jam or catch on the body of the lure. For low light conditions the jigs with glow in the

dark finishes work well.

These can be charged up by a burst with a camera flash As far as retrieve styles go it pays to be always varying your style and speed throughout the day until a pattern emerges. Long skinny jig patterns usually require a lot of speed whereas the shorter fat models have more inbuilt action and often don't have to be worked quite as hard. High speed deepwater jigging can be bloody hard work and if you're running out of steam Scotty recommends dropping a big soft plastic such as a Sluggo down on a paternoster rig but replacing the snapper lead with a big jig as an extra attractant.

A good quality gimbal belt is a must when you're going to be spending a day battling these underwater diesel locos unless you want to end up with your lower abdomen and groin covered in bruises. Scott recommends you take your jigging outfit into the shop to ensure you purchase the right style of gimbal belt that perfectly suits the butt length of your jig rod. He also recommends the Saltiga jigging gloves for protecting your hands while handling heavy leaders and fish and to guard against friction burns or blisters while palming those big threadline

spools during torrid jigging sessions. Scott runs Saltiga threadline jigging outfits for his clients and commented about their amazing durability. I'm looking forward to getting out there with him over the coming months and giving the new Penn International

Torque 300 overhead a real work out as this is the style of fishing that it's designed for (see my review in the February issue). Lastly. Scott recommends the use of a large landing net when jigging kingfish so you can release the fish not required and not damage the flesh of those you intend keeping. Fish kept for the table should be bled and kept in an ice slurry to maintain the best possible eating quality. Editor's note: Check out Guesty's piece on jigging on p10 of this issue.

A good rig

A large king charges prey at full speed because, unlike many species, it has no suction power. It can't open its mouth and inhale a baitfish like other many fish can. So, it must come at its victim full blast, hoping to strike it and swallow it in one fell swoop.

Good rig for livebaiting Livebaiting kings

A good rig for livebaiting kings on the beach. Here on the diagram below titanium wire is used, it snells and ties same as monofilament, but protects against teeth. For the longer shock leader, fluorocarbon seems to get more bites than monoline, either one helps prevent pulled hooks by adding some spring to that otherwise non-stretch braided line.

The jig is back in style.

The other day I was out checking a few spots in Lemon Bay trying to keep up on current fishing conditions. I had to cancel a few trips because of cold and windy weather and experience has taught me that the fishing will change as quickly as the weather this time of year; so it pays to do a little prefishing to locate fish when you have fishing trips coming up. The next day I was scheduled to take three of my Fishing College students on a trip to leam how to jig fish. So I figured I would load the boat with the six rods I was going to use and take them out for a little test drive. Each one was rigged with a different jig head and a different colored tail.

Being a lazy sort of fisherman I didn't want to spend a lot of time on the water finding fish; so I went to the nearest grass flat and started to drift. On the third east I hooked a fish: I took that as a good sign because if the ladies are biting, usually everything else is biting. I grabbed another rod with a different jig combination and continued. First cast, a nice trout. Then I started to wonder how long it would take me to catch a fish on each rod and jig combination. Right then I realized I just invented a new sport- Speed Fishing a soon to be Olympic Sport. I could see it now, teams in brightly colored jump suits trying to beat the clock and catch the most fish, or maybe relay teams passing the rod from member to member after catching a fish; how about a fast cast contest-fastest cast in the South. Then I took a deep breath; and realized I had to really cut down on caffeine.

It took me about 30 minutes to catch six fish on six rods with six different jig c ombinations. For some reason this feat gave me a profound sense of accomplishment. When I have my favorite rod in my hand I feel like Babe Ruth with his favorite bat or Michael Angelo holding on to a paint brush. When I am using the jig I feel I am the equal of any fishermen and if there are any fish around, they better watch out. For me the jig is my ultimate confidence bait; the one lure I would want if I was stuck on a deserted island.

The jig is about as simple as you can get, a weighted hook with a chunk of plastic on it. What the fish thinks it is , I'm not really sure but they sure want to bite it.

The jig has several things going for it. It's cheap, portable and effective. Back in the day, everyone used live shrimp for bait . It's funny now shrimp is between $2.50 and $3.50 a dozen now, and people back then were complaining that 75 cents a dozen was too high a price to pay. If you were fishing for fillets to put on the table economy was everything. For a few bucks you could buy the hot jigs of the day; the Bagley Salty Dog, Mann's Stingray Grubs, 5 tails and 2 jig heads in a package and of course the locally made Trout Touts. No more standing in line waiting in line with your Flow Trol bait bucket, waiting for the bait shop to open. You could just throw a few jigs in your pocket and beat your friends to your favorite fishing spot. Nothing would break your heart more than waiting for first light and finding someone standing in the water next to your hot spotsome things never change.

Successful jigging starts with the right equipment. I prefer a 7 foot, medium action spinning rod with a 2000 series size reel that will hold at least 120 yards of 8 pound in diameter fishing line. Anything bigger than that just gets you tired that much faster. In a good, all day fishing tournament, it's not uncommon to throw that jig a thousand times. Fishing line is critical. I strongly suggest that you use the braided super lines like Power Pro. Because the line does not stretch like monofilament, you get a much higher percentage of hook-ups.

When it comes to jig heads the style is more important than the color or weight. You can get long or short shank, round head or bullet head , screw on or stick on; anything you can imagine someone is trying to sell. The most important thing is to match the jig head to the tail. Most manufacturers like Cotee and CA Ljigs make both heads and tails so it's a good idea to stick with a matched pair.

The best advice I can give as to technique when you are drifting over a grass flat, is to develop a smooth, machine like rhythm. Cast out as far as you can and let the jig hit the bottom, give the rod a quick upward thrust, let the jig settle back down, then reel the handle about two times and repeat. The biggest mistake beginners make is that they jerk and reel at the same time. You have to let the jig go straight down to the bottom before you reel. Most of the time the fish hit the jig when it's dropping. If you get a hit but miss the fish, give the jig a few more jerks before you reel. There was a reason that fish wanted to eat your bait and just because he missed it doesn't mean he's going to give up. These tips are for using a jig while drifting a grass flat. There are other techniques for using jigs in potholes, deep water, under docks and even top water.

Diamond jigs (Single Hook - Diamond Jig Lure)

Many fishing diamond jigs purchased off the shelf come fitted with treble hooks hung on the lure's molded metal ring. This setup presents two problems.

At First, the treble doesn't always result in a firm hook-set, and fish can use the leverage of the hook against the jig to pull free. At Secondly, the hook eye sometimes opens under pressure from large size fish.

Modify diamond jigs for amberjack and tuna by snipping off tne treble hook, then use a stout split ring to add a circle hook. Example: You can use Mustad sizes 11/0 to 13/0 hook. Angler'd think that the circle hook wouldn't work on hard-charging fish because of the quickness of the strike.

But most strikes occur as the jig flutters downward, and this split second of slack allows the hook to lodge in the corner of a fish's mouth. Since switching to this rig, our hookup percentages have improved dramatically, and circle hooks prove much friendlier to big fish.

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