WRECK JIGGING PREP
WRECK JIGGING PREP
- Posted by Nick Honachefsky
- On February 8, 2017
When the bite offshore gets slow, why not drop down a jig to bring something tasty home for the table?
Luckily, I’ve been blessed to fish around the Eastern hemisphere from St. Lucia to Montauk to Cabo San Lucas, and sure the glamorous species of marlin, tuna, and other pelagics are the main fare on the menu, I’m always prepared for the species down deep you don’t expect on any given trip. Many “offshore” locations and outfitters simply overlook the bottomfishing opportunity and forgo exploring the reefs and wrecks that hold big time bruisers. Grouper, snapper, amberjack, mackerel and a plethora of unexpected species lay on the bottom and when the pelagic fishery is slow, and you always need to have a bottomfishing back up plan. In any location from Louisiana to the Sea of Cortez, jigging is the finest way to find some serious fare.
In my tackle box, I always have an array of 2 to 12-ounce metal jigs like the Williamson Vortex, Shimano Butterfly, Crippled Herring and Hammered Diamond jigs, while also harboring plenty of 1 to 5-ounce Spro bucktails in white, green, pink and yellow color patterns. Bucktails can be tipped with strips of false albacore, mackerel or any other baitfish locally available. Speed jigging works to attract attention of AJ’s, cero mackerel and cobia that hang above and around a wreck or reef structure, while bounce-tapping the bottom or yo-yo jigging works well to hang snapper, grouper and cod deep down. As you’ll be fishing depths anywhere from 40 to 300 feet in general, prepare two types of jigging set ups – high speed and slower speed.
A high speed spinning set up to snap jigs above the wreck would be a Shimano Stella STL14000SWBXG reel matched with a Shimano Trevala TVS66MH2 rod. A more methodical moderate bottom tapping set up would be a Lamiglas 7040 CT rod matched with a Shimano Torium 20. Any reel should be spooled with 50-pound Power Pro green braid, Albright knot a 10 foot section of 50-lb Trik Fish leader for shock, and tie the jig direct. Bang it out and see what down there. One trip in Panama while filming my TV show, the marlin fishing was slow so we set up on a rocky ledge in 150 feet of water, bounced hammered diamond jigs, and loaded up on 20 to 40-pound mullet snapper and yellowtail snapper. Bottomfishing the structure piles saved the day, as it always seems to do.
Shimano TVS66MH2 Trevala Butterfly Jigging Spinning Rod
Shimano Trevala Jigging Spinning rods are designed to be fished with the deadly Shimano Butterfly jigs, which were developed from an extremely productive Japanese-style jigging system. These are powerful, lightweight and light-action rods to be used with high speed, high power reels, such as Shimano Stella.
Shimano Stella SWB STL14000SWBXG Saltwater Spinning Reel
Shimano announces its new showcase spinning reel series – the Stella SW, offered in sizes and construction features to handle nearly any game fish found in the world’s oceans .
Shimano Butterfly Flatside Jigs
Shimano Butterfly Flatside Jigs feature an innovative design that gives them the best perform when angle-vertical jigging from a drifting boat. The rear/center weight balance design of the Shimano Butterfly Flatside Jig lets it fall to the bottom quickly with a swinging motion. The off-set eyeball position allows the use of two different hooks for an overall better hooking ratio.
Chopper Single Hook Hammered Finish Diamond Jig Lures
Rugged, anti-corrosive and enticing. This hammered finish, diamond jig lure will be sure to attract big game fish with it’s metallic appeal. It simulates an unsuspecting smooth-scaled prey.