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Trolling for Striped Bass

Trolling for Striped Bass

For many anglers, striped bass are widely considered to be among the few heavyweight fish that present a serious challenge to even the most experienced fishing enthusiasts.

In order to catch striped bass through trolling, you must have the right kind of tackle, as well as a solid game plan for targeting these monstrous fish.

In addition to all the planning that goes into trolling for striped bass, you must also be ready for a serious fight with a fish that can easily snap rods like a twig or straighten out a poor-quality hook.

In this article, we will cover some of the major tips and techniques used when it comes to trolling for striped bass, as well as some of the best lures to use for a successful outing on the water.

Trolling Overview

Some anglers mistakenly view trolling for striped bass as somewhat of a ‘lazy’ method of fishing that doesn’t actually require as much skill and tactical planning as casting lures or other methods.

This mindset couldn’t be further from the truth as those who have done a fair amount of trolling for striped bass know that this method of fishing requires a significant level of planning and preparation, as well as a decent amount of trial and error to truly become proficient at it.

Trolling over open water requires that an angler be ready for any size fish they might encounter. This entails using heavy gear and tackle that allows you to feel confident about your chances of landing the fish you’re after.

It’s important that you have a thorough understanding of the body of water you’re fishing in, even if it’s in the open ocean where you don’t anticipate coming into contact with any underwater structure.

Trolling for Striped Bass in Open Water

The first, and most important thing to realize, when it comes to trolling in open water is to understand what’s beneath the water’s surface.

If you’re trolling in the open ocean, you can usually avoid most underwater obstructions for the most part. It’s very important, however, that you’re aware of any natural or man-made underwater reefs that you might encounter.

Underwater reefs in the ocean are an excellent location for anglers to fish around or even over the top of to get a bite from striped bass.

There are also going to be shipwrecks, but most of these underwater structures will be so far down in the water column that an angler won’t have to worry about getting snagged on one while trolling by.

When it comes to trolling for striped bass in open water, this is generally meant to describe fishing areas with absolutely no underwater cover or structure at all.

It’s very important that you utilize any sonar or depth-finding equipment to pinpoint any depth changes or rocks and reefs where striped bass might be circling around in search of prey.

Studying various maps and being aware of the underwater landscape beneath your boat will go a long way in making sure that your efforts to troll for striped bass in open water are successful.

Trolling Around Cover or Structure

As with any type of underwater structure or cover, various kinds of fish will be holding very close to these objects like rocks, reefs, and shipwrecks.

Fishing around these types of structure will typically prove to be very rewarding for anglers who put in the time and effort to gain a full understanding of where the striped bass are likely to be found and what type of lure they might strike.

When looking for certain underwater characteristics that might be a reason for striped bass to stick around an area, be sure to make a note of the slightest change in depth as any kind of drop off or bottom contour will sometimes play more of a role that you might think in attracting fish to the area.

Also Read: Night Fishing for Stripers

Like most other opportunistic predators, striped bass will utilize any type of structure or underwater cover to their advantage.

Striped bass will stick close to underwater structures and lie in wait for unsuspecting bait fish to wander by. Like other types of bass, striped bass will ambush their prey in a quick, precise strike that is highly effective.

When it comes to fishing in or around underwater structure, you can usually catch striped bass at almost any time of the year. Knowing where the structure points are in the area you plan to fish will be the first and most important step to trolling for striped bass.

Trolling Techniques

There are a number of different points to remember when it comes to trolling for striped bass. This technique is quite unlike trolling for any other fish as striped bass can be found just about anywhere.

Paying careful attention to the points we will mention will get you started on the right course when it comes to trolling for these behemoth fish in all types of water.

Vary Your Trolling Speeds

As with any type of trolling strategy used for other fish species, many of the same principles apply when it comes to trolling for striped bass.

Also Read: Best Striper Rods

If you troll at a slower speed, you’ll be able to reach a much greater depth. If you expect the fish to be cruising through the water column a bit more shallow, you’ll have to move a bit faster in order to keep your lure at the right level.

Troll With the Current

One of the most productive strategies when it comes to trolling is to move along with the current. This will ensure that your lure stays relatively in the right depth as you move along.

Going with the current is a great way to keep your lure at a deeper level without having to move too slowly while going against the current is a solid plan for fishing at a more shallow depth.

Best Lures and Rigs to Troll for Striped Bass

There are a number of different styles of trolling lures and rigs you can utilize when it comes to trolling for striped bass.

Many of these rigs and lures have been used for decades while some of them are a bit more new and are much less known among anglers.

Deep-diving plugs are an excellent choice for trolling for striped bass. These plugs are also likely the most popular types of trolling lures that have been in use for decades.

There are various styles of plugs and many are made to dive down to certain depths, allowing anglers to fish a specific section of the water column.

Also Read: How to Catch Striped Bass from Shore

Plugs are highly versatile and can be used at deep or shallow depths at any time of the year since striped bass love to feed on small bait fish.

Umbrella Rigs have grown in popularity in recent years as many companies have started producing better versions of these rigs.

There are few things that are more appetizing to a striped bass than a small school of bait fish swimming along, unsuspectingly. If used at the right depth and at the right time of year, umbrella rigs can be the ticket to landing a trophy striped bass.

The classic tube and worm approach is another great choice when it comes to trolling for striped bass.

Also Read: Surf Fishing for Striped Bass

These lures are excellent choices for fishing in warmer months and there are a wide variety of different types of soft plastic worms and flukes that can be used to achieve just the right look and presentation underwater.

Conclusion

Trolling for striped bass is as exciting as any other form of fishing, especially when you find a great location and are able to make several passes, getting bites almost every time.

Using the tips we’ve listed in this article should be a great starting point for anglers who have never gotten into trolling for striped bass, but might be looking for a starting point.

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How to Catch Striped Bass from Shore

How to Catch Striped Bass from Shore

Striped bass are one of the most popular fish in the world due to their potential to grow to enormous sizes, as well as the fact that they can be caught in fresh or saltwater.

Various wildlife programs throughout the United States engage in regular stocking of striped bass in some of the country’s most prominent lakes and rivers, which also adds to the overall appeal from sportfishing anglers who are looking to tangle with these giants.

Most anglers will target striped bass from a boat as these behemoth fish require a special amount of heavy tackle and significant planning and preparation to catch a bonafide trophy striper.

However, in this article, we will discuss some of the ways that anglers can target these types of fish from the shoreline and enjoy a moderate level of success despite the fact that they are typically limited to only being able to fish a fraction of the water that anglers can fish from a boat.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways you can target striped bass and how to maximize your chances of successfully catching them from the shoreline of your favorite local lake, river, or coastal saltwater area.

Best Places to Target Striped Bass

Striped bass are mostly considered a saltwater fish as they are commonly caught along the coastal areas of the United States. For certain portions of the country, striped bass can be caught in greater numbers when these types of fish flock to certain areas to take advantage of various ‘runs’ of specific types of bait fish.

Along the eastern coast of the United States, striped bass can be caught during the spring months as they are typically found chasing after large schools of bait fish like shad and herring.

These runs will often include the striped bass going far up into the reaches of rivers that delve deep into the interior of the continental United States, especially around the southeastern portion.

Anglers can have incredible success when targeting striped bass during the early or even late spring months if they know what areas to focus their efforts on.

Even fishing from the shoreline for striped bass can be highly productive for those who know where to look and just what type of lures and baits to use.

How to Catch Striped Bass from the Shore

It’s highly important that anglers do their research when it comes to fishing and catching striped bass from the shore, regardless of whether they are fishing in saltwater or freshwater bodies of water.

If you are relatively familiar with the shad and herring runs that come through certain areas of a lake or river, it can be quite simple to narrow down the best places to set up along the shoreline and try your luck at catching striped bass.

There are a few major points that you need to take into consideration when planning to target striped bass from the shore. The first of which is using the right kind of tackle.

When it comes to fishing for striped bass (even from the shore) it is highly important that an angler be prepared to hook into a large-sized striped bass, even if they don’t expect to catch one that’s of significant size.

Striped bass can grow to be well over 50 pounds in many cases, which is large enough to render most moderate and medium-sized rods and reels virtually useless should you ever encounter one of this size.

These fish are known to pull especially hard against the angler’s rod, especially at the onset of being hooked.

There are many cases of anglers who have managed to hook a large striped bass, but were woefully unprepared to go toe-to-toe with a trophy-sized striper.

When this happens, it is not uncommon for a large striped bass to strip the drag off a reel, or even snap a light action rod like a twig.

With these facts in mind, it’s highly important that anglers use heavy tackle when fishing for striped bass and be prepared to hook into a monster-sized fish at any time.

Look for the Right Spot

As with any other type of fish, it’s highly important that you find the ideal spot for fishing along the shore for striped bass. This can be tough as these fish are commonly found cruising through open water in search of large schools of bait fish.

However, it is not uncommon for striped bass to pass relatively close enough to the shore for a well-equipped angler to have a shot at catching them.

Whether you’re fishing from freshwater or saltwater shoreline areas, the most important thing you want to look for is any type of drop off or ledge-type of structure.

Also Read: Night Fishing for Striped Bass

These can be prevalent in rivers, lakes, or even along coastal shorelines and anglers who are seasoned striped bass fishing enthusiasts are well-aware of the fact that striped bass will lie in wait on the other side of a ledge or drop-off and attack any bait fish that travel over it.

When it comes to fishing in freshwater, rivers are widely considered to be the best option for catching striped bass from the shore.

Striped bass are known to prowl up and down rivers in search of easy meals that range from small bait fish to moderate-sized fish like trout and even bass.

Using the Right Tackle

For anglers who plan to fish along the shoreline of rivers, it is important to note the rate at which the water is moving.

Striped bass can be found in rivers that contain slow-moving water, as well as relatively fast-moving water as these fish are very strong swimmers and can easily chase down their prey in this type of environment.

If you’re planning to fish in a river with stronger current, be sure to have a heavy enough weight to keep your lure or bait firmly in place to avoid having it swept downstream.

Most serious anglers who regularly target striped bass in rivers recommend using a striper rod that’s at least 8 feet long and a larger-sized reel that’s at least a 5000 size as this will allow you to make longer casts and get farther out away from the shoreline and out toward the middle of the river where the striped bass are likely to be.

Best Lures and Baits

When it comes to catching striped bass from the shore, some of the best baits and lures are going to be relatively the same type that you’d use while fishing from a boat.

Any type of swimbait lure that closely resembles a shad is going to be the best option when fishing for striped bass from the shore.

Also Read: Best Striped Bass Baits

Many anglers also have good amounts of success in using lipless crankbaits and medium-diving crankbaits that can be thrown out a considerable distance from the shore.

The most important key to remember when it comes to fishing for striped bass from the shore is to match your bait and lure to the exact presentation of the specific type of bait fish that the striped bass are going after in your particular body of water.

If you do this well, you’ll have no problem catching plenty of striped bass during these prolific ‘runs’ where they will voraciously chase after bait fish.

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Best Striper Fishing Rods

Best Striper Fishing Rods 2021 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Choosing the best striper fishing rod means matching the rod length, power, and action to the size of stripped bass you are targeting and how you will be fishing for them.

Striped bass varying in size greatly and the tackle required to catch smaller surface schooling fish will be much lighter than when surf casting, live lining or trolling for bigger fish.

The most versatile setup will be a 7 foot, medium power spinning rod with a fast action.

However;

Not everyone will be fishing for smaller sized stripers in an inshore or freshwater location and they may need a much heavier rod and reel.

Below you will find some rod suggestions that will cover jig/casting very light lures all the way up to trolling with larger lures or using large live bait.

  • Medium Power Spinning – 7 foot length, medium power with a fast action
  • Heavy Spinning – 7 or 8 foot length, medium/heavy to heavy power with a moderate action
  • Surf Casting – 8 or 9 foot length, medium/heavy with a fast action
  • Light Conventional – 6’6″ foot in length, medium power with a fast action
  • Heavy Conventional – 6’6″ foot in length, heavy power with moderate action.

Most anglers will not either need or afford all of these rods, so if you looking for a decent first time striper rod for a beginner then the medium power spinning rod is the best choice.

Best Striper Fishing Rods

1. Shimano Teramer Northeast Spinning

Shimano released the Teramer Northeast to specifically match striper fishing and the types of rigs used to target them by anglers along the Northeastern coast of the USA.

The blanks for their thickness are extremely strong and can take a serious beating.

Not only are they strong but they are quick sensitive and easy to cast all day long.

For those unfamiliar with rod blank materials Glass(S and T) is used for rods that need to be very strong, this strength usually comes at the expense of sensitivity.

Shimano achieve a thin but very durable rod blank by creating a T Glass and graphite blend.

Graphite is used to make really light and sensitive rods that allow a lot of feedback from the tip back into the handle, graphite is lighter and weaker than Glass.

Shimano have designed the Teramer with a dynamic core of T Glass material which they then over-wrap with a spiral pattern of high modulus graphite.

The result is the best of both worlds a light sensitive rod that can handle a lot of abuse. 

The rods are then finished off with a split EVA handle, Fuji O Guides, and a Fuji Reel Seat.

They are designed for use Power Pro braid but also run monofilament extremely well too.

For small to medium early season striped bass a 7′ MH(medium/heavy) paired with a size 4000 or 5000 spinning reel is the choice to go for.

For heavy stripers a 7′ H(heavy) paired with a larger 6000 reel is the best bet.

If you are looking to throw lures a decent distance then a 7’6″ will give you the extra casting range to cover more water.


2. Ugly Stik Striper Rods

If you are looking for a rod that can take a serious beating at a very affordable price then chances are Ugly Stik have a rod for you in their line up.

You can bend an Ugly Stik right over on itself and they won’t break that’s just how durable the rod blanks are.

The blanks are built from a blend if graphite and fiberglass so they are both durable and still sensitive at the same time.

These rods are best suited to close in work whether that’s from a boat or a pier. In other words they will not be the best choice for surf casting or all day casting if you are sight fishing for schooling stripers early in the season.

They work best if you are looking for a slightly heavier spinning setup as there are definitely more sensitive rods out there that are better suited to lighter lure and jig work.

Like most Ugly Stik’s they come with Ugly Tuff™ one-piece stainless steel guides, Clear Tip® design for strength and sensitivity and a 7 year warranty.


3. St Croix Tidemaster

St Croix build some of the best performing rod blanks available and the Tidemaster series is designed specifically for saltwater use.

The Tidemasters are specifically built for targeting striped bass and can be used from lighter jigging work to heavier applications on a boat.

They are extremely sensitive and feel well balanced in the hand even after a long day of jigging or casting smaller lures.

When using a lighter setup sensitivity is key particularly if you are targeting smaller striped bass.  

They offer a range of lengths from 6′ to 8′ with varying power rating from medium/light up to heavy. The majority of the models have a fast action, with a few having a moderate action.

The fast action is the one to go for especially when using smaller lures or looking to make pin point casts when sight fishing or working close in.

For smaller lures a medium power rating is spot on.

If you are looking for a heavier spinning setup then the 6’6″ medium/heavy with a fast action is the perfect blend of backbone and sensitivity for targeting larger stripers.

Unlike a lot of other heavier spinning rods the Tidemasters feel quite light in the hand and even this medium/heavy rated rod can be used with lighter lures making them a very versatile rod.

St Croix have a large range of premium freshwater rods on offer and with the Tidemaster series they have really upper the quality if the hardware so that it can withstand the harsh realities of constant saltwater use.

Batson Forecaste hard aluminum-oxide guides feature 316 stainless steel frames for dramatically improved corrosion resistance, especially when compared to more regular 304 stainless steel frames.

The blanks also get two coats of slow-cure finish for added durability.

As ever they are backed by a 5 year St Croix warranty.

The best striped bass fishing rods for the money!


4. Penn Battalion Surf Spinning

Surf casting for striped bass is one of the more popular methods especially during the spring and fall seasons.

Getting your bait out beyond the crashing surf requires a long rod of at least 8′ feet in length at a minimum with 10′ rods not being uncommon.

Longer rods all things being equal will usually cast much further than a shorter rod.

The Penn Battalion series of surf casting rods are some of the best available and at a decent price point too.

Pair one of these with a size 4000 or 6000 size spinning reel and you have your self a pretty good surf casting outfit that can through heavy bait rigs with ease.

With surf fishing you’ll need a medium/heavy power rating and a more moderate action.

The moderate action allows more power to be put into the full length of the rod as you cast compared to a faster action one.

As an example the Tidemasters above would have too fast an action to be a really great surf caster so it is generally considered best to have a dedicated rod for surf casting.

The Battalion are built on a graphite composite blend of 30% fiberglass and 70% graphite, this type of mixed material rod blank gives you lots of power and strength from the addition of the fiberglass while still being light and responsive as graphite is known for.

With surf rods being so long you still need that added sensitivity so you can better judge what is going on in the water.

Purely fiberglass rod blanks although extremely strong do lack sensitivity and can often feel limp and heavy.

They come with Fuji® aluminum oxide guides for better casting performance for both monofilament and braided line.


5. Penn Squal II Star Drag Conventional Combo

When trolling big rigs or plugs you need a rod that can handle the constant pressure, a rod that is rated 6′-6’6″ in length 20-50# class should be capable of handling most striper trolling setups.

If it is your first time buying a trolling rod setup then I would strongly recommend a rod and reel combo as they are a great way to save money.

You can always up grade in two or three years if your fishing tactics require a more heavy duty setup.

Penn conventional rods and reels are some of the highest quality available and buying a boat rod as a combo is one of the best ways to save some money particularly if you are just starting out.


Striper Fishing Rods

Buying a striper fishing rod can be a daunting task particularly if you are new to fishing in general.

While choosing a reel is generally straight forward, rods are a different story as there are many different attributes that affect how the rod performs and what style of fishing it is best suited to.

The easiest way to choose a rod is to know how, where, and what weight the fish will be that you are targeting.

Smaller stripers caught inshore ca be caught on a smaller spinning setup, but larger fish caught on a boat or by surf casting do need more specialized rods.

Type

There are three main types of rods used for striper fishing:

  • Spinning 
  • Surf Casting
  • Conventional

What Size Rod for Stripers

The size or length of rod is usually determined by where you will be fishing.

Longer rods can cast longer distances.

Surf casting rods for example are much longer than every other type of rod as the longer length helps to achieve greater casting distances.

Boat rods are shorter as a longer rod can be cumbersome to use on a boat and you will be targeting larger fish, a shorter rod is usually much stronger and can be used to pump a heavy fish up from the depths easier than a longer one.

Spinning in shallower waters uses a rod somewhere in between the two extremes, between 6 and 7 is usually best.

  • Surf Casting – Usually between 8 and 10 feet in length
  • Inshore Spinning – Between 7 and 8 feet in length
  • Conventional Boat Rod – Between 6 and 6’6″ in length

Rod Power

Rod power describes how strong the rod blank is or what size line and weights it is rated for.

The lightest rods are rated “ultralight” and are only used for much smaller freshwater fish. The heaviest rods are rated “extra-heavy “or “mag-heavy” in saltwater fishing once you get above a certain size the rods are described in pounds(lbs) for example a 50lb or 70lb class rod.

For lighter spinning for stripped bass a medium power rod is good.

For surf casting a medium/heavy rod is best depending on how heavy the weights and rigs you are casting are.

Conventional rods for big stripes from a boat will have a heavy rating or be rated by different lb classes.

Rod Action

Rod action and power are often confused even by very experienced anglers.

Rod action describes where in the rod black that the natural bend in the rod starts to form when pressure is applied to it.

Fast action rods will start to bend in the top one third of the rod blank towards the tip.

A rod with a fast action will have a more sensitive tip and is best used when using lighter bait rigs, small jigs or lures.

Moderate action rods will start to bed more towards the middle or bottom one third of the rod blank.

A rod with a moderate action is better when you need to load up the rod blank when casting heavy weights a very long distance as you can put energy into the full length of the rod on the back cast.

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best saltwater spinning reels

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel 2021 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Choosing a saltwater spinning reel means matching the right size reel to your rod, what type and how much line you will need.

And then finally what’s within your budget.

However;

The number one technical issue to get right when buying any saltwater reel is that the reel is capable of extended use in a saltwater environment.

Why?

Salt is the enemy.

It corrodes and renders the elements of a spinning reel useless once it gets in and starts to corrode all of the internal components.

Most cheaper priced reels are intended for use in freshwater, for saltwater use, reel manufacturers have to ensure that the internal gears are perfectly sealed from any saltwater entering the reel housing and that all of the external surfaces can handle the corrosive affects of salty water.

The drag system, internal gears and even the bail arm can suffer the effects of corrosion if they are not up to the job and the end result of a jammed reel is almost always a lost fish!

Top Tip: always rinse your reel in freshwater once you are done fishing for the day.

Many big name reel brands have specialist reels purpose built for saltwater use and if you care for them properly and get them serviced regularly you should get many, many seasons of use out of them.

What Size Spinning Reel for Saltwater Use?

For lighter inshore work a size 2500 or 3500 is best, whereas heavier offshore reels can be as big as a size 15000 or even a 25000.

Line capacity and rating is how you should choose the right size reel. Line ratings and the amount required is usually quoted for both braid and monofilament.

Most spinning reels will hold roughly twice the amount of braided line for the same braking strain as monofilament.

Best Saltwater Spinning Reels

1. Daiwa Saltist Spinning Reel

The Daiwa Saltist is a purpose built saltwater spinning reel and is easily one of the most popular.

You’ll see them in smaller sizes on pier, jetties and in the larger sizes on plenty of charter boats that hunt larger species.

They also make a great surf casting reel for lighter to medium setups as they have a pretty fast retrieve rate so you can pull in a lot of line quickly when needed.

The range has seven different models ranging from a size 2500 up to an 8000.

The smaller model 2500 has a max drag of 15lbs, weighs 9.5oz, can hold 140 yard of 10lb monofilament or 120 yards of 30lb braid.

At the other end of the scale the largest offering an 8000 has a max drag of 33lbs, weighs 30oz, can hold 370 yards of 30lb monofilament and 440 yards of 80lb braid.

The smaller sizes are a little on the heavy side for all day casting which is due to just how well the Saltist is built.

For surf casting a 5000 or 6500 is the way to go as you get a heck of a lot of line capacity combined with a big jump in retrieve rate when compared to the smaller offerings.

If you are looking to size up to an 8000 or so saltwater spinning reel then the Penn Slammer below is a better bet as you get a much big drag capacity and an incredibly well sealed reel for similar money to the Saltist.

Daiwa have gone to great lengths with the Saltist to pack in a much of their high end technology as possible.

They use a special magnetic oil called “MAGOIL” or Mag Sealed Technology that was originally developed by NASA which creates a dust and water resistant barrier on metal.

It does this by becoming solid when magnetized thus creating a solid oil barrier on the main shaft and line roller of the Saltist.

You won’t find this tech from any other reel manufacturer!

On the 4500 and up there is also a Mag Sealed bearing + 7 CRBB corrosion resistant bearings.

The sizes from 4000 down get 8 CRBB corrosion resistant bearings.

The side cover and reel housing are made from a proprietary metal alloy which reduces warping under heavy loads and it has a bullet proof carbon drag system with full anti-reverse.

It also comes with a braid ready ABS spool so no need to add mono backing if you are running braid.

The best saltwater spinning reel for the money hands down!

Specifications:

  • Magsealed line roller and main shaft
  • Digigear™ digital gear design
  • Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS spool
  • Waterproof Carbon ATD Drag System
  • Light weight Air Rotor design

2. Penn Slammer III

Penn are one of the most respected saltwater reel brands out there and have been for several decades.

They have a big line up of spinning reels for saltwater and each one of them is built to a very high standard.

The Penn Slammer III is suited for larger offshore work particularly in the larger sizes.

Saying that is you need a beefier spinning reel for shallower water species then these reels are more than capable of handling just about anything you can throw at them.

The sizes range from 3500 to 10500 spread out over eight different models. Aimed predominantly at the heavier end of saltwater spinning setups, they even make a decent surf casting reel too.

The Slammer line is built from an almost all metal construction with an end result being a very rigid reel with little to no warp when the drag is under a lot of pressure.

Penn use very strict CNC processes at manufacturing time and the result is a very smooth running reel.

The body is made from die-cast aluminum while the main gear and pinion is solid brass.

A big chunky over-sized handle makes operation with wet hands a breeze particularly when fighting large fish species.

Who is the Penn Slammer III For?

The Penn Slammer is best suited to those looking for a big solid reel that can take a beating, due to the all metal design they are a little on the heavier side so if you are casting all day long you may want to take that into account.

Specifications:

  • Full metal body, rotor, and side-plate
  • Fully sealed Slammer drag system
  • 7+1 stainless steel ball bearings

3. Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

If you are looking for a more budget friendly option the BG from Daiwa is one of the best choices available.

It comes in at roughly have the price of some of the cheaper options in the list and although it may not have all of the higher end technologies or materials it’s still a very solid reel for for the money.

There are ten models in the range starting at a 1500 up to an 8000, the 2500 makes a good reel for targeting smaller species, with the 4500 making a great all round saltwater fishing reel.

Although the BG could be considered as the entry level of Daiwa’s saltwater fishing reels it still share some of the technologies found in the higher end reel such as the Saltiga and also the Saltist listed above.

So how do the Daiwa BG and Saltist compare?

They share the same Hardbodyz frame construction technology, the Digigear digital gear design, and air rotor design.

So you get access to some of the best reel technology that Daiwa have to offer but at a more amenable price point.

Who is the Daiwa BG For?

The Daiwa BG is best suited to those who are looking for an affordable reel that can still perform well in a saltwater environment it makes a good choice as a first inshore spinning reel in the smaller sizes.

It offers great value for money especially if you are not out fishing regularly.

If you are just a casual angler then you do not need to buy a high end reel costing $300 or more as the majority of the time it will be sitting in your garage doing nothing.

Specifications:

  • Waterproof Drag System
  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum
  • Braided Line Ready Spool

4. Shimano Saragosa

If you are looking for a larger offshore spinning reel then the Shimano Saragosa SW is one option that won’t break the bank.

High end offshore reels can get extremely expensive with the most popular options being the Shimano Stella and the Daiwa Saltiga.

Both of those models retail at over $1000 so they are out of reach for a lot of anglers.

With the Saraogoas SW you get a lot of the technologies and features found in the higher end Stella but at a fraction of the price.

The Sarogosa’s last major release was in 2013 and was a huge hit with saltwater anglers particularly those looking for a workhorse of a reel without the big price tag.

Since that model not much changed on the Saragosa and it was only in 2020 Shimano finally released an updated version. 

That update brought in a lot of the features you will find on the flagship Stella.

The major difference between the old Saragosa and the new one is that the newer models are lighter and also more rigid than the earlier offerings.

They are also better sealed and have up-rated internal gears to reduce warp when under pressure.

The Saragosa is not meant for lighter spinning setups as the smallest size starts at a 5000 and tops out at a whopping 25000.

The smallest in the range a 5000 will hold 245 yards of 20lb braid and has a max drag rating of 10kg, compared to the 25000 that holds 630 yards of 65lb braid and has a max drag of 20kg.

The highest drag model is actually found on the 18000 and the 20000 which max’s out at 22kg.

They are definitely aimed at anglers who are looking to haul bigger species and one of the things that the Saragosa is known for is it’s cranking power especially when large fish are on the line.

Specifications:

  • Propulsion Line Management
  • Shielded A-RB bearings
  •  X-Shield Waterproof Drag

5. Penn Spinfisher VI

Penn are so confident in the abilities of the Spinfisher VI to repel salt water that they claim it does not need to be rinsed in fresh water after use.

I don’t know about you but I’d still rinse any reel as a matter of precaution.

Penn’s build quality is now legendary and they just about wrote the book on how large saltwater fishing reels should be built.

Their classic conventional reel the Penn International is found on just about any large charter sport fishing boat but they also have a great line up of spinning reels which includes the Battle, Conflict, Fierce, Slammer, and the Spinfisher.

The VI model as the name suggests is now the sixth iteration of the Spinfisher and one of the finest spinning reels available.

The difference between the Spinfisher V vs VI is that the VI gets improved CNC gear technology and up-rated IPX5 seals.

The IPX rating is a standard that describes the water proof and water resistance capabilities of a product. 

As a comparison the more expensive Penn Slammer III listed above has a higher rating at IPX6. 

The range starts at a 2500 and tops out at a massive 10500. The VI is the first time due to demand that a Spinfisher has been available in a 2500, previously the 3500 was the smallest model available.

On the 2500 to 5500 there is an automatic bail trip i.e just crank the handle and the bail flips back into place after casting, on the 6500 and up there is a manual bail close only.

The real appeal of the Spinfisher is it’s HT-100 carbon fiber drag which is protected by a completely sealed spool, under pressure even during prolonged use that drag remains silky smooth.

Specifications:

  • IPX5 sealed body and spool design
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
  • Full metal body

Can You buy a Good Saltwater Spinning Reel Under $100 or even $200?

You can buy some of the best saltwater spinning reels for under $200 at under $100 you might be stretching things and you’ll have a very limited choice.

Spinning reels start to get expensive once you go above a size 4000 and with saltwater fishing reels the highest quality reels starts at roughly this price point. 

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Jigging for Flounder

Jigging for Flounder

Flounders are one of the most popular saltwater fish species in the world for a variety of reasons.

They are known to be one of the easiest fish to target, but require a certain level of skill and dedication to entice a bite out of in most cases.

Flounder are mostly found in the shallow waters around coastal areas along the North and South American continents.

Most experienced flounder anglers prefer to start their search for these elusive creatures with a series of jigging techniques that might help them locate specific areas that are considered hotspots for flounder.

These include virtually any type of drop-off that might be as much as one foot, but this can often be a great location for flounder.

Flounders are known to utilize these ledges in a way that lets bait fish and other prey fall or swim off the ledge and become susceptible to being picked off by the stealthy and highly camouflage flounder who are known to bury themselves down into the sand and lie in wait for their meals.

In this article, we’ll cover the topic of jigging for flounder and take a closer look at why this is widely considered by many anglers to be the best way to locate and catch these tasty fish.

Where to Catch Flounder

According to expert flounder anglers, jigging for flounder works best in areas where there are the slightest drop offs or ledges.

Like any other predatory fish, flounder will use their surroundings to create an advantage that helps them surprise their prey.

Ledges and drop offs are the ideal areas for flounder to sit and patiently wait for small bait fish to swim just too far over the edge and into striking distance of the jaws of the flounder.

As anyone with a limited amount of flounder fishing experience might expect, you can usually locate an area that’s rife with flounder activity by searching out “flounder tracks” or areas of sand and silt that have recently been depressed by a flounder.

These tracks are best visible at low tide as most anglers can walk the shoreline and spot locations where flounder commonly post up and feed on smaller fish and other prey.

Another way to spot the ideal location for jigging for flounder is to cruise the shoreline in a flounder boat and look for these tracks.

Experienced flounder fishing guides are usually very skilled at this and will have their own secret ‘hotspots’ where flounder can be found at certain times of the year or the tide level.

When to Fish for Flounder

Flounders are a unique fish in that they can typically be caught throughout much of the year in the same relative locations. They are known to be much more active during the warmer months of spring and summer and typically move throughout the day and night in search of food.

Most flounder fishing enthusiasts know that the best time of the year to catch these types of fish begins around the middle of October and lasts until December in most areas of North America.

This is mainly due to the fact that the cooler water temperatures cause these thin, shallow water species to stop moving as much, which makes them much easier for anglers to target in most cases.

Flounders are known to pile up around the mouths of estuaries along the coast in the early morning and late evening hours.

This is a tactic they use to position themselves in an ideal location for catching unsuspecting bait fish, shrimp, and other potential meals.

Most anglers look for areas near grass beds, points and other types of formations that are home to other predatory fish that are looking for an easy meal throughout the day.

Flounder fishing is also a great activity to be done at night as these fish are sometimes more active after the sun goes down in most parts of the world.

How to Jig for Flounder

The best way to jig for flounder is to start with a small jig that’s about ¼ ounce option and use it to methodically probe the bottom along areas where you expect there to be a hungry flounder waiting on a meal.

You won’t need a heavy saltwater jigging rod when fishing for flounder as the tackle will be too light and the jigs too small.

Instead an inshore fishing rod with a fast action will work best.

The areas where you have found flounder tracks in the past or expect there to be flounder nearby are always worthy of further investigation.

Experienced flounder anglers always recommend that you fish an area thoroughly as a jig can sometimes come within just a few feet of a flounder, but may not be taken seriously.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that jigging is not the right technique to use at any given time, but that it can be one of the most productive means of catching flounder when used properly.

As we’ve already noted, drop offs should be especially productive flounder habitats and anglers should position themselves in a way that allows them to work their jig across the ledge, letting the lure fall off the edge, however deep it may be.

It is usually just as the lure drops or shortly after it reaches the bottom of the other side of the drop that the flounder will attack it and often inhale the jig before taking off.

Best Techniques to Catch Flounder

Most anglers utilize a ‘fan’ technique when fishing an area that involves casting their lure across a wide swath of water and working it steadily along in order to avoid missing any potential bites.

Jigging for flounder involves simply bouncing the lure across the bottom at various intervals as you probe the area for fish.

The fan technique is most common when anglers don’t have a solid visual on some flounder tracks, but when you do happen to notice the outline of a flounder hidden under the sand, you can alter your approach and target the fish in a more direct way.

This is typically referred to as sight fishing and is known to be a highly effective means of producing a bite, especially when you’re using some type of natural bait along with your jig.

Best Jigs for Flounder

One of the best things about jigging for flounder is that these fish are not picky. They tend to strike at almost any type of jig, often the smaller style jigs being better than larger versions.

Anglers have been known to catch flounder on bucktail jigs, paddletail jigs, shrimp jigs, and a variety of other styles at various times of the year.

Jigging for Flounder from a Boat

As you might suspect, flounder fishing is almost always best done from a boat as this will allow you to position yourself in a way that truly utilizes the drop offs, ledges and other areas where flounders are known to hang out. It also allows you to cover more water as you fish for flounders.

Jigging for Flounder from the Shoreline

Flounders are one of the few types of fish that can be caught from both a boat, or standing along the shoreline.

Many experienced anglers find that they can more easily sneak up on larger flounder when fishing from the shore as they sometimes recognize the shadows cast by a boat, or the telltale whirring sound of the trolling motor.

If you’re fishing from the shore, be patient and work the area thoroughly to probe for any flounder that might be hidden from your view.

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Jigging for Halibut

Jigging for Halibut

Halibut are one of the most sought-after game fish species in the world by anglers who love to target some of the most unique types of fish they can find.

They can grow to massive sizes, up to more than 400 pounds in some cases. Their gigantic size and flat power-driven body shape makes them one of the toughest fighting fish species in the world.

Commonly found in cold water areas throughout the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, halibut features one side of their body that’s solid white and the other, dark brown.

This color combination helps them to blend in with the ocean floor for potential prey that might be swimming overhead while the fish are also protected from potential predators that lurk below them as their white coloration blends in with the light toward the ocean’s surface.

Halibut are one of the most common fish for anglers to catch around the seas surrounding Norway and other countries in northern Europe, but they are also very prevalent in the seas surrounding Alaska.

Jigging is one of the most common ways for anglers to catch halibut throughout the year as it is a technique that closely mimics that bait fish that halibut commonly chase after deep in the ocean.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of jigging for halibut, as well as the best places and times for anglers to catch halibut using various jigs.

Where to Catch Halibut

Halibut prefer to stay in or around large piles of rocks deep in the ocean where they can utilize their natural coloration and sense to detect prey and avoid larger predators.

Most halibut can be found at depths of about 200 to 300 feet below the surface and they are typically known to stay close to some type of underwater structure.

Some of the most experienced halibut fishing guides in the world know that these fish like to stay in areas where there are steep rocky ledges or large rock piles below the ocean’s surface.

Many halibut will stay at a depth of around 200 to 300 feet, but the larger-sized variations have been caught by anglers fishing at deeper levels.

Obviously, halibut fishing is best done from a boat as they are commonly found at deeper levels than other kinds of trophy game fish, but locating the best spots and knowing just how to fish them comes down to being a true art form for most anglers.

Given their size and the depths at which you will be fishing you will need a heavy duty vertical jigging rod and large conventional reel.

Some of the most experienced captains and halibut fishing guides agree that anyone with a basic knowledge of how to read marine depth charts and sonar imaging will have no problem finding ideal spots for catching halibut.

Like any other place where jigging is a top choice for catching the fish you’re after, jigging for halibut around these rocky ledges and piles of underwater boulders presents an excellent opportunity for catching giant halibut.

However, it can be tough to figure out just how to work your jig in a way that will entice halibut to strike.

When to Fish for Halibut

Without a doubt, halibut are known to be cold water fish that reside far into the northern reaches of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They can be caught at virtually any time of the year, but most experienced halibut anglers will agree that the best season out of the year to catch halibut is the spring.

There are many reasons why this is the case, but if you’re planning on going on your first halibut fishing trip, or simply looking to up your chances at catching these elusive giants, try planning your trip during the warmer months of the spring when they will be more likely to feed.

From around the middle of May to the end of September is generally considered the best time to catch halibut wherever they can be found.

The warmer temperatures seem to kick up their appetite and the smaller bait fish that halibut so often pursue can usually be found in greater abundance during these warm-weather months.

During these warmer months, jigging is a great way for anglers to attract the attention of halibut as they might otherwise pass by a stationary lure or bait.

There are many different ways anglers utilize jigging for halibut in a successful way and it might take some practice to truly hone your skills down to a fine science and catch halibut using this method.

How to Jig for Halibut

Jigging for any type of fish can be a tedious process as it requires you to have a full knowledge of where the fish might be, as well as the types of bait fish species and certain techniques that will attract a bite.

Jigging for halibut starts with knowing how to position your boat in such a way that you’ll drift over the rocky ledges and piles of boulders in such a way that will keep your jig in the ‘strike zone’ for as long as possible.

Most anglers understand that halibut typically reside at or very near the bottom of the particular area they’re fishing in.

This means that you’ll want to keep your jig somewhat close to the bottom at all times instead of working it higher upward in the water column as you would when fishing for other species that will hunt for their prey in many different depths.

Best Techniques to Catch Halibut

Knowing that halibut fishing is a deep subject, anglers must rely on techniques that help their jig remain down in the depths of the specific area they’re fishing at.

Halibut are not known to be very fast swimming fish, so jigging for halibut isn’t necessarily something that will require rapid, quick vertical movements in the same way that an angler might use a jig to catch something like a mackerel.

Most anglers know that jigging for halibut is best done by twitching your jig in such a way that might resemble a swimming bait fish or other creature that appeals to the halibut’s appetite. There are subtle differences in just how much action you’ll want to give the specific lure you’re using to catch halibut, but it will usually take a bit of practice and possibly some coaching to get the technique down just right.

Best Jigs for Halibut

There are a variety of different jig styles to use for halibut fishing. Many anglers choose to go with a simple swimbait-style jig while others might opt for the classic metal jig that features a single treble hook on its flank.

Many experienced anglers prefer to use a large jig with a single hook attached to it that allows them to rig their jig with some type of natural bait that will help appeal to the halibut’s sense of smell over anything else.

Halibut will eat everything from squid to salmon heads, as well as cut-bait herring and many more types of naturally-occurring baits.

Regardless of the specific type of lure you choose to go with, be sure to pay close attention to how experts recommend you use the lure in order to give yourself the best chance to catch halibut using the jigging technique.

Beginner or novice anglers who are largely unfamiliar with halibut fishing might benefit from a guided trip with an experienced halibut fishing charter as this will be an excellent opportunity for one-on-one learning and understanding just what you need to know when it comes to jigging for halibut.

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Jigging for Blackfish

Jigging for Blackfish

Blackfish are one of the most peculiar game fish species in the world. Known for their finicky nature, blackfish are also referred to as tautog, or ‘togs’ by anglers who regularly target them.

They can be found all along the North American coastline from Nova Scotia to Georgia and have a reputation for being excellent table fare.

Blackfish are not easy to catch like other saltwater game fish species and many anglers prefer the challenge of going after them as it is a test of their fishing skills that truly doesn’t compare to other types of fish.

Larger-sized blackfish don’t grow to gigantic sizes like some species of saltwater fish can. A 15 to 20 pound blackfish is considered to be a ‘trophy’ sized fish among anglers of any skill level.

Jigging is one of the most popular methods for catching blackfish and has proven to be an excellent form of targeting the elusive species.

Blackfish are usually found around large rock piles, reefs, shipwrecks and any other type of structure on the ocean floor that offers dark, mysterious crevices where blackfish can easily hide and avoid larger predatory fish like sharks and others.

For those who want to know more about how jigging can be a great way to catch these kinds of fish, this article should prove to be especially helpful in covering the finer points of jigging for blackfish, as well as when and where the best times to catch ‘togs’ are across the vast expanses of the coastal United States and Canada.

Where to Catch Blackfish

Blackfish can mostly be caught in the open ocean around structures such as shipwrecks, rocks, reefs and just about anything else, but anglers can often have success fishing from the shore if they’re able to find a suitable area where blackfish congregate.

According to the most experienced blackfish anglers, location is everything when it comes to going after this unique species.

Like most other fish that are known for having an affinity for biting a jig over other forms of lures, blackfish tend to stay near the bottom of any space they inhabit.

Most anglers who have experienced a decent amount of success going after blackfish will agree that these creatures can usually be found in water that’s about 30 feet deep or more.

They can be caught in water less than 100 feet deep in most cases, but some anglers have had success catching blackfish in depths as low as 200 feet in rare cases.

When it comes to jigging for blackfish, it’s best to stay around the 30 to 60 foot depth in order to have the most control over your lure and to know just when to set the hook.

Fishing for blackfish is especially challenging because it must be done in and around heavy structure if you ever expect to be successful at it.

It can take some practice to learn how to keep your jig head upward and avoid being snagged on the rocks or reef you’re fishing in, but jigging is undoubtedly a fun and rewarding experience that is a true test of an angler’s skills on the water.

When to Fish for Blackfish

Blackfish can be caught throughout the year with relative success by anglers who know where to locate these fish and just what type of bait to use in certain situations.

However, like almost any other fish in the ocean or freshwater lakes and rivers, blackfish do have certain times of the year when anglers will have a greater advantage when it comes to catching and landing them.

When it comes to finding out the best times of the year to catch blackfish, water temperature is going to be the single most important factor in your decision-making process, overall.

Blackfish are a peculiar species that prefer to live in water that is colder for many months out of the year. They are non-existent in tropical areas where the sun is capable of heating the water well above 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Blackfish mostly prefer to stay in water that’s anywhere from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit for much of the year, but they will also be found to be actively feeding at times when the water is just a bit colder or warmer than that temperature range.

These fish will often come closer to the shore during the spring and fall when temperate water is more comfortable for them and their feeding habits.

When the water gets too warm, blackfish will move to deeper water where it’s more suitable for them and where they aren’t exposed to warmer water.

However, if the water becomes too cold in a certain area, blackfish will leave in search of warmer areas as their bodies are not quite built to withstand the frigid water temperatures that are so common in the north Atlantic.

How to Jig for Blackfish

Jigging for blackfish is unique in and of itself as anglers have learned over the course of the last few decades. Using a jig to catch blackfish is done using a simple, heavy jig head that is attached to a single hook.

Natural bait plays a prominent role in fishing for blackfish and anglers will usually rig some species of crab on their jig hooks in an effort to appeal to the blackfish’s senses and entice them to bite.

It’s best to stick to certain types of crustaceans and mollusks that are naturally-occurring in the specific area where you’re fishing for blackfish.

Best Techniques for Blackfish

Blackfish jigging is very different from the techniques one might use in jigging for other game fish species like tuna, mackerel, and other popular catches.

You can use a much lighter jigging rod setup and lighter line combo.

Since they mostly stay at or very near the bottom, expert anglers who successfully jig for blackfish will admit that they rarely work their jigs very far off the ocean floor.

Many times, it’s best to drag the jig across the bottom as your boat drifts along or over the top of the specific area of structure.

Best Jigs for Blackfish

The best jig to use for blackfish is almost always going to be a very simple, one-ounce jig that features a metal head and single hook.

Since using artificial plastic lures is rarely done when targeting blackfish, it’s best to use a jigging presentation that helps to keep the fish’s focus on the natural portion of your rig.

For anglers who are just starting out fishing for blackfish, you can expect to encounter quite a few snags and hang-ups since you’re very likely to be fishing in and around heavy structures.

Learning to avoid letting your hook become snagged on these types of underwater objects is an entirely different subject that often requires a significant level of skill and mastery.

Since you’re going to be facing so much potential for becoming snagged on structure, it’s best to go with a jig that is very simple and straightforward in design and won’t present much risk in hooking structure.

Most companies manufacture jigs that are specially made and marketed for blackfish angling.

While most anglers prefer to use jigs that are rigged with natural baits, some anglers have successfully used bucktail jigs, as well as curly-tail jigs to catch blackfish.

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Jigging for Lingcod

Jigging for Lingcod

Lingcod are among the most voracious fish in the sea, seeking to devour anything that comes within reach of their deep water layer, hidden away among the rocks and crevices of reefs and other structures.

Anglers consider lingcod to be among the best table fare of any other saltwater species that can be caught around the shores of the Pacific ocean along the North American coastline.

They are one of the most peculiar-looking fish found anywhere in the world. Their bodies are long and muscular, with colors that range from deep browns and black to a sort of turquoise that is quite unlike any other species anywhere else.

They are the epitome of ambush predators, lurking deep within dark holes and recesses of rocky ocean bottoms as they wait for an unsuspecting fish or other creature to wander by.

Unlike other species of fish that anglers commonly target, the lingcod is not a social species, but rather prefers to be alone for much of its life outside the mating season, which occurs during the winter months of December through early March.

Jigging is one of the most popular methods of catching lingcod as this type of fish is known to aggressively strike lures and give anglers a stout fight, pulling hard from depths as low as 300 feet in some instances.

In this article, we’ll discuss the ways anglers utilize jigging to entice lingcod to bite their hooks and how you can sharpen your knowledge of this particular fish as it relates to jigging.

Jigging for Lingcod

Lingcod like to emerge from the depths of up to 1,000 feet in mid-October to move closer to the shoreline in preparation to begin their yearly spawn.

The Pacific coast of North America is strewn with rocky craigs well below the ocean’s surface.

Lingcod are known to stick very close to rocky cover deep in the ocean, using their distinct color pattern to camouflage them from other predators, as well as prey.

Anglers who are well-versed in catching lingcod using various means of jigging know that these fish species can usually be found at depths of 60 feet or more during the cooler months in late autumn and early winter.

Jigging at these depths require high quality jigging rods that can handle using large jigs.

The best way to tap into the ambush predator’s mindset and take advantage of their own feeding tactics to use against them is to work a jig up and down along these rocky bottoms and drop offs near the coast.

Using a boat is essential as lingcod are much more easily caught from deep water areas than shallow.

However, catching lingcod on jigs is actually moderately productive if anglers are able to locate a steep drop off near the rocky shores of California and other areas that stretch as far north as Alaska.

When to Catch Lingcod

According to most expert anglers, lingcod are known to begin moving toward the shoreline in September and into October before settling in rocky outcrops and deep voids where they will spawn with their mates.

Once the female lays her eggs, she will depart in search of food while the males stick around to viciously defend the nest against all manner of predators.

For many days, the males will not eat much, if anything at all, opting instead to attack anything that comes within range of its giant mouth and razor-sharp teeth.

Once the eggs hatch and the fry begin to disperse, the males will look for anything it can find to eat.

With all of this taken into account, skilled lingcod anglers mostly agree that lingcod are prone to attacking jigs and biting virtually any time of the year.

Biologists believe that lingcod often bite their victims out of sheer aggression instead of hunger. They are one of the only fish known to indiscriminately eat their own kind at any given time.

If you are trying to narrow down a few months out of the year when jigging for lingcod is best, look to fish during December through May as these types of fish will be closer to shore and easier to catch than other times.

How to Jig for Lingcod

Remember, lingcod prefer to stay at or near the bottom in and around rocky structures deep below the ocean. This is especially challenging for any angler because it’s very easy to become hung up on the rocks in depths of well over 100 feet.

When this happens, anglers often have no other choice but to break their lure off and tie on another one. Doing this repeatedly can, as one might assume, become very frustrating and expensive.

The best way to jig for lingcod is to either fish with someone who is very well-acquainted with the structures below the water’s surface, or to utilize a detailed, state-of-the-art sonar system so that you’ll be able to see and understand what’s below you.

The main objective when it comes to jigging for lingcod is to find a spot above where you expect lingcod to be haingng out and allow your boat to drift by as you methodically work your jig.

Best Techniques to Catch Lingcod

Lingcod stay very close to the bottom in most cases, so you definitely don’t want to waste time trying to fish shallow areas very much.

Those who are skilled at jigging for lingcod prefer to allow their jig to sink all the way to the bottom and slowly whip it up and down, no more than about 6 feet from the ocean’s floor near rocky structure.

Jigging for lingcod is not very complicated, but it does require a significant amount of patience and determination. If you don’t get any bites on your first pass by a rock pile, try another location or use a different jig.

Best Jig for Lingcod

There are a wide variety of jigs that work to attract bites from lingcod. After all, it really doesn’t take much to trigger these ferocious fish to bite anything that comes their way.

Many anglers prefer to use metal jigs that are oblong and built much like a spoon. These work great throughout the year, as do Norwegian jigs and grubs or other plastic baits rigged onto heavy jig heads.

The main key is to allow your jig to sink down far enough to reach the lingcod’s layer before slowly and methodically working it up and down in order to mimic the movement of a curious, unsuspecting bait fish.

Some anglers swear by the practice of fishing with jigs for lingcod during times when the ocean swells might otherwise drive most anglers back to the safety of the shore.

The rhythmic motion of the ocean swells makes it possible for anglers to hold their rod still and allow the ocean’s own waves to do the work of gently pulling up before allowing your jig to sink down again.

Conclusion

Jigging for lingcod is arguably the most popular method of catching these feisty fish species for much of the year.

There’s nothing quite like catching large lingcod on a day when they are aggressively biting jigs. Using the basic tips from this article, you should be able to get a few jigs and hit the water.

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Jigging for Rockfish

Jigging for Rockfish

Rockfish are a bottom-dwelling fish that can be found hiding amongst the cover of natural and artificial reefs and other structures deep in the ocean.

There are many different variations of rockfish, including Vermillion Rockfish, Quillback Rockfish, Goldeneye Rockfish, China Rockfish, Blue Rockfish and many more.

Known to stay close to the bottom of the ocean’s floor, rockfish are often caught by deepwater angling techniques that target fish that are known to take cover deep in the crevices of reefs and other underwater structures.

Many anglers find that rockfish don’t put up as much of a fight as other types of saltwater game fish species like mackerel, snapper, grouper, and others.

This is mainly due to the fact that they are often caught in very deep water and their air bladders expand while they’re being reeled in, rendering them unable to move.

They can often be found in schools at or near the bottom, so jigging is a highly popular method for catching rockfish throughout much of the world, especially in the Pacific Ocean.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at everything from where to use a jig to catch rockfish to what kinds of jigs are best for catching rockfish.

Where to Catch Rockfish

There are several dozen types of rockfish found in the ocean across much of the world. The key to catching rockfish is to stick close to cover since they are considered to be one of the ocean’s most well-known ambush predators. The best place to look for rock fish is around—you guessed it—rocks.

Most rockfish will find a spot deep inside the crevice of the rocks, but there are some species of rockfish that dwell over the top of rocks or reefs under the ocean.

Being snagged while jigging for rockfish is just part of the game and should be expected if you’re fishing near cover for extended periods of time.

Rockfish are generally found at depths of at least 120 feet down to as much as 350 feet in most cases. This makes jigging for rockfish more of an art form than anything else.

However, while some of the most skilled rockfish enthusiasts out there will commonly fish at depths below 250 feet, rockfish can actually be caught as shallow as 50 or 60 feet in many cases.

It’s often recommended that young anglers start out fishing in depths of 60 feet and work their way down to the 250-foot mark as it can require quite a bit of skill to avoid being hung up at such great depths.

When to Fish for Rockfish

Rockfish are known to be deep water creatures, making them less susceptible to the changing weather patterns of fish that are typically found closer to the surface.

However, most rockfishing experts agree that the fall is perhaps the best time of the year to catch the biggest rockfish for anglers throughout much of the world.

For anglers throughout the Pacific Northwest and near Alaska, rockfishing is best done whenever the weather allows it as strong gales and frigid temperatures can quickly soil a fishing trip to the best rockfishing grounds.

Anglers closer to southern California and parts of Mexico are able to enjoy temperate weather almost year-round, making rock fishing something they can enjoy any month out of the year.

Jigging for Rockfish and Boat Positioning

Jigging for rockfish is a delicate, yet deliberate method of catching this elusive species. For the most skilled anglers who know exactly where to look for rockfish, they can expect to find them hunkered down inside large swaths of rocky underwater cliffs and reef structures.

Positioning your boat in just the right place to target rockfish is as much of a delicate, time-consuming process as jigging can be.

Anglers must learn how to position their boats over the top of known rockfish whereabouts and have a solid understanding of the water currents and where they will drift in order to first gain a grasp of how to best utilize their time on the water if they intend to catch rockfish.

It’s best to position your boat at the point where you can expect to drift over the most rocky bottom and reef structures in one pass.

This will allow you to focus your efforts on working the jig in such a manner as to produce a bite.

If you select the wrong spot or find yourself quickly drifting away from the structure you need to be fishing over, you’ll have to spend valuable time getting the boat back into position once again.

How to Jig for Rockfish

The all-around best rig for jigging for rockfish is arguably a single-loop leader attached to a hook that’s roughly two feet above a metal jig at the bottom of your leader.

There are a variety of metal jigs that are capable of producing a strike from a hungry rockfish, so it’s important to try out a number of different colors if you find yourself not able to get a bite when you might otherwise expect to catch rockfish.

Most anglers prefer to bounce their jig along the bottom in order to mimic the motion of a curious bait fish as it feeds along the rocks and ocean bottom.

If you are fishing at deeper depths then the best jigging rods will purpose built for the job and should be capable of working a heavy jig setup 250 feet down.

For some of the most experienced fishermen and women, using a reddish brown colored jig is considered best for catching large rockfish species.

Be sure to not let the fast current produce too much slack in your line as this will undoubtedly cause you to miss strikes—especially at depths of more than 100 feet.

It’s often best to use a heavy jig that will drop straight down without much fluctuation. Some anglers prefer a more diamond-shaped jig when fishing in shallow waters, but there’s no need to get too caught up in styles as rockfish are not known to be a very picky fish. When they’re hungry, they’re biting.

Best Techniques for Rockfish

Made sure your jig has reached the desired level you expect to catch rockfish at. Once you’ve reached the depth you want, simply work your jig up and down, whipping it in a manner that might seem to mimic a bait fish diving and swimming upward as it searches for small bits of food at such depths.

There’s no need to work the bait too fast. In fact, most experienced anglers will allow the jig to gracefully rise and fall in a nice, smooth motion. Some anglers even add a strip of squid to their lures to further entice the senses of a hungry rockfish.

Best Jigs for Rockfish

There’s no need to get fancy when it comes to jigging for rockfish. Most species of rockfish will eat metal jigs that are painted to appear like a small bait fish with a noticeable eye.

The rapid vibration and flashing will usually be enough to bring a rockfish out of its layer and produce a strike.

It is important to note that most experienced anglers attest to the effectiveness of a bucktail jig in fishing for shallow-dwelling rockfish.

Bucktail jigs are typically lighter and allow the angler to produce a more enticing motion than simple metal jigs that are fixed with a treble hook.

Minnow jigs are a great choice for catching rockfish, but Norweigian cod jigs are also a hit in most areas of the world where rockfish are prevalent.

The sizes may vary, but jigging remains an essential method for catching these deep water trophy fish.

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Jigging for Mackerel

Jigging for Mackerel

Mackerel are among the most popular game fish species that can be found swimming around the coast of North America, Europe and other parts of the world.

They are incredibly tasty and are considered one of the more sporting fish to catch as they are built for speed and power.

Anglers have been using a wide variety of different techniques to catch them, but jigging for mackerel is one of the more productive ways to land one from deep water or along the shoreline.

There are few fish species that are considered to be better table fare than the mackerel as well. These fish are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and pack in as much protein as any other game fish in the ocean.

In most parts of the world where they are prevalent, mackerel can reach lengths of up to 30 cm and often weigh up to 35 kg or more.

Jigging for Mackerel

Understanding the art of jigging for mackerel is a skill that seasoned anglers must grasp in order to truly land some of the largest mackerel swimming the ocean.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how you can use jigging to catch mackerel, as well as examine the best times and locations to do so.

Where to Catch Mackerel

Anglers have found success jigging for mackerel over reefs, as well as along the shoreline depending on certain areas.

The best approach to finding the right locations is to do some research and first determine where mackerel are going to be depending on the specific area and time of year you’re fishing.

Like most other popular fish species that can be found around coastal areas, mackerel are known to frequent large reefs, as well as shipwrecks and other structures where smaller bait fish reside.

They use their blazing speed to an advantage, often catching their prey by surprise as they dart from the depths or use cover to their advantage.

Mackerel will also stay near the shoreline as they are able to make easy meals of the schools of bait fish that swim just beyond the surf or along a pier.

Also Read: Surf Fishing for Spanish Mackerel

In fact, piers are one of the best locations to catch hungry mackerel as they are usually biting just about anything they find indiscriminately around the shore.

When to Fish for Mackerel

Like most other game fish species, fishing for mackerel tends to be best in the early morning and late evening as the sun begins to fade into the distance.

According to most experienced saltwater fishermen and women, mackerel feed when they are hungry and this can take place at any time of day.

It’s not uncommon for anglers to load up on a giant mackerel in the heat of the midday sun in most areas.

Mackerel will become most prominent in coastal waters during the warmer months of spring and summer, as well as early autumn in some areas.

June is widely considered to be prime time for catching mackerel from shoreline piers and rock outcroppings as they will often cruise along the coastline in search of unsuspecting fish.

Many anglers can catch mackerel throughout the year over reefs and other structures as the deep water is usually more comfortable for them in the colder months.

It’s safe to say that jigging for mackerel is a technique that can be successfully used any time of the year.

How to Jig for Mackerel

There are a number of different jig varieties that anglers use to catch mackerel. One of the most popular is a feathered or skirted jig that is designed to use the subtle motion of the water to emulate a bait fish’s tail movements.

There are also a number of various baits that offer longer bodies made from rubber or plastic material. Like any type of game fish, the larger the bait; the bigger your catch is likely to be.

In most cases, anglers will use jigging while they drift over the top of a reef. There are a variety of different variations of jigging that have been known to produce strikes of reef-dwelling mackerel.

Reef fishing for mackerel is undoubtedly the best way to catch a giant and anglers can expect to load up on smaller mackerel the closer they get to shore.

You’ll need a jigging rod and reel that can handle a lot abuse. Braid is the preferred choice of fishing line as it is low stretch.

The basic concept for jigging is to keep the lure in the fish’s strike zone for as long as possible.

The strike zone can vary depending on the depth you’re fishing, but there are a number of techniques that can be employed to thoroughly fish a specific area and ensure you haven’t’ ‘missed’ any fish that might be hanging around.

Best Techniques to Catch Mackerel

Some of the most experienced saltwater anglers know that jigging for mackerel is often an art. It might take some practice in order to truly hone in on the right angle, speed at which you’re jigging, and other elements.

When it comes to jigging, any one of the following methods can be considered the best techniques for jigging to catch mackerel.

Fast jigging refers to drifting over a reef and letting your jig sink all the way to the bottom before whipping it up and down in such a way that will cover the entire water column.

Anglers typically work their jig up and down, letting more line out when they want to go deeper and reeling more in if they want to target fish at a higher depth.

Slow jigging is known for the same rapid jerking motion, but anglers will stick to a specific depth range in order to really target a level where they might be seeing fish on the sonar.

When it comes to jigging from a pier or coastal point, anglers simply keep their jig in a certain depth level and whip it up and down in a way that mimics a darting bait fish. It’s usually best to vary the depth level when fishing from piers.

Best Jigs for Mackerel

There’s no need to get fancy when jigging for mackerel. Many of the most experienced anglers agree that a simple bucktail (feathered) jig is usually the best all-around bait for jigging. A bucktail jig allows you to target mackerel of all size and fish in any depth or coastal area.

Jigging for Mackerel from a Boat

If you have access to a boat, you’re virtually guaranteed to catch larger mackerel as these older, more experienced fish know to steer clear of shoreline piers and other heavily-fished areas.

Jigging from a boat is simple and easy and will allow you to fully fish a reef from every angle.

Jigging for Mackerel from the Shoreline

Fishing along the shoreline can be productive for mackerel if you’re able to do so at a vertical angle that allows for proper lure presentation.

It’s best to be as ‘straight up and down’ as possible, so find a spot where the depth level drops off considerably if you’re fishing from the shore.

As we’ve noted already, piers are known to be hotspots for jigging to catch mackerel. If you’re able to fish from a pier or other part of the shore, be patient as there won’t be quite as many mackerel cruising along the coast.

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