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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.

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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Best Jigging Rod

Best Jigging Rod 2020/2021 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Jigging is one of the most widely used saltwater techniques and your choice of jigging rod will depend on species you are targeting and the depth you'll be fishing at.

Choosing the best jigging rod means matching the rod length, power and action to the kind of jigging you will be doing.

The type of jigging rods will be describing here will be used for heavy salt water jigging both slow pitch jigging and the more traditional vertical/fast jigging.

If you are looking to use throw smaller soft plastic jigs in shallower coastal waters then you need a lighter tackle setup and using an inshore spinning rod is a much better fit.

Vertical/Fast Jigging

Vertical jigging requires a short rod with a parabolic bend that has a bit of spring in the tip.

They are rated for the weight of jig you want to use and as a general rule should be paired with a high speed, light weight reel that is spooled with 40lbs braid at an absolute minimum.

You can use spinning or conventional reels for vertical jigging but once the jigs get large a conventional rod and reel setup is preferable.

Slow Pitch Jigging

Slow pitch jigging originated in Japan and has really exploded in the USA in the last five years.

You need a fairly light pole with a rod tip that adds some life into the jig, low profile line guides, and the power to set the hook 150 feet down.

They are specialist rods that are designed with slow pitch jigging in mind and are normally between 6 and 7 feet in length.

Unlike vertical jigging when slow pitch jigging you do not jig the rod tip up and down aggressively instead you put a half turn on the reel and the rod tip loads up and adds some life into the jig.

The rod is not used to fight the fish once hooked, instead the rod tip is pointed down and the fish is fought off of the reel.

Brands

There are several high end rod brand like Temple Reef, Ripple Fisher, Sea Falcon, and Saltywater Tackle that specialize in making jigging rods but for the beginner jigger they are way too expensive to justify the cost.

Popular brands like Shimano also cater to the high end of the market with their Ocean Jigger Infinty series.

You are much better served by looking at one of the mid-range rods listed below and investing in a high quality reel to match it to.

Best Jigging Rods

The Shimano Trevela S is the most popular vertical jigging rod on the market right now.

It combines great value for money with the performance and build quality of a high end custom rod blank.

It is built with high speed jigging in mind and in particular butterfly jigs and other thin profile jigs.

Available in both spinning and conventional models the spinning range is marked with and 'S' and should be paired with a high quality saltwater spinning reel like a Shimano Stella or Saragosa.

Because of the design of the blanks, the Trevala S series provides a high performing rod blank at a mid-range price.

Shimano uses high modulus graphite on the inside to begin the process (Carbon). 

They then wrap 4 different layers of sliced carbon tape around the base. The 90-degree carbon threads in the "S" tape reinforce and results in a very thin rod blank with high strength.

The end result is a stout rod that can meet the demands of jigging while feeling well balanced and light enough to not tire you after a long day on the water.

Like all Shimano rods the Trevala S series comes with top notch components and hardware.

They come with reinforced Fuji Aluminum oxide guides, a Fuji reel seat and a really durable EVA handle.

The best jigging rod for the money hands down!


Tsunami Slow Pitch Rods are made with the most advanced and robust pre-peg carbon fiber available!

In order to provide power, sensitivity and extraordinary versatility under all circumstances, each ultra-thin profile blank has a compact multi-layer design.

These rods are light, strong and come with a style of an acid wrap guide that you can only find on custom high-end rods!

The construction of the acid wrap minimizes tension on the rod and eliminates high-sticking breakage.

For strength and weight reduction, Tsunami Trophy Slow Pitch Jigging Casting Rods are made from a high modulus graphite mesh and composite blend.

Like most slow pitch rods these are built for a conventional reel and not a spinning reel.

These super powerful, extremely responsive rods will warn you to the lightest pickup or the most aggressive strike almost before it happens, whether you are deep jigging reef fish or targeting mid-water suspended fish.

Fuji O aluminum-oxide guides, a Fuji graphite reel seat with trigger and stainless hoods, and custom EVA grips come as standard. To further minimize weight, the rear grip is split.

These are a great intro to world of slow pitch jigging for the budget conscious angler.


The Jigging World Nexus line of rods is aimed at inshore jigging world and offer a truly well built rod that can take a lot of abuse.

The Nexus is made of a full carbon blank and uses a blank through construction process which makes it lightweight but strong and gives great feedback through the rod tip.

Even though they feel light they still have great lifting power especially for stripers or fluke and is a really good option for those that like to jig off of a jetty.

The rear grip is nice and long, so when jigging or bottom fishing, you can tuck it under your arm.


If you are in the market for a budget friendly workhorse that can take a real beating then the Cedros E-Glass from Okuma is a great option.

Unlike the others in this list as the name suggests the rod blanks are built from the more traditional E-Glass and not a carbon/graphite composite.

The result is a rod that can take a real beating, although they will naturally be heavier than the modern rods built on graphite blanks.

When using braid, the fiberglass rod blanks give full shock reduction, and they come with ALPS high-rise guide frames in stainless steel with zirconium inserts.

Zirconium inserts are much tougher than ceramic inserts, can withstand the corrosion from saltwater far better, and handle the high friction properties of braid much better.

Comfort and control are offered by ALPS pyramid-shaped, two-tone anodized-aluminum reel seats.

They are also covered by a lifetime warranty and support from Okuma.


Penn Rampage jigging Rods are tubular graphite composite single-piece rods that are both lightweight and rugged.

Although they are designed for vertical jigging they are quite versatile and can be used for a variety of inshore techniques.

PENN's Torque EVA fore-grips make Rampage jigging rods less prone to spinning in your hand when fighting large fish. 

Other components include frames with aluminum oxide inserts and a heavy-duty graphite reel seat keeps the reel in place.

There is both a conventional model and a spinning model available with a couple of options in terms of power and length that are targeted at vertical jigging.


Jigging Rods

As mentioned above saltwater jigging rods are designed to be used for one of two jigging techniques:

  • Vertical/Speed Jigging
  • Slow Pitch Jigging

Vertical or speed jigging is often what anglers refer to when they talk about jigging. It has been replaced somewhat by the huge growth in popularity of slow pitch jigging that originated in Japan and made it's way to the USA roughly 10 years ago.

Despite what type of jigging you are intending to do your rod for jigging needs to be as durable as possible.

Saltwater jigging can hammer a cheap rod so ideally it will have

  • Strong rod blank
  • Durable line guides and inserts
  • Strong reel seat that can accommodate a large reel
  • Hard wearing comfortable grip
  • Correct action for the style of jigging

There are plenty of cheap rods available but as ever you get what you pay for. There are also quite a few brands of very expensive high end jigging rods, but for a beginner it does not make sense to purchase one of these.

Instead invest in a high quality reel for your first jigging setup and pair it with a high quality mid-range rod. 

Once you have gained some experience and settled on the weight of jigs you will be using and the depth you'll be fishing you should be in a better position to know what kind of fishing rod you'll need.

Then and only then should you think about buying an expensive jigging rod.

Vertical Jigging Rods

Vertical jigging rods need to be short, have a softer bend or parabolic slow action

The rod blanks are purposely made to withstand the stresses of heavy jig speed jigging in deep waters.

Traditionally these would have been made from either S-Glass or E-Glass which is much tougher and has a slower action than a lighter graphite rod.

However more modern graphite/carbon blends or graphite/glass blends have have all but rendered pure Glass rods extinct.

The main advantage that a Glass rod had was it's durability, they could take a real beating, graphite on the other hand is quite easy to break especially if it gets thrown around on deck a lot.

Shorter rods in the 5-to-6 foot range are the norm for vertical jig work. Just make sure to always check the line and lure weight rating on the rod before you buy so that it matches the weight of jigs you will be fishing with.

Slow Pitch Jigging Rods

Slow pitch jigging rods are designed so that the tip of the rod does the most of the work as you are jigging and for ever half turn or full turn of the reel handle you add a spring into the tip.

It is this spring that then transmits down the line to the jig that makes it dance. The jigs are fatter and flatter  than normal jigs and move in a much wider range as they flutter.

The rods are not really used to haul the fish up out of the deep instead the rod is pointed down past a forty five degree angle and the reel is used to pull them up.

In fact raising the rod up past parallel could result in it snapping so you need to be aware of this before you start out.


We hope our guide has helped you to make a more informed decision when buying the best jigging rod for your next trip out on the water!

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