Jigging Help

XafXaf Posts: 978 Officer
edited July 5 in General Fishing #1
Wondering if any of the jigging experts out there could provide some basics of jigging for bottom fish.  I have tried jigging off and on for a quite a while and have never had much success. I've tried buck tails, diamond jigs, flat fall and slow pitch jigs.   I have the right equipment and jigs recommended by others.  I see them catching fish after fish but all I do is wear out my back and arms.  Any basic advice, do's and don'ts, etc. would be appreciated.  


  • drgibbydrgibby Posts: 1,233 Officer
    I think the biggest thing that I have found is that you must be over fish to catch fish. not trying to be a smart a**, but I honestly spend more time looking at the bottom machine than I do jigging. Not sure where you are in the state, but if you want more specific info on what works for me in the gulf shoot me a PM and I will be happy to try and help.
  • Yeaaa_ChrisYeaaa_Chris Posts: 548 Officer
    Far from an expert, but i Love jigging up bottom fish and have been lucky enough to catch some real nice fish. My best advice is to just stick with it. If you want to catch fish on jigs, don’t put down the jigging rod. The diamond jigs and bucktails are the easiest to use and they flat out catch fish. 

    For the bucktails, use the lightest jig you can get away with. The action on the jig is much better over a real heavy jig that is just pounding the bottom. 

  • benwah22benwah22 Posts: 97 Greenhorn
    1) Stay as vertical as possible, if this means using heavier jigs, use them.
    2) Be near fish/structure/good bottom.
    3) Focus on the falling action of the jig, not the retrieve. 
    4) Keep the jig in the targeted strike zone. (i.e. if you're targeting snapper, don't jig 60 ft off the bottom - more than 10 cranks up, drop it back down)
    5) If you're not vertical (see #1), reel up and re-set.  

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  • DropTheHammerDropTheHammer East CoastPosts: 556 Officer
    Educating respectfully


    The Navy included survival kits in all life rafts aboard military planes and ships. The items inside were those best calculated to sustain life if the crews were cast afloat for days, or possibly even weeks. Officials wanted to include a fishing lure for food gathering, and after testing many different ones, the Upperman Bucktail was chosen for its compact size, durability and, most of all, its outstanding ability to quickly tempt almost any fish that swam. Bill was soon supplying hundreds of thousands of his bucktails to the Navy.

    We all new what we were doing until DropTheHammer showed up.
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,279 Captain
    When I first moved to Florida permanently back in 1977 I had lots of experience catching everything on bucktails and diamond jigs in the northeast. But using the same techniques fishing for bottom species in the Gulf, I really sucked.

    Then one day an old timer gave me a tip. He said that the trick was to make the jig look like a shrimp trying to burrow into the bottom and then trying to escape a fish.  Then meant sharply bouncing the jig on the bottom and then lifting immediately just as the jig hits. After a pause, crank the reel and lift one more time. Then drop to the bottom and start again. That tip changed everything around for me fishing for grouper, seabass, and snapper. The technique works with both bucktails and flat fall jigs. So instead of dancing the jig in the water column, try the bounce and lift method. I now have a bunch of variants that I use to keep the fish interested, but that is my basic technique for fish on the bottom.
  • DropTheHammerDropTheHammer East CoastPosts: 556 Officer
    You're looking for sensitivity in A parabolic rod. S-glass light at what ever your ratings are.

    -glass ("E" because of initial electrical application), is alkali free, and was the first glass formulation used for continuous filament formation. ... S-glass ("S" for "Strength") is used when high tensile strength (modulus) is important, and is thus important in composites for building and aircraft construction.
    We all new what we were doing until DropTheHammer showed up.
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 470 Deckhand
    JIgging for grouper:  The big thing is keep the jig close to the bottom, slow down your jigging action, and keep the jig close to the bottom.  You don't need to bring it more than 6' off the bottom; keep it down there.  Try to get the jig weight matched to your drift (if any) so that you can jig it up and down without turning the handle very often.  Twitch, twitch, fall, twitch, fall, PAUSE.  Every few cycles, let the jig land on the bottom and let it sit motionless for 3-5 seconds.  Red grouper will sit there and stare at it on the bottom, and once you pick it up, BOOM.  If you want grouper or snapper on a jig, don't fish the jig like you're chasing tuna or mackerel.

    As someone else said, most strikes come on the fall.  Match the weight of the jig to the drift, line thickness and depth so that it falls slow enough, but still makes it to the bottom in less than an hour.  Flutter down but not so slow that each jigging sweep is followed by too much waiting for the line to come tight again.  Try different weight jigs and different kinds for each condition until you feel like your lure falls at the right pace.  Think of jigging like a puppet show for the fish at depth; make the lure move and slide like a cigar minnow bobbing up and down as it feeds on plankton going by.  And every now and then that lure gets scared and tries to hide in the bottom.
  • Kill_It_N_Grill_ItKill_It_N_Grill_It fort lauderdalePosts: 43 Greenhorn
    new diawa verticals have been showing great success here on the south east region
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