Offshore Jigging Addict
Jim started his saltwater jigging addiction some 15 years ago when he was based in Sydney. A six year stint based in New Zealand only fuelled the fire until his return to Australia early in 2020. Now based in Brisbane, Jim fishes in 400m plus of water whenever he can for an amazing range of little known species.
Jim’s Tips For Deep Slow Jigging
- Jim has been figuring out how to fish heavy metal in 300-450m depths for a range of species such as bar cod, squirrelfish, blue eye, nannygai, dory, pearl perch
- To find these depths of water off Brisbane requires heading out 75-80km, so it’s critical that the weather is good and your boat is up to scratch. It’s also important that the current is not too strong or you’ll never get the jig to the bottom. Using Ripcharts or the BOM charts, waverider buoys etc can help identify if there are currents.
- You’re typically fishing the bottom 10-15m of the water. This style of fishing is like a cross between high speed mechanical jigging and slow pitch jigging. It’s not as active and hardcore as mechanical jigging but the rod lifts are bigger and more aggressive than slow pitch.
- Using light gear is the key, as the thinner the line the less drag it creates when there is an ocean current. Of course, light gear, big fish and 400 metres plus of depth means you’re going to get smoked by some quality fish.
- Traditional slow pitch jigs aren’t too useful as they tend to flutter down and never reach the bottom. Tail-weighted slow pitch and even knife jigs are the key to getting your lures into the zone.
- A 1kw medium-low transducer is critical for finding fish, you’re not looking for massive structure but for aggregations of baitfish. It’s worth developing networks and connections to get some clues as it’s a very big ocean. The reef overlay on Navionics is very helpful and allows anglers to put some marks into their GPS before leaving home.
Jim’s Deep Water Jigging Tackle
- It’s hard to get the specialist gear required for this style of fishing, but Jim has found that there is some pretty good, fairly economical tackle that will do the job.
- Jim has been using PE2 braid but has recently switched to PE3 due to the number of lost fish and has gone to a 100lb mono leader. Putting the line on a relatively small reel keeps the outfit light, which is super important – Jim uses a Shimano Ocea Jigger 2000. It’s easy to spend a grand on a rod, but a Feed SloWorx Work Technical Jigging Rod rated for jigs to 1kg with a PE 2.5 line rating.
- One of Jims mates uses a Daiwa Black and Gold Spin Reel and Daiwa Demon Blood PE5 rod and has been cleaning up some pretty good fish even with this setup.
Jim’s Deep Water Jigs
- Jigs can get pretty expensive, but Jim finds there are a few economical ones that can do the job.
- The Major Craft Para Jig in Normal Or Slow 400-500g are good in water to 250m or even more on a low-current day.
- The Feed Flint 540g and 660g jigs are deadly and versatile – can be used in shallower water for seriolas as well.
- Other suitable jigs include Seafloor Control, Deepliner and Oceans Legacy lures in the 400-600g sizes.
- These lures are rigged with double assist hooks at both ends and Jim finds that home made ones are superior to pre-made ones. Fine, strong hooks are critical to getting a solid hook set on fine line in deep water without bending or breaking them – Decoy Pike Type R are a great choice. 3/0-4/0 is perfect size, just be sure the gape isn’t such that the hook can get wedged on the jig.