Sydney Shore Jigging Specialist
Gabriel is co-owner of Sydney Tackle shop Iso Fishing Lifestyle, which has specialised in Japanese style fishing techniques in Australia, including Iso Fishing, Egging and of course, shore-based jigging. He has over 30 years’ experience fishing the rocky coastlines of NSW for a wide range of species.
Gabriel’s Tips For Shore Based Jigging
- Shore-based jigging is an affective technique for everything from slimies to salmon, tailor, trevally, kingfish and tunas. But it’s not limited to targeting fast swimming pelagics, snapper and other reef species are a sucker for a jig worked from the shore too.
- When beginning at this style of fishing, be very aware of safety, rock fishers lose their lives every year. Look for wide ledges with plenty of space, a little higher above the water and pick days where the swell is not too large.
- When finding a location to try shore jigging, look for rock ledges where you’ll be casting into reasonably deep water. Gabriel prefers a bottom of broken reef and sand and likes places where there is some wash and foamy water around the edges. This tends to hold bait that attracts the pelagic predators.
- Bright, clean, deep blue coloured water is best for shore based jigging. Dirtier, greener water tends to not fish so well.
- If the fishing is tough, working a slow blatt jig slowly can be effective in convincing a fish to chew your lures.
- When fishing a low ledge, you can wash a fish up onto the ledge to land it – be careful not to high stick the rod or you may break it. From highr ledges it’s best to use a multi-piece cliff gaff to land fish safely.
Gabriel’s Sydney Shore Jigging Tackle
- The 9’6” Palms Shoreline Evolve 96MH (PE 1.0-2.5) coupled with a Daiwa Sol 5000 reel spooled with PE2 Varivas Max Casting Braid and a 20lb leader (for around the harbour and in shallower, clearer water) or Varivas 30lb shock leader (when fishing the rocks or when you need more power).
- The 10’3” Palms Shoreline Evolve 103H Plus (PE 1.2-3) is what Gabriel would normally recommend for anyone wanting a general purpose shore jigging rod. He fits this with a 5000 size Daiwa 2019 Certate LT extra high gear reel, loaded with PE3 (approx. 40lb) Varivas braid and a Varivas 30 or 40lb leader, depending on the conditions and species.
- The Zenaq Sonio 100M is a higher end rod, but has the advantage that this one rod can handle most of the fishing styles that the previous two rods do combined. Once again combined with a 5000 size Daiwa 2019 Certate LT reel.
Gabriel’s Best Shore Jigging Lures
- The Palms Jigaro starts from 60g and goes upwards, so it’s best suited to the medium to heavy range of tackle listed above, particularly when fishing in areas that are windy, deep or where there is a lot of current. This jig resembles an offshore knife jig but is designed specifically for casting. It has four sub-types:
- The Original Jigaro, which is a centre balanced lure.
- The Massive has a compact body design for its weight and is a fast sinking.
- The Superslide is a long jig that is made from zinc, which is lighter for its size and gives the lure an amazing sliding side to side action. This is a very versatile lure as it allows the angler to run a larger, heavier jig in shallower water than would normally be possible.
- The QR, which is another slower sink rate zinc lure, but shorter than the Superslide and centre balanced. It has a medium sliding action and casts very well.
These lures come unrigged and it’s recommended to run a double assist hook with a length of 1/3 to ½ the body length of the lure from the top, in much the same way as an offshore knife jig (Decoy Pike Hyper in 2/0 to 3/0, depending on jig size).
- Palms Dax is a simple, compact and chunky profile metal that can be simply retrieved fast as you would a lot of metal jigs. It also works well jigged, letting it almost hit bottom and then using the same action as you’d use vertically jigging from a boat. When the lure gets close to the surface, open the bail arm and let the lure flutter back down and start the retrieve over.
- Palms Smelt Jig has a body profile that’s somewhere in between that of the Jigaro and Dax.
- Palms Slow Blatt is one of the most important of the lures because it’s a shore casting slow jig that can take the pelagics but is also very effective on demersal species. These can be worked similarly to the Japanese style of egging – short, sharp twitches of the rod from 9 o’clock to twelve o’clock, allowing the lure to flutter down between twitches and staying in touch with the lure (90% of bites come on the drop).