Three Tips for Speed Jigging

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Speed jigging can be highly effective on open-water predators.

Speed jigging is a highly-effective way of triggering strikes when predators are suspending at mid-depth, be they tunas, kingfish, or any other species. But many people conflate speed jigging with vertical jigging – which is a big mistake. Speed jigging is, in a nutshell, rapidly retrieving a dense spoon up through the water column in such a manner that it darts erratically. It’s quite distinct from vertical jigging or casting and bouncing a jig along the bottom. So, you have to use specific techniques.

Speed jigging can be highly effective on open-water predators.

To become an effective speed-jigger, always remember:

  1. Use an appropriate rod (with a slow-action tip and a very stout mid-section) with the appropriate reel (high-speed with maximum line retrieval per crank), and let the gear do the bulk of the work for you. Effective speed jiggers don’t sweep the rod up and down, but instead crank fast while moving the rod minimally – that bendy, whippy tip does most of the accelerating and decelerating for you, which gives the jig it’s fast but erratic motion.
  2. Identify the depth the fish are holding at with your fishfinder, drop below that point, then retrieve up through it and continue the retrieve until the jig reaches the surface. Many anglers make the mistake of stopping when the jig is halfway back to the boat, then re-dropping. Quite often, the fish will chase a jig right up to the surface before hitting it.
  3. Stop adding oodles of hooks to your jigs. Most speed jigs are sold un-rigged, and few people understand how to rig them properly. A single hook rigged to the top of the jig will work just as well as adding a second hook, putting hooks on the top and bottom of the jig, or adding a treble hook. Those other variations do have their proper uses. Adding a treble is appropriate for vertical jigging, and a second hook becomes advantageous when baiting the jig and hovering it over a wreck or reef. But these are different forms of jigging – not speed jigging. And when you’ll be ripping that spoon up through the water column at a blinding pace, all the extra hardware just increases the chances of a tangle.

Remember, speed jigging is a very specific technique, used in a very specific situation. Keep the focus where it belongs and when those fish are suspended, that metal missile will trigger the bone-crushing strikes from tuna and other species you’ve been waiting for.

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