originally posted 7/18/2011
Jigging for fish in deep water in now one of my favorite types of fishing. I first became interested when Shimano came out with the Butterfly jigging system. I bought in for a while but soon discovered that loosing thirty dollar lures could become very painful to your wallet. They do work, but in the Bahamas the bottom is just too rough. My last trip To the Bahamas’ I used eight ounce Alien jigs from C&H Lures. One of my best days produced a thirteen pound Hog fish, several nice amberjack, a Horse eye jack, a twenty pound red grouper and six nice red hind groupers. At one time I dropped seven times and caught six fish. It is not always this hot. The best conditions are on an outgoing tide, sunny day and a light wind to move you along. I usually start my drift in about 190 ft and drift out to a depth of 300 ft. Your best chance of getting a hit is when your lure drops off the ledge at 200 ft. As soon as my lure gets near the bottom I start jigging. I give the lure three good jerks, roll up several times and give three more jerks. If I don't get a hit I drop back to the bottom and repeat the process. You do not have to be right on the bottom to get hit. Big groupers will swim up and take the lure as much as 40 feet off the bottom. If you are fishing too close to the bottom, all you will catch is small Red Hind Groupers.
I have tried lots of rod and reel combos but find the Shimano Tarus 16 is hard to beat. It has a 5.7 to 1 gear ratio and can handle the 40 pounds of drag that is sometimes required. I use a star rod 50/80 pound. I prefer the wire guides; they last a long time in salt environments.
It took several days on the water to get the feel for this type fishing, but now I'm the one that's hooked.
Good luck and live Salty
Captain Don Combs