Bouncing Jigs for rockcod

Discussion in 'Fishing Tutorials by Members' started by SeaDawg, Nov 29, 2006.

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  1. SeaDawg

    About 9 years ago I returned to San Diego and bought my first boat that could safely make it out past the Islands in. I didn't know anyone to fish with so I called my old neighbor Ed. He and I had fished some years before and we set up a trip to the RockPile.

    I went down to Squidco and started buying all the stuff I thought I was going to need. You know, a large “crank” handle for my Penn 4.0, a bolt on plate to keep the reel level, 1 lb weights, 300 yards of 65 lb Dacron, and a bunch of ganions. Man, I was ready!

    So Ed and I get to the RockPile one fine morning, and I start rigging all this stuff up. I am tying on ganions, hanging squid on hooks, making sure that the 1 pound weights are secure, but I keep getting distracted. I am getting distracted by Ed. I am getting distracted by Ed cause he already has 3 six to seven lb LingCod in the boat and I’m still frigging around with all this superfluous bullshit I find out I DON’T NEED.

    So anyway, to make a long story short, I decided to let (I begged him) Ed teach me everything he knew about bottom fishing.

    Here is what I discovered. Of course you have to fish where the fish are, finding them is a whole nuther matter :) Fish the high spots :)

    When you drop a jig/dart (picture attached) down to the bottom, the fluttering action as it drops makes it look like a wounded/injured baitfish. I lift it up 3 or 4 feet and let it flutter back down. If you do this 3 or 4 times and don’t get bit, your either not holding your mouth right or there are no fish there. This sounds easy, but there are some tricks to it.

    1. You have to control the slack in the line. You have to “feel” that jig all the way back to the bottom, and still let it free fall. Takes a very delicate touch. I hold the slack line in my left hand while "following" the jigs decent so that I can just keep the slack out of the line and feel the jig. If you miss the hit, it only takes those fish a second to figure out that lead does not taste good, and it’s hard. If you do feel the hit, you can set the hook. I use a 6 oz jig, some of my buddies use 2 or 4 oz. I use all home made jigs (like the 1 pictured), unless I run out, I will buy some in an emergency. If I buy any, they are always orange, and always a brand name called “crippled anchovie”. Just my preference. I have used homemade jigs until most of the paint is beat off it and the Lings still slam it hard. PapaJ tied a couple of red shrimp flys above the jig and was pulling up 3 at a time.

    2. You really should have some sort of woven line. Spectra/Tiger Braid is a brand I use. It does NOT stretch. 300 feet down is like fishing 10 feet under the boat, you can feel everything. I add 6 to 10 feet of 30 lb mono on the end of the braid. I do this so the line will break there when I get snagged on Mexico. When you set the hook, it really sets. Try to lift a 6 oz jig off the bottom at 300 feet with mono, just does not work, and you can’t feel anything. Even in 100 feet, like at the RockPile, I would never fish with mono. The spectra is thin, so I fill most of my reel with 30 lb P line and then fill the spool with the spectra. I use 65 lb test braid and an old Penn HS 505 which has a 6 to 1 retrieve, 300 feet is a long way to crank at 3 to 1 :)

    3. A lot of times you will get hit before the jig ever reaches the bottom. This is a good thing :) Sometimes I will let the jig hit the bottom and lay there for a count of 3 or 5, and then lift hard. Lots of times I have hooked fish that have gone over to see just what the hell that was that just fluttered down to the bottom. But the best hits are when the jig is dropping. The fouled hookups will make you think you have a 10 lb fish on, only to find out you have a 3 lb fish hooked in the butt! If you get hit on the way down and it feels 10 lbs, it probably is. My buddie Jack lets his jig drop down, and if he is not hit immediately, he cranks it back up 15 cranks and then lets it back down again. He swears he catches more fish doing that.

    4. Straight up and down is the key with the heavier jigs. If you are fishing in wind, you have to throw downwind of the drift, and time it so that when the jig hits the bottom, you are straight up and down. If the wind is blowing hard, you might get 3 bounces before you have to crank it up and throw down wind again. Try it, I think you will see that the greatest percentage of hits occur when you bounce the jig straight up and down.

    5. Why not bait? I think you miss more fish. When you do, you have to re-bait. If you miss a hit on a jig, you just drop it back down and jig some more. If you feel the slightest bite on bait, is it now gone? You have to crank up to check your bait. I’m not gonna try and sell this one to anyone, but you won’t ever see me buy bait to go rock fishing.

    6. I took C-NUT and ChesapeakCharlie down to the RockPile one year. When we were getting the boat ready, the water line for my bait tank just crumbled in my hand from dry rot from non-use. I never missed a beat. I handed the bait tank to one of them and told them to put it in the back of my blazer, and said that we didn’t need it anyway. Now, you have to realize I had never met these guys before this very hour, and they didn’t say a word, but they didn’t have too :) The look on their faces said it all. Like, who is this dude that’s taking us fishing with no bait, and should I just go home now or……….

    7. I laughed all the way to the RockPile :) And we hammered the fish.

    8. I just thought I would put some of these things that Ed showed me in writing and share them with you. I am by no means an expert, although I am getting there :) I have found that if you find the fish, you can limit very quickly using this method. So, please add any ideas here, I surely will read them and even try them, as the Rock Cod season is fast coming as the tuna leave till next season……………

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
    m_mcgourty likes this.
  2. Stanley

    Thanks, Harry. That was a good tutorial. I actually enjoy rockcodding...but then I like trouting, too.
  3. Sluester


    Nice write-up Harry. You doing the SQ thing again this year?
  4. michael

    Nice write up Harry. Gonna have to hit up Angler's Center now for some of those jigs.

    Thanks for the tutorial. :appl:
  5. SeaDawg

    Funny you should mention that :) Keep your eye on the board, we are going, question is who is going with us :) Sometime in February I am sure :cheers:
  6. aclemieux

    Nice write-up Harry. Totally not the way I was shown. Now I gotta try it your way. Thanks.
  7. FishStalker

    Nice write up. How much for a dozen jigs Harry? :D
  8. dewers@race505.

    thanks for the info, now I have to make it back before the season ends
  9. FishStalker

    What season? You can catch rockcod year round down in mexico ;)
  10. SeaDawg

    Everytime Jack steps foot on my boat he hands me a box of jigs like that one in the picture :) Unfortunately Ed and I pissed him off down in San Quintin last time we went and he says he ain't fishing with us no more :( Hopefully he will get over it :) I have tried to get both Ed and Jack to start making jigs for sale, they just won't take that much time away from fishing. I guess Jack sells them on the sport boat he cooks on :) Last I heard he was selling them for 4 bucks each :)
  11. Papa "J"

    Can't wait till February!!

    BTW...that boat makes your truck & you look good
  12. vilters

    thanks for the post Harry. my son will not fish bait for rockfish either. he kills on the jig like you describe. you have inspired me to try that in a couple weeks when we go again. last year we would fish squid strips like you mentioned and i remembered from years ago when i used to rockfish on sporties using scampis. so i dug some out and fished them like squid with a squid trailer - produced really well.
  13. gaff_ya_good

    i've tried this on my own without any instruction and have had some luck. now i have some more tips to keep in mind, thanks.
  14. rancanfish

    Great post..... started trying the butterfly jigs like Shimano makes, with the hooks at the line tie end. Seems the rockfish like them and you don't hang up bouncing them straight up and down. I may be able to keep my favorite jig awhile longer now.
  15. F15hK1ll3r

  16. sdangler

    Slow down Harry, you're approaching the speed limit.

    Ed "the ling cod killing mother fucker's" jigs are the shit. They spin on the way up and down so very little "angling" is required. Harry and the boys taught me a lot down in SQ and at San Clemente this year.

    Thanks Harry for posting this. Hopefully the n00b's will get the picture.

  17. tunachris

    I have been using Jax Jigs for quite a while now, and they are da bomb. There is an orange jig with a copper back that is the killer at Santa Rosa island, and on the Ventura/Santa Barbara coast. One of my customers charters the Stardust out of Sea Landing a few times each year, and my company chips in for each trip. I only fish the iron, and always do quite well. Lots of lings, reds, and chuckleheads on the iron. One thing that you learn quickly bouncing iron is the difference between a bite, and hanging bottom. If you slack and shake the rod tip when hung on the bottom, most of the time you can get the jig to come out of the structure.
  18. dkd711

    thanks for the great info...

    BTW, how do I get to this rockfish area from Huntington Harbor.. I'm still pretty new to fishing just got a boat last yr and have only fished the flats, Shoe and Catalina IS.

  19. rjrich10

    Great Read loaded with lots of info !!!
  20. SeaDawg