Drift jigging in the Sound

firtree

Newbie
  • May 19, 2020
    77
    35
    Shilshole
    Name
    Nick
    Boat
    Scout Abaco 280
    I was out in my usual Area 10 hangout on Friday, without much bait on the screens between 9am and 1pm, but there was a good, dense cluster between a couple of rip lines. There were two head boats right on it, jigging up a storm, mostly pulling up smalls and dogfish. As a relative newbie in the area, I am not familiar with the techniques for drift jigging over a bait ball in deep water. Could anyone share some tips? It would have been an interesting change from trolling all day.

    Are buzz bombs the go-to? Any luck with bucktails or flat fall jigs? How heavy do you run to jig in the middle of the water column?
     
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    MA9

    Almost A Member
    Feb 21, 2012
    157
    126
    Seattle WA
    Name
    BW
    Boat
    Boston Whaler
    Find bait find fish (And birds/rips are a great clue)
    Cut plug herring 2-4oz of lead (dogfish can be a nuisance)
    Dart style jigs in whites/greens/purples) (Pt Wilson, Puget Pounder by Beau Mac a new one) same 2-4 oz range
    Buzz bombs would work also.
    Get good at finding and staying with the bait otherwise it's a good arm workout only if your out in deep water jigging without marks on your sonar.
     
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    Tish

    Almost A Member
    Jun 27, 2019
    160
    128
    Shoreline WA
    Name
    Grant
    Boat
    1991 Achilles SGX-122, 1997 Boston Whaler Dauntless 17
    Note/disclaimer: I think I have downrigger salmon fishing in the Sound pretty well dialed in but am a newb myself for mooching/jigging salmon so just passing along info I have gathered from others

    For actual jigging, my neighbor (who seems to do pretty well for himself, he has been fishing midchannel bank every day this week) uses various sizes of point wilson dart (he seems to use mostly the candlefish in white) as well as a buzz bomb setup for fishing shallower.

    For mooching (which I've just started to do in the last couple of months) I found this video to be a pretty good guide:

     
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    boguePogie

    Newbie
    Jun 15, 2021
    22
    59
    Seattle WA
    Name
    Larry
    Boat
    Blue 1
    I like 2.25oz PWDs... They get down quick. I often wonder if I should shift to 3.5oz ones when fishing deeper than ~80'; cant help but wonder if my 25lb braid creates too much drag at those depths and hinders the 'flutter'.

    Can anyone offer tips for the "staying on top of the bait" part? Do herring balls tend to have any sort of predictable behavior? I had about a solid hour of action on Saturday; only tricky bit was finding the bait ball once I lost it fighting fish. I use sidescan sonar; should probably look into tweaking the settings to maximize effectiveness...

    Only been vertical jigging for a year but a chinook jig bite is pretty hard to forget.
     
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    firtree

    Newbie
  • May 19, 2020
    77
    35
    Shilshole
    Name
    Nick
    Boat
    Scout Abaco 280
    @boguePogie Does the sidescan give you much info? I have a pair of airmar downscans and a Lowrance side scan, and have been leaving the sidescan off and using the downscan only for marking bait. I only really use the sidescan for scouting bottom fish structure.
     

    boguePogie

    Newbie
    Jun 15, 2021
    22
    59
    Seattle WA
    Name
    Larry
    Boat
    Blue 1
    @firtree This is my first season using it, but I figure that once I have it dialed in, I should be able to use it to locate and navigate to bait that I'd otherwise be oblivious to. That said, I don't have it dialed in yet.
     

    Hunter Dan

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Jun 30, 2011
    2,557
    1,229
    Stauffer
    Name
    Dan
    Boat
    MUGWUMP
    Run your drift, reel up and run to the head of the drift and repeat. Maybe use the kicker in reverse a bit jigging. Mooching we always drift no motor. Motor mooching is a different sort of game. Almost, not quite trolling Set up as for a drift, drop your baits to the bottom for kings and kick the motor in and out of gear, or just vary the speed so the herring work the water column. Silvers, same deal except fish shallow over deeper water.
    Lots of learning to do that can't be done online. Get a feel for how the currents and tide affect where you fish. Years and years of fun. Starting now you'll probably see humpies jumping. Keeping a light rod handy with a 2- 2-1/2 inch buzz bomb, rotator or such in pink can bring out the best fight in them.
     
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