SPJ and other Japanese style jigging techniques in SoCal

Proteus

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The charter with the best price.
Caught a number of big lings in AK using BH Cape Cod SPJ and Challenger Bank. Have not fished NorCal in many years but believe AK is somewhat similar to the Farallons. Numerous BH pics on Icy Bay Lodge reviews in AK section.
Makes sense, I know Kil Song from a friends forum, he's always showing pics of those rods bent in a U to show their power. From what I've seen the BH stuff is built for the fight, a little stiffer than the Japanese style, maybe those type of rods are the way to make it work in these conditions, because yes, our environment & fishery is somewhat similar.

Although I prefer to fish the coastline and shallower than out at the islands.
 

Heartoak

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So is anyone watching this thread into micro jigging?
I am starting to put together some of these jigs and a couple of outfits. I have one light outfit that should work fine for the smaller inshore species using 30G to say 50 or 60g lures. I want to put another set up together for heavier fish like YT and perhaps school tuna. Any body doing something like this? I would love to hear what rods and reels have worked well.
Jeff
 

Almud

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In Panama, I used the Black Hole B-632H2MF with an Avet MXJ Raptor, #65 plus appropriate short TS for AJ's, Rainbow Runner, smaller YFT and other fish on pinnacles. Also used this rig for live bait, blue runner, on Roosters but due to operator error, got too excited and did not let the fish swallow, did not get the fish in.

I use the same outfit for AK, rockfish and lings. Will try for a halibut this year. Last year, I caught a 140# hali on BH 7'3'' Charter special I borrowed and my Avet MXJ Raptor.

Plan to use the spinning version next trip to Panama as soon as COVID gets under control.
 

BiggetyBones

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Jeff,

Thanks for starting this SPJ "Local" thread! Hoping it continues to grow with local knowledge. I live in South Orange County and assume I fish the same holes as you. I fish the surf, float tube the harbors, and fish private / party boats.

I do once in a while fish "our" boat. Our boat is 17' Boston Whaler Montauk that 3 friends and I co-own. It's not always easy coordinating schedules to get the boat out (Lakewood) so open party cattle boat trips are what most of my tackle is geared for. I love tackle as much as I love fishing which makes things expensive and SPJ gear is ridiculously expensive! I do however believe in the theory of you get what you pay for and therefore sometimes you got to spend more to get the right tool for the specific job.

Been lurking this forum the last several months as I've gotten seriously interested in understanding what this slow pitch jigging is all about. I've read tons of threads from here, 360, the hull truth, and others in hopes of making an informed decision on what SPJ rod / reel I should consider buying.

After all of my research, Capt. Benny got me! I realize he is a TR and an Accurate guy, but he is always willing to impart his knowledge on all brands. Granted he is naturally biased towards the brands he is sponsored by, but I believe he gives his honest opinion regardless of the brand. He articulates the good and bad and provides in-depth responses to questions regarding SPJ and for that he has earned my respect. I do appreciate anyone who takes the time to share their knowledge. Much appreciated Benny! With this said, I ended up buying a Temple Reef Innovate 8' MH rod combined with an Accurate Valiant 500N spooled up with 40lb Daiwa Saltiga 8X multicolored braid and a FG knot to 40lb Seguar Premier fluro.

In regards to jigs, I have Shimano Flat falls that have never really been used that range from 100g - 250g. Somewhere on the web I was swayed towards buying Jigging World JW-A141 in 150g, 215g, and 300g as I believe someone said that they were very similar to the Seafloor Control Rector jigs. I obviously have no idea as to whether or not this claim is true, but I don't have any knowledge of SPJ other than what I read on the web. I also have a couple other JW jigs that I bought from their site.

I've read in a thread or two Benny recommended 5/0 assist hooks, Size 5 Solid Ring, and size 6.5 split ring. I bought 5/0 assist hooks from Jigging World, but they seem small for some of the larger 300g jigs, but what do I know??? To save a couple bucks, I went down to Long Beach fishing supplies and bought 6/0 and 7/0 assist hooks, ball bearing swivels and solid rings. I rigged the assist hooks on top of the jig where the eyes are. The leader length of the assist hooks all look short on these jigs, but then again, maybe that's how they should look? Not sure if they should be attached to the top or bottom, or maybe one on top and one on bottom???

Like Jeff said, "Only time will tell" as to what works and what doesn't.

Would love to share the rail with any of you guys. Shoot me a PM if you are heading out! Got plans to fish our skiff this Saturday. Pretty sure we'll hit the green buoy, the flats, izors, and maybe the mussel farm.

Tight Lines!
 

benwah22

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Whatever one I'm on.
I've read in a thread or two Benny recommended 5/0 assist hooks, Size 5 Solid Ring, and size 6.5 split ring. I bought 5/0 assist hooks from Jigging World, but they seem small for some of the larger 300g jigs, but what do I know??? To save a couple bucks, I went down to Long Beach fishing supplies and bought 6/0 and 7/0 assist hooks, ball bearing swivels and solid rings. I rigged the assist hooks on top of the jig where the eyes are. The leader length of the assist hooks all look short on these jigs, but then again, maybe that's how they should look? Not sure if they should be attached to the top or bottom, or maybe one on top and one on bottom???


Tight Lines!
I appreciate the kind words, thank you. Just quick clarification, I generally use 3/0 Gamakatsu 510 hooks for making assists. For this, I'll generally use a #5 Owner solid ring.

If you are using a solid ring instead of a ball bearing swivel, the 6.5 solid ring would be fine, otherwise I use a #5 ball bearing swivel.

Good luck to you in your journey down the rabbit hole.
 
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Heartoak

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Oh yes and what a rabbit hole it is. Got out yesterday but wasn't able to fish this way like I wanted too. First dense fog and then it was followed by a whole lot of wind. Cold too. It is August isn't it? Should be a bit warmer that what we had on Tuesday. Brrrrrrr!

I live in south OC and fish out of Dana Point. I recently got in on a private boat club deal and now have access to a 23' Wellcraft Scarab CC. It is fast and fairly well equipped. Should be a decent SPJ platform if the weather and water will ever cooperate. Plan on fishing the south coast and Catalina......

I tried SPJ on the party boats but for the most part they are so focused on bait fishing that boat positioning isn't often right for SPJ. It is too bad because it won't get much attention because of this.

I will keep at it. I don't have BFT fever so that won't distract me. It is just a matter of getting decent conditions. At some point the stars will line up......
Jeff
 

DannyNoonan

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I always bring my jigging gear on sport boat trips - you just have to pick your times to break it out. On an overnight when it's all about rolling up on foamers for giant bft is probably NOT the time to grab the slow pitch setup...

However, extended trips often provide many opportunities to break out the gear. But be mindful of tangling the bait soakers, and be prepared for the occasional equipment heartache (at least with the larger pelagics!). The best way to learn is by doing, and it's a ton of fun!
 

Heartoak

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DannyNoonan;
I had a bit of luck using SPJ on party boats. But quite a lot of the time the boats positioning is not what I would call optimum for using this technique. And when it is it is often made very difficult by some of the anglers around you. Especially if there is a mix of flyliners and weighted lines in the water. A couple times last year I fished on boats that seemed like most of the anglers were into power macrame.
It should be much easier to do on a private boat. With only a couple of lines in the water we can concentrate on getting results. Maybe some day in the future there will be a boat or two at certain landings that will offer special SPJ charters? Not sure the demand is there quite yet. But I am confident that the technique will produce.
Jeff
 

MAG0121

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Been working the SPJ thing for a few years now, both for rockfish and pelagics, inshore and offshore. As noted above, Benny Ortiz is a great resource (and a decent friend 8-)) - He'll have a site up soon with a lot of good info: https://bennyortiz.com/

I know when a lot of us started, this was the go-to resource (and still provides a lot of good info: http://www.anglers-secrets.com/

FTR, I tend to fish more readily available jigs: I like Nomad's Buffalo and Gypsy jigs, Daiwa SK jigs, and Shimano Flatfalls. More recently, also the NLO, JYGPRO, and classics from SeaFloor Control. I also love fishing rock fish with the Shimano Lucanas, Daiwa Conch, and various Inchiku style jigs with these setups, but those aren't traditional SPJ.

Here are some thoughts on gear I've tested and use regularly:

Rods: You get what you pay for. Figure out if you want spiral wrap or straight. Match to the jig and power, not the line breaking strength of your braid.
  • Temple Reef Levitate (Ti and regular) and Innovate - By far my favorite. Benny's newer Innovate has proven to be a game changer. 30+ lb Yellowtail at Alijos Rocks last year on the Levitate and it performed flawlessly.

  • Black Hole Cape Cod - As noted above, stiff and not the best action for working the jig. However, super strong and fun to pull on yellowtail and yellowfin when it's pretty wide open. I sometimes use this to fish flatfalls on the slide, not really SPJ, but fun to pull with a light setup. Note: I've also tried the more economical Charter Special line - super stiff. Not bad for entry level, but you'll outgrow it quickly.

  • Phenix Titan Series (standard and long fall): Also very stiff. I like the lighter power rods for shallower water/smaller jigs. The XH long fall is a meat stick that handles yellowtail great when burning jigs through the water column (and the rest of the boat is yo-yoing)

  • Major Craft Giant Killing: I've only used their lightest power rods. Decent for inshore/bay micro-jigging.

  • Tsunami Trophy Slow Pitch: Really stiff, surprisingly strong and decent quality for the price. I actually like the 7'6" as a live bait rod. I would not recommend this for true slow pitch jigging. Note: I also use the Tsunami Slim Wave spinning rod inshore (with a 2500 sized reel). I like the slow action of the rod and it's proven itself worth on some decent yellowtail. Not really slow pitch, but good for the price.

  • Kuying Vitamin Sea (available from Ali Express): For less than $110, in my opinion this is the best "cheap" rod out there. Again, you get what you pay for, but the action on this rod is not bad and for someone on a real budget, this may be a good entry level option.
Reels: Looking for 38-45 inches per turn. I like two speed reels for bigger fish, and line winders for shallow/inshore/bay jigging. Here are some of my choices depending on conditions and target fish:

  • Penn Torque 15 XNLD2, 40 NLD2: (38 and 41 IPT) When going for Bluefin, Yellowfin, and big Yellowtail (Alijos, Colonet, Cortez Bank).

  • Shimano Ocea Jigger 2000NRHG: (46 IPT) Overall one of my go-to reels when I'm not sure if we'll be fishing rock fish or yellowtail. Very versatile. Good size and capacity.

  • Accurate Valiant BV2-500N: (45 IPT) Also one of my go-to reels, especially for the Coronado Islands. Some don't like the 2-speed, but I'm a fan when fishing bigger yellowtail and trying to keep their heads turned with rod pointed straight at them. I also fish the Valiant 300 (38 IPT) for shallower stuff. Fun to keep it small.

  • Shimano Ocea Conquest and Calcutta 300 HG: (33 IPT) Super smooth with line winders and good IPT. Great for rock fish under 300ft.

  • Daiwa Saltiga 35N-SJ: (38 IPT) Another one of my go-to favorites. Probably the smoothest reel of the bunch. It's a JDM model, so a bit harder to get. I sometimes use the Saltiga 15HA (39.5) for shallower water as well.

  • Daiwa Kyohga -(32 IPT) with line winder, JDM, from Tackle World with deep spool modification. Super smooth inshore/bay micro jigging reel.

  • Daiwa Coastal TWS 200 Hyper Speed 7.3: (32 IPT) line winder baitcaster, super compact with good capacity. Fun for inshore/Bay jigging.
Feel free to ask questions about any of these. Lots more to unpack regarding line, leader, assist hooks, jigs, technique, etc., but you gotta start with the setups.
 
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Heartoak

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Mag0121 Thank you for posting all this good info. I for one will look forward to hearing more about your experiences.

I am going to have to take a hard look at reel selection. I love my little Komodos but I doubt the retrieve rate is in the correct range. They are probably fine for inchiku.......but not fast enough for SPJ.

I would like to hear what line you are using .....weight and brand specific info would be very useful.
Thanks, Jeff
 

MAG0121

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Mag0121 Thank you for posting all this good info. I for one will look forward to hearing more about your experiences.

I am going to have to take a hard look at reel selection. I love my little Komodos but I doubt the retrieve rate is in the correct range. They are probably fine for inchiku.......but not fast enough for SPJ.

I would like to hear what line you are using .....weight and brand specific info would be very useful.
Thanks, Jeff
Since we aren’t jigging nearly as deep as Benny and the east Coast guys (rarely over 350ft), I don’t do the 14lb Berkeley Fireline that they sometimes use. Most of my rockfish specific setups are 30lb - white Izorline white or metered Daiwa J-braid. For bigger fish (been trying to get a bigger bft lately), I go with Berkeley Pro-Spec 50 or 65 metered. Leaders are all Aftco Saiko. Connection is PR knot if tied at home, Alberto knot if on the boat.
 

Heartoak

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Thanks for the additional info on line. I have white Izorline 30# on one set up and white Powerpro 20# on another. The difference in line diameter is noticeable at depths of around 225'. At least that has been my experience so far. Not sure about the quality of the Powerpro though? Had a mainline break a couple weeks back.......

I have not got into using a PR knot so far. I feel very comfortable tying a FG so that is what I have been using. No problem tying it on the boat. And honestly have never had one let go since I got my preferred method down.
 

Heartoak

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Here in SoCal our regs limit us to two hooks when fishing for non pelagic species. What arrangement have you found to work best?
I plan on experimenting with different arrangements but it would be great to hear results from others. This is one of the differences that make rigging here perhaps a bit unique from other areas.

Jeff
 

benwah22

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Try one single upper and lower hook. A buddy of mine fishes his jigs rigged that way with good success. He uses the equivalent of a Gamakatsu Tuna Blade hook in 7/0 (which aren't that large) and he splices. If you're looking for a pre-made equivalent, this is about as close as you can find: https://www.gamakatsu.com/product/assist-620-hd-ringed/

Keep in mind that if you're using single uppers and lowers, that you really need to have a narrow taper to the blade of the hook. I've mentioned it before several times, but since the rods aren't necessarily hook setting machines, the thinner gauge wire will help penetrate better. If you just run with one upper and lower with larger, heavy gauged hooks, you'll come unglued more than you'd like because you won't get as secure of a hook set. The hooks cannot be as thin gauge as traditional spj hooks because they will need to withstand a bit more stress.
 

Proteus

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The charter with the best price.
I started out with the double hook at the bottom as the Shimano butterfly jigs were my intro to this. Right now I have 75% of my jigs rigged with a single on top & bottom but I still have a few rigged like the butterfly and will be testing both on my next trip out because I've never kept track of how many hit the top or bottom hooks. Will post any conclusions I come to.
 
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Heartoak

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Hey Benny; Thanks for your comments. I will give those hooks a shot.
Proteus; Early on I tried a pair of hooks on top but I was getting too many fouls. Probably not the correct length assist cords and hooks?

I think jig shapes may help determine what works best. I have some Majorcraft Jigpara lures that have amazing action with 2 hooks at the bottom....and when you move them to the top not so much.
 

Proteus

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Jeff - I wasn't getting fouls with dbl hooks on the bottom but I do recall getting some hits from fish that didn't stick.
 

Heartoak

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There will always be some of that I suppose.

Last time out in 225' of water I felt something that I thought was some sort of fouling.....no...... I reeled in a 4" lizard fish that had both hooks in his tiny jaw. :-) Got to laugh when a fish takes on a lure bigger than itself.

I have had some decent Ling action on a pink/white 180g Buffalo jig with a pretty large single 9/0 marlin type hook with a squid skirt on it. Definitely not a typical SPJ arrangement but with the lings I think it may have just made them angry because that day they were fighting over it.
 

ksong

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Black Hole Cape Cod Slow Pitch rods are for bigger fish like yellowtail, grouper, big snapper or small tuna. If you want to catch smaller fish, I can recommend Black Hole Tai Special rods. The blank weighs only 1.4 oz and the complete rod weighs 3.8 oz.
However, we caught bigger fish with the tiny rods.
taia.jpg
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Heartoak

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Was out on Friday .....very snotty. Not the best conditions for much of anything. Got anchored up in about 45' and fished bait. Did one drop with a slow pitch jig and got bit! Not something good though. Freakin Cormorant ate my jig. And I mean ate it!!!!!!
One of these days the stars will line up. A new Axiom 12 is supposed to be installed this week. That should help......if we ever get some good conditions.
Jeff
 

tunanorth

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There will always be some of that I suppose.

Last time out in 225' of water I felt something that I thought was some sort of fouling.....no...... I reeled in a 4" lizard fish that had both hooks in his tiny jaw. :-) Got to laugh when a fish takes on a lure bigger than itself.

I have had some decent Ling action on a pink/white 180g Buffalo jig with a pretty large single 9/0 marlin type hook with a squid skirt on it. Definitely not a typical SPJ arrangement but with the lings I think it may have just made them angry because that day they were fighting over it.


This brings up an issue in Southern California's Channel Islands, Northern California's Point Reyes and Farrallon Islands, and other highly productive areas. There are so many small-medium grade rockfish present, that virtually any "plain" jig will be attacked instantly, preventing the bigger fish from getting a shot at it.
As noted, not really a "traditional" SP style, but a simple 9/0 single hook on the tail end, with a large grub added keeps the smaller fish at bay [for awhile anyway], giving the larger specimens chance to bite.

Steve ling 3 RESIZED.JPG
 
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Heartoak

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Had a great morning of SPJ on Friday out of Dana Pt. Got set up on our first stop and had non stop action for at least 20 minutes. My buddy Mike got a Toad Vermillion on his first drop. We had a blast and came home with a cooler full of tasty fish. The very light SPJ rods I have handled these fish like they were nothing. We were using 160 to 200g lures in about 225' of water.
At least 75% of the fish we caught hit on the fall. The fish were suspended 10' to 25' off the bottom and were pretty aggressive. Had a bit of a surprise later in the morning when a 5# sand bass hit in 215' of water and fought all the way to the surface. I knew these fish would jump on these jigs.......just didn't expect one that deep. Oh yeah he was absolutely gorged on small prawns.
Fun stuff to be sure.
Jeff
 
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Heartoak

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Thanks! it was fun. Man I love the feel of fishing this gear. So light and yet so powerful. Here is a shot of my buddies fish. Taken on a Gofish ultralight rod with a 364 Komodo and 180G Buffalo jig
Fun stuff.
Jeff

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