Slow pitch jigging or slow jigging, the two are synonymous and when done correctly will produce fish. The simplicity of the slow pitch jigging technique along with some atypical gear can lead to the fish fight of your life.
What is slow pitch jigging?
Slow pitch jigging is not something seen frequently in the U.S. with the exception of freshwater fishermen targetting sluggish warm water fish during the off-season. Those anglers refer to the technique as ‘vertical jigging,’ but there are some key differences between this and slow jigging.
The technique got its start in Japan with an angler named Norihiro Sato. Inspiration being the mother of invention, Sato was looking for a way to catch fish that were not actively feeding. His solution has changed the world of deep-sea angling in more than one way.
The solution is deceptively simple. Rather than mimic a fleeing baitfish, something an active, feeding predatory fish will chase, the presentation is the complete opposite. Small, gentle movements that create erratic action but without the craze of escaping. This means an easy meal for a lazy fish.
The beauty of the technique is twofold: ease and versatility. Anglers can now fish in virtually any depth for a variety of fish with little to no effort. A professional guide with inexperienced anglers would do well to attempt this particular style of fishing, particularly when the fight is on.
What tackle is used for slow pitch jigging?
Like many things, slow jigging is new. New also means some new gear – which should not be an issue for the consummate angler.
- The jig – Slow jigging jigs are mostly Japanese in origin. There is a nice variety available at Amazon and much cheaper than their Japanese counterparts (up to $50.00 each.)
- The reel – The reels resemble a standard big fish reel with a large, oversized handle with ample space for big cranking – more on this in a moment. Drag is silky smooth and for good reason. More on this later.
- Line – Braided is the way to go and lots of it. 500 feet depths are common. Never fear; the reels can easily handle the line amounts necessary.
What is the Slow Pitch Jigging Technique?
The technique is simple. Short jerks of the rod, and let the lure flutter back down. The premise is a wounded squid – a common target for big predatory fish.
When hooked, conventional concepts of fighting fish go out the door. The goal of slow jigging is to allow the reel to fight the fish – hence the drag’s smoothness. Drags are also adjustable, allowing the angler to tighten down as the fish tires.
How does a Slow Pitch Jigging rod work?
Those who first take hold of a slow jigging rod are taken aback and dumbfounded how a wisp of a rod (120 grams/4 ounces) with some bend in the entire length will fight a deep salt-water fish.
Again, the new thinking mode. The rod is not fighting the fish. The drag on the reel is doing the work.
This does not mean quality rods are not necessary – quite the contrary. The rod must be flexible but have the backbone to bring the fish up to gaffing range. Blackfin rods will do the job better than any commercially available rod on the market and at a better price.
We’ll see you on the water.
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