Sir fisher guy

Sea bass jigging question

120 posts in this topic

I’ve been on two offshore sea bass trips this’s  year, armed with my new jigging world black widow 150 rod and my new Saragosa 6000 and I’ve done no bait fishing, only jigging. I’ve used only 8 and 6 ounce hammered diamond jigs, both with a 5/0 vmc siwash buck tail. No teaser, no squid strip. Just the jig.

 

Ive casted out and snapped it back as well as brought it back gently, as if I were tending a sinker. Ive gently wiggled it just above the bottom. Ive done short snaps just above the bottom, letting it flutter down, with just enough contact to detect a strike. And l have squidded. Everything worked. I really had a blast catching tons of sea bass, almost non-stop on both trips. And even some porgies.

 

Here’s  my question:

 

Almost all all the fish I caught were less than keeper size or just barely keeper size. No big fish. There wasn’t tons of big fish coming up on either trip, but I would say my jig caught fish were definitely not “larger on average” like I was led to believe by using a jig. 

 

Now I didn’t get a lot of really small fish like bait guys did, but the bait guys on both sides of me would get the occasional 16 or 17 inch fish but I never did.

 

Is there something I should be doing a little different to get a “bigger fish on average than the bait guys” like  I read like twenty times on the internet?

 

Is it sort of an overstatement that jigs will produce bigger fish than bait???

 

-Paul

 

p.s. This is my first post. I appreciate all of you who have contributed to this and other forums, I’ve spent countless hours pouring over them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We fish commercial sea bass and we stay away from bait "to many small fish" and stick with certain style jig to stay away from the small fish

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Sea bass are gratifyingly dumb. Most of the bigger fish are gone from the sites where you're fishing.

 

Consider trying a teaser above your jig, and occasionally fish your jig well above the bottom - say, 15' - 20' above the wreck. 

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Try a leaded jig ( buck tail ) with a curly tail and put a piece of squid on it ,or a tin jig with a piece of squid on it.  

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I agree with Brian insofar as if a piece has been pounded , the jig will not catch what's not there, on a fresh piece, the jig will pull the largest there compared to bait, IMHO of course.

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7 hours ago, codfish said:

We fish commercial sea bass and we stay away from bait "to many small fish" and stick with certain style jig to stay away from the small fish

 

 

What style jig might that be? Norwegian?

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IMHO yes, a Vi-Ke / Solvkronen style jig. Don't go nuts working it.  First drops and the first few minutes should be spent  working the jig within two feet of the bottom.  If nothing happens, ask the captain if he's marking fish above the wreck, and if so, how far above?

 

On occasion, you might find someone who is just barely buoyant, due to the cement and/or chain in which he's wrapped being offset by fermentation producing gas in the GI tract. It's better to release such things gently - another reason to crush the barb on a hook - then to puncture the inflated part so he sinks better. 

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1 hour ago, BrianBM said:

IMHO yes, a Vi-Ke / Solvkronen style jig. Don't go nuts working it.  First drops and the first few minutes should be spent  working the jig within two feet of the bottom.  If nothing happens, ask the captain if he's marking fish above the wreck, and if so, how far above?

 

On occasion, you might find someone who is just barely buoyant, due to the cement and/or chain in which he's wrapped being offset by fermentation producing gas in the GI tract. It's better to release such things gently - another reason to crush the barb on a hook - then to puncture the inflated part so he sinks better. 

Thanks for the reply Brian. What are you referring to in that second paragraph? It went over my head...

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1 hour ago, BrianBM said:

On occasion, you might find someone who is just barely buoyant, due to the cement and/or chain in which he's wrapped being offset by fermentation producing gas in the GI tract. It's better to release such things gently - another reason to crush the barb on a hook - then to puncture the inflated part so he sinks better. 

OP was asking about offshore fishing, 

not Jamaica Bay.

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4 hours ago, Sir fisher guy said:

 

 

What style jig might that be? Norwegian?

Sorry no luck on the picture but I did find it being used in this video, diamond jig with a hook down sand eel body same as the one in the video, the only issues is bass and fluke won't pass it up

 

 

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50 mins ago, codfish said:

Sorry no luck on the picture but I did find it being used in this video, diamond jig with a hook down sand eel body same as the one in the video, the only issues is bass and fluke won't pass it up

 

 

Thank you for elaborating. I did a quick search and found and only found Hogy brand plastic sandeel bodies. They claim their plastic is extra soft. 

 

What plastic sandeel do you recommend. 

 

The hook on the jig should be unweighted? As in not a Jig head attached to a diamond jig? I ask because I have found it sold this way.

 

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I lean toward the Lucanus-type jigs rather than the hammered diamonds, but I definitely find that they catch larger fish than bait.  You'll still get a lot of shorts, but you'll also pull the bigger fish.

 

I do most of my sea bass fishing on wrecks in the 80 to 120-foot range, south of Long Island, from my own boat during the summer, and most of those pieces get hit pretty hard, particularly in the past few years when fluke have been scarce and a lot of folks are targeting sea bass instead.  Fish over 15 inches just aren't as common as they used to be.  I spoke to a state biologist who said that the big 2011 year class has already been hit pretty hard, and that big fish are pretty scarce.

 

I certainly see that in my own fishing.  Just a few years ago, I was able to go out on the first weekend of the season and box what was then an 8-fish limit in less than an hour, with a lot of the fish over 3 pounds and one or two close to 4.  Now, at the same point of the season, it takes a lot longer to land a 3-fish limit of 16-18" sea bass, just because most everything is small.

 

But the jigs still account for bigger fish than bait; sometimes I have someone on the boat who is fishing bait, and get to compare side by side.   Thus, it's likely not you or your jigs that are keeping bigger fish off your line, it's just the current stock structure.

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Sir Fisher Guy, the second part of my answer was entirely a joke.  I haven't actually hooked any Mob execution victims.

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