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Soft Plastic Jigging Techniques for Reef Fishing
The area that surrounds a reef will hold multiple predatory fish that feed in and out of cover. These fish will cruise the sand edges looking for prey to eat or hold within their cover coming out to slam bait. When you take a jig head, attach a soft plastic and drop it down into these areas, you never know what's going to eat it. Some of these reef fish can be pretty damn big, so you need to be ready. Knowing the spots you should target, what jigs are effective, jig fishing techniques, suitable jigging rods and reels, how to drift these holes and mistakes to avoid make you a smarter fisherman.
You can find reef structure of various sizes throughout the oceans. Some will in deep water and some in shallower. Each reef system will hold a variety of different species. A common denominator with reef fishing throughout the world is that soft plastics rigged on a jig head are super lethal.
For this specific In The Spread fishing video, I traveled to the eastern Indian Ocean to explore jig fishing on the Rowley Shoals with the team that runs Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures. The Rowley Shoals are atolls that sit atop the continental shelf, off the coast of Western Australia. These atolls are massive. The coral reefs they're made up of are loaded with big fish. What we focus on in this fishing video are the sand holes on the outer edge of the reef. With any reef system, this is common. Targeting these sandy areas can prove very productive. We are going to show you a few jig fishing techniques that will work anywhere in the world.
Chris Rushford, the mate on Reel Teaser, is the primary fishing instructor, as he shows us his approach to jig fishing these sand holes in 15-20 meters of water. That is 50 feet or so. Using a soft plastic on a jig head, Chris will show you how this presentation mimics a wounded bait fish. He works the jig by flicking it slowly, letting it sink down near the bottom. Jig fishing this way keeps the lure in the strike zone, where the coral trout, black trevally, footballer trout, blue spot trout, red bass and other big predators roam.
You will learn about the jig sizes Chris likes and the Halco soft plastics he rigs them on. Halco makes a range of range of colors and configuration that are absolutely deadly. This action they produce give off sick action. They appear as a sick and wounded baitfish that swims up from the bottom and sinks back down. You really want to fish them very near, but not on, the bottom. Even though you are working the edge where the sand meets the reef, there is still significant coral on the bottom, so you have to be careful about the jig head hitting the bottom and getting snagged. Pay close attention to the explanations about where you want to fish your jig in the water column.
By creating this erratic movement with your lures, you get the fish so excited they cannot help but come out and take a shot at easy prey. Since you the jigs are rigged with really supple soft plastics, the fish tend to hold on to them longer than they would a hard plastic. This allows for a little more leeway with how tight you need to keep your line. When the fish fires out of the reef and slams your jig, they will turn and head straight back down. This helps eliminate slack and set the hook. As Chris explains, you do want your lure to have a natural drop, but you want to maintain contact with your lure. You don't want too much slack, just enough to create that crazy swimming action.
Being in water that is about 20 meters deep, a great way to work a large area is to drift the sand holes. What they suggest is to drift spot to spot, check your sounder and drop where you see activity. You can use several different jigging techniques. Learn from what these guys have to share and adapt your own variations to develop a pattern that works for you.
One of the best things to learn about jigging are the things to avoid. If you can avoid common mistakes, you give yourself a head start. If you can keep your jig in the zone and know how to rig jigs properly, you will be far better served.
It is always good to know the tackle and terminal connections fishermen around the world use. This gives you great perspective on what might work for you. Chris Rushford will cover the jigging rod, the spinning reel, line, leader, knots and lures he utilizes for this type of jig fishing. The real difference maker is with the lures. You will learn about a range of soft plastics, sizes, colors and jig head weights that work wonders fishing the reef at the depths we were fishing. Chris will show you how to rig soft plastics on a jig head, so that it swims that right way. If it is not rigged the right way it can spin on the way down. You will not get bitten with a lure rigged poorly.
The cool part of fishing a new fishery or being exposed to different fishing techniques is the knowledge you can incorporate into your own fishing program! The more you know, the more well rounded you are and the better fisherman you become. Always try to learn from the very best and fish smarter.
Total time: 26:10