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Big Game Fishing Tips Archive I
Dropping Maria Japan 100G + Jigs
Aku / Shibi are great eating fish both raw and cooked. Not just for people, it is also one of the best all time baits both onshore and offshore fishing. Shore casters love the aku belly, a flavorful bait with a tough, shiny skin. The blood meat is diced for catching fish like hahalalu. Offshore, aku is a great fish for baiting with a bridle, or making fresh cut baits for fish like mahi mahi and ono.
Maria Japan vertical jigs have proven to be effective on our boat, Siu Lin. Made in Japan the quality and durability are great, but better yet it's a good lure that fools fish and has a good hook-up to strike ratio. The first thing I noticed was the eyes. They have the glow eyes we have been used to seeing on the Golden Bait skirts, I think these really make a difference where it is darker below. Just think, every time you bring it back to the surface, or when its on the boat the sunlight will "charge it back up".
The 100G Metal Flicker is a versatile size in Hawaiian waters when you want to step up the game from a damashi or sabiki type rig with smaller hooks.
We also carry the larger Saberer 110 G, 150 G
Or try the all new Blue Flame 210 G, 320 G!
The retrieve can be any number of methods, but basically it helps to think of it as fishing vertically. It's OK if the line is telescoping out slightly due to current and drifting (We'll talk about other ways to minimize this in just a moment). A steady quick retrieve with no jerking is one way to the bring it back to surface, "trolling" it back to the top. Perhaps the most popular method is a "vertical walk the dog" with short, quick up and down jerks while cranking. What works best for myself is making a full sweeping lift, hard and fast, followed by fast cranking as the pole comes back downward to pick up the slack. The process it repeated over and over again until near the surface. If I bend my knees a little I can straighten up and get even more action on the lift. It helps to have a boat that is stable when drifting and with good freeboard height both of which are good on the Glass Pros hull.
I like working areas offshore because the jig sinks so nicely you can work below the surface 10-20 fathoms with relative ease. Thats also a good depth, just beyond the reefs for fish like Ulua, kahala, and uku. We picked up a nice uku in 15 fathoms of water while working the area just above the bottom. At the FAD bouys we get great results catching aku of about 4-6 pounds. Be warned I have lost some to ono that just have it too easy when rigging light leader! (I have yet to give them a fair try at the state artificial reefs, so any updates on that may be added soon)
Japanese fishermen have been using these types of jigs since the early 1990's, and have found that for fishing these jigs even more effectively, one should consider bringing an extra outfit rigged and ready for jigging. Reels with higher gear ratios and strong, smooth drags are filled with a thin braided line (thin diameter means faster sinking). The outfit should be somewhat comfortable so that repeated cranking and jigging doesn't lead to the worst body ache in recent memory. Also fluorocarbon leader material seems to work best.
For myself I like to take my aku shibi spinning setup, put mono backing on the spool, splice to the braided line and fill it with 300 yards of Power Pro. For final rigging we use an arm span of J Line fluorocarbon leader. Major tackle manufactures now make matching rod and reel outfits both spinning and conventional type for this type of jigging. One thing I like about the spinning reel is how simple it is to lift the bail arm and let the line pay itself out as fast as the jig can take it off the spool.
Factors such as the strength of the currents and type of tackle being used may vary the speed of the drop. In a strong current you could try using a sea parachute to control your drift. If your tackle is heavy enough, there are also newer, heavier models that will help keep the drop more vertical in these conditions. You can mark your line at intervals and see for yourself how many feet your jig falls per second.
Aloha! Thanks for visiting our Big Game Tips page. Read up on some great offshore fishing tips from our family and friends. Also look for information on how to use some of our most productive lures!
Click here for more information on using Power Pro braided line for vertical jigging
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