Slow pitch jigging
Micro-jig lures are usually designed to spark a reaction from fish, (they also tend to spark reactions from fisherman in shops). However, when used properly in slow-pitch jigging, they can be one of the most productive ways to target snapper and kingfish
The retrieve of a slow pitch is dependant on the rod spring, lifting the lure and dancing it an attractive manner.
1. The starting position is pointing down towards the water.
2. Raise the rod to approximately 45 degrees with a smooth action.
3. A final ‘flick’ at the top of the stroke helps raise the lure to give it a good distance to drop and flutter
Keep an eye on the line as the slack is taken up from the falling jig. The line will gradually pull tight as the lure falls, if there is any hesitation, it means a fish has struck.
The lure lift is just as important as the drop with slow pitch jigs, so it’s important to be paying attention at both times, but also concentrate on varying the retrieve rates to try and find the action that triggers a strike.
Retrieve rates can be altered with short or long pauses as well as full or half winds of the reel handle. Sometimes a careful half wind, rather than a long lift, once the lure has hit the bottom, can be a very effective technique.
FISHING WITH METAL
The local incarnations of micro-jigs we see here in New Zealand have been adapted to fit with our unique fishing conditions. This means that while they are still called ‘micro-jigs’, they are designed to be larger than in other countries where the water is calmer and clearer.
Slow pitch jigs have two sides to them; the concave side is called the scallop, and the convex side is called the hull. These two opposites cause the jig to “flat fall” and sway from side to side when the line has no tension. This design leaves the jig in the strike zone for longer
Mechanical jigging by comparison, is different because knife jigs are generally danced to the surface and don’t flutter as much.
Vibration is another element that can attract and draw fish to strike a lure. The lateral line of a bony fish is designed to sense electrical stimuli in the fish’s environment, either as a method of finding prey or of avoiding becoming lunch for a bigger fish.
Most micro-jigs are rigged with assist hooks at the head and are generally small when compared to other kinds of lures. The design is intended catch the fish’s lips and surrounding jaw instead of deep within the mouth. Carefully playing the fish is important to avoid the hooks being ripped out of the fish’s lips.
Lighter line can help impart better action to a lure as it offers reduced drag, allowing for a more natural presentation. It also allows deeper water to be fished, speeding up a light lures decent into the strike zone.