Drop in with a Jigga – Ge­off Ringer

Ge­off Ringer ex­plains a tac­tic that’s en­joy­ing re­newed suc­cess for sil­vers on com­mer­cial fish­eries

Improve Your Coarse Fishing (UK) - - Inside -

SOME tac­tics are judged as ef­fec­tive for one species, and one species only. The Jigga float is a prime ex­am­ple. Viewed ex­clu­sively as an F1 ap­proach that is deadly when the fish are feed­ing in the up­per lay­ers, it’s a method widely be­lieved to have only been around for a few years. But one of angling’s leg­endary fig­ures has dis­cred­ited that the­ory and re­calls it be­ing cre­ated decades ago – long be­fore F1s were on the scene – for a very dif­fer­ent pur­pose. Ge­off Ringer has tried his hand at most types of coarse fish­ing dur­ing his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer, and first got to the grips with the jigga more than 20 years ago. “So many peo­ple think it is a mod­ern de­vel­op­ment for F1s but it was first used for sil­ver fish and it was un­beat­able on its day,” re­vealed Ge­off. “This was be­fore the com­mer­cial scene grew at a pace and it was in­tended for reser­voirs. This year I have dab­bled with it on mixed lakes. It cer­tainly hasn’t lost any of its edge and it’s def­i­nitely some­thing you need in your armoury for catch­ing nets of qual­ity sil­ver fish.”

Work­ing the jigga

If you’re not a fan of F1 fish­ing there’s ev­ery chance you’re won­der­ing what a Jigga is. Well, it’s an in­line float that runs freely up and down the line. The main­line passes through the cen­tre of the float and there is a bulk of shot on the hook-length. Un­like on a tra­di­tional float, the Jigga cocks it­self and the shot is used solely as a bolt rig to help the fish hook them­selves the sec­ond they take the hook­bait. The float won’t dip when you get a bite and it is merely there to keep the main­line straight and di­rect, which dras­ti­cally in­creases the num­ber of bites you hit. A no­tice­able ‘rat­tle’ of the rig will in­di­cate a

bite, and lift­ing gen­tly will re­sult in your elas­tic be­ing pulled out. “Lift­ing and drop­ping the rig con­stantly en­ables you to cover a lot of wa­ter. At this time of year it can be dif­fi­cult to get sil­ver fish to re­main at one depth, but with a Jigga your hook­bait is ex­plor­ing widely by mov­ing up and down in the wa­ter col­umn.” The length of your main­line will dic­tate how much of the wa­ter col­umn you can prospect. “I usu­ally have 5ft of line from pole-tip to hook. This means I can lift and drop the hook­bait through 5ft of wa­ter, mas­sively in­creas­ing the chances of putting it in front of qual­ity roach, bream, perch and even tench,” says Ge­off. Don’t stop feed­ing Sil­ver fish will gladly sit off the bot­tom, but if you want them to stay put you need to keep the bait go­ing in. Flick­ing in a few morsels ev­ery few min­utes won’t suf­fice, and Ge­off is al­most con­stantly top­ping up the swim and uses around three pints in a ses­sion. “Cast­ers are my favourite bait for this style of fish­ing be­cause they at­tract a big­ger stamp of sil­vers than mag­gots. I feed 15 cast­ers ev­ery 20 sec­onds and I make sure this rou­tine con­tin­ues even when I am play­ing fish or mak­ing ad­just­ments while my rig is out of the wa­ter.” When it comes to the hook­bait, Ge­off uses a sin­gle caster but fishes it in a hair-rigged bait band as op­posed to di­rectly on the hook. “If you miss a bite on a caster hook­bait then it is of­ten smashed or ripped off the hook. But if you band it you can miss a bite and drop the rig straight back in, be­cause it’s un­likely the hook­bait will be dam­aged. “Hav­ing the hook­point show­ing also in­creases the num­ber of bites you hit,” added Ge­off. Bank bonus fish The fish­ery you are vis­it­ing will dic­tate how far from the bank you need to fish to get the sil­vers com­pet­ing, but Ge­off of­ten starts at 6m. With the siz­zling sum­mer tem­per­a­tures now well and truly be­hind us, carp and F1s are un­likely to cause much of a nui­sance, but on mild days the odd lump may still in­vade the swim.

“Most carp and F1 fish­ing is done on the deck at this time of year. Sil­ver fish on the other hand will feed up in the wa­ter through­out au­tumn and win­ter. That said, the feed­ing ac­tiv­ity of sil­vers could at­tract a few carp and F1s, and if they do take the hook­bait you’ll want to land them.” With that in mind Ge­off uses an or­ange Daiwa Hy­dro­las­tic and 0.15mm main­line to an 0.13mm hook­length and a size 18 Ka­masan B911 hook. Com­mer­cial sil­vers are of­ten ig­nored, and aren’t that tackle shy, en­abling Ge­off to get away with us­ing fairly beefy tackle. On a venue where the fish are slightly cagey, drop your hook­length down to 0.11mm. The Jigga rig may look much cruder than a tra­di­tional pole rig that oozes fi­nesse, but Ge­off’s re­sults show it should be first out of the box when big sil­ver fish catches are on the cards.

Feed 15 cast­ers ev­ery 20 sec­onds to keep the fish up in the wa­ter

The bulk of Stotz (or use small shot) acts as a bolt rig to set the hook

Cast­ers are the best feed and hook­baits when fish­ing the Jigga

Ge­off shows off a su­perb mixed bag taken on the Jigga float and caster

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