15 Minutes with: Capt. ross gallagher
Here’s what we learned…
Location: Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico
Tides: Deep water jigging tends to be the most productive when a light to moderate current is running. Periods of slack current tend to slow down the bite.
Approach: Vertical jigging can easily be accomplished on the drift or on anchor. When fishing larger areas of live bottom or structure, drifting allows you to quickly cover ground searching for active fish. The hammered jig can quickly reach the bottom in deep water without the worry of tangles or twists. During periods of very slow current, jigs can be casted away from the boat and “walked” back in to a vertical presentation.
Bait Selection: Tipping your diamond jigs with soft baits significantly increases the action and appearance of your jig underwater. Our favorites are the 7inch HDUV Jigging & 10inch Original Series Eels.
Why this bait: The erratic, dancing action and soft chewy texture of an Hogy’s Soft Eel Baits attracts grouper from a distance and helps them hold onto the jig longer during a strike. This increases the number of bites and hookups compared to a naked diamond jig.
Colors: I’ve always had great luck using black when jigging for deepwater grouper. It offers the most contrast at deep depths and easily mimics a wide array of forage. My next choice would be Tinker Mac or Bubblegum.
Retrieve: You can stick with the classic, slow jigging style when tipping your diamond jigs with soft baits. Keep the jig moving at a medium speed, steady pace. Make sure to bounce bottom often while the jig tumbles in and around structure on the bottom. Unlike speed jigs, diamond jigs often perform best with a slower action.
Rod: 6′ 6″ Sewell Custom Offshore Spinning Jig Rod. This light weight rod offers all day jigging comfort, while providing plenty of backbone to haul up the biggest grouper. A conventional rod and reel can easily be used for this technique as well
Reel: Shimano Saragosa 8000
Line: 50lb Power Pro Slick Braid.
Leader: 6′ 80# Mono Leader.