We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Capt. Chris Britton to discuss jigging for winter Spanish Mackerel with the Hogy Epoxy Jig Lure in Southeast Florida. Here's what we learned..
Capt. Chris Britton
Facebook: Grey Ghost Fishing Charters
Location: Southeast Florida
Tides: Both tides will produce fish. Since these fish are in open water the tide just has to be moving.
Approach: When targeting fish on the beach the easiest approach is to look for birds or visually seeing the fish jump out of the water. Here in South Florida, the fish tend to school up where there is a good amount of bait. I like to fish the edge of a reef line or a drop-off. The targeted depth can vary with each day but usually in 10 to 30ft of water. When setting up I like to drift through the school to find the greatest concentration of fish, then using my Minn Kota Ipilot to keep me on anchor in the best location. I prefer to fish in the morning or late afternoon but the fish will bite all day.
Why this bait: The Spanish Mackeral are usually feeding on small bait fish such as anchovies, glass minnows, pilchards, or small ballyhoo. With the action and profile of the epoxy jig, it perfectly imitates the food source that the fish are targeting.
Rigging selection: When targeting Spanish Mackerel I prefer to use the 3/8oz epoxy jig or the 5/8oz epoxy jig.
Colors: Glow has been the most productive color throughout the day. I tend to have multiple colors and weights. These fish can change size, color, and depth throughout the day. I have Green, Pink, Silverside and Albie Crack.
Retrieve: There are a couple different ways to fish these jigs. The easiest way is to just cast the jig out as far as you can and do a medium retrieve with no twitches. This method is done when I actively see fish feeding or jumping out of the water. The next best method is to cast out, let the jig sink for a couple seconds then do a medium retrieve with a twitch every couple reel cranks. Finally, if the fish are interested in the first two methods I will try a fast retrieve with a twitch every reel crank.
Rod: 6’8” 13 Fishing Omen Green Medium heavy fast 10-20lb
Reel: 3500 Diawa BG
Line: 20lb J braid
Leader: Spider Hitch to Albright Knot to connect 30lb mono leader with a 6-inch 38lb wire leader tied together by an Albright knot.