We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Kevin Gould to discuss deep water jigging for Bluefin Tuna off of Chatham, Massachusetts with the Hogy Tuna Rigged Epoxy Jig. Here's what we learned...
Location: East Chatham, Cape Cod.
Approach: Deep water jigging is an effective technique when tuna are not responding to the troll. In order to locate these deep water fish, you’ll need to use a variety of tools and signals. Closely watching your sonar while trolling is a great way to locate bait schools and in turn, find tuna. On the surface, individual or small flocks of sea birds may still be following schools of bait holding deep. Finally, correctly using a sonar unit will allow you to see individual fish marks on or near bait fish schools.
Bait Selection: Tuna Rigged Hogy Epoxy Jig Lure
Why This Bait? Unlike other heavy jigs for deep water jigging, the SI Hammered Jig offers a smaller, compact profile that’s excellent for imitating local forage like oceanic sand eels and herring. During this specific trip, the tuna ignored longer “butterfly” style jigs, yet responded very well to the flutter and profile of the Tuna Rigged Epoxy Jig Lure.
Retrieve: Generally speaking, a moderate rhythmic retrieve is quite effective to getting tuna to eat. One very important skill all jiggers must master is noticing a strike on the drop. It’s very common for tuna to eat a jig as it is falling on a slack line, this strike is often very subtle and may only be indicated by a slight tick or pause in the descent of the bait. Lightning fast reflexes will often reward conscientious anglers. Some common signals a fish has eaten your lure on the drop: 1. A slight “jump” in your line. 2. The jig slows down or stops before hitting bottom. 3. The speed of the falling jig increases suddenly. In all instances, you will need to quickly turn over the bail and set the hook!
Rod: CTS Bay Master 7′ Heavy 350g
Reel: Shimano Stella SW 18k
Line: 60lb JB Hollowcore
Leader: 80lb Fluorocarbon Wind On Leader