We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Capt. Dean Langton to discuss jigging for snapper with the Hogy 10-inch Original Series in Costa Rica. Here's what we learned...
Capt. Dean Langton
Facebook: Osa Outfitters
Location: Gulfo Dulce, Costa Rica
Tides: Due to potentially swift currents on heavy tides. The best time to vertically jig is on the top third of the outgoing tide or the last third of an incoming. These currents will create eddies that spin off of volcanic pinnacles underwater, bait fish will used these eddies as protection from the tide.
Approach: The dominant underwater structures are volcanic pinnacles that rise high up from the ocean floor. Tons of marine life thrive around these under water sky scrapers. During periods of heavy tidal flow, eddy currents will form around these pinnacles. It’s common for large schools of herring or blue runners to use this eddy for protection. The bait will become concentrated and presents an easy meal for big snappers. For the most productive fishing, you’ll want to make sure the structure you are targeting has schools of bait nearby, if not, it’s best to move along until abundant forage can be located.
Rigging Selection: When jigging right on the bottom, The Hogy 3oz or 4.5oz Barbarian Series Jig Head can keep you in contact with structure. When working the upper portion of the water column, the side to side darting action of the Classic Jig Heads is perfect.
Bait Selection: The Hogy HDUV Jiggin' Eels
Why This Bait? The large profile and action of this bait are perfect for imitating oceanic herring and blue runners.
Midwater – Ballysmoke, Green Sexy
Bottom – Black Pearl, Silver
Retrieve: When targeting fish right on the bottom with the heavy barbarian jigs, you’ll want to stay within 3 feet of the rocks. The greatest number of fish will be tight to the structure and usually produce the fastest action. A slow up and down bouncing retrieve is perfect to tempt these fish. Remember to use heavy drag when jigging around such sharp rocks, as a hooked fish will try to break you off on the volcanic rock.
When targeting larger fish, working the mid-water column can be your best bet. The numbers of fish hooked may go down, but the average size is usually much better. The 2oz Deep Darter Head is perfect for this application, as you can use a walk-the-dog retrieve to tempt a violent strike near the surface. When working the bait back in, make sure to work it all the way back to the boat, often the biggest strikes will happen within 6′ of the surface. So hang on!!
Rod: Heavy Action 7′ Cape Fear Spinning Rod
Reel: Penn Spinfisher 8000
Line: 45lb Power Pro Braid
Leader: 50lb or 60lb Fluorocarbon tied line to leader using a spider hitch to an albright special. Use a tuna bite knot for tying you leader to lure.