Not every trip to the tuna grounds ends up in success (as much as we'd hope it does!). Fortunately, there is world-class groundfishing opportunities for Cod, Haddock and Pollock in the same waters.
In this video, Capt. Mike Hogan shows off Hogy's new Jig-Biki Rig paired with our Heavy Flutter Pitch Jig for slow-twitch style jigging groundfish to fill the cooler. We utilize the same spinning and conventional outfits used for tuna casting and jigging to jig up a nice assortment of tasty groundfish species.
Tactical Jig: Sand Eel Jig or Flutter Pitch Jig in under 200’ of water I recommend the 6.5oz and 8.5oz versions. In water over 200-feet with a strong current, I usually start with a 12oz jig and move up to a 16oz jig in heavy current. The Hogy Sand Eel jig gets down the bottom quickly due to its long slender profile and is fished fast. If Cod or Haddock are favoring a bigger presentation, the alternative is the Hogy Flutter Pitch Jig which will closely resemble a herring or similarly sized baitfish.
Strategy: I look for two things when searching for cod; a plateau, such
as ledges, that you can spot on a chart or a live bottom that looks “furry” on the fish finder. I start by locating a circular, topographical elevation or recess. In stating with the topography, I’ll try the shallowest point first and drift over the deep side. Once I’m in the area where I think will be a good place to drop, I’ll invest some time into looking for a live bottom, which shows up as an alternate color. From my understanding, a live bottom consists of sponges, growths, crabs, etc. In other words, a habitat in a big, open ocean that is capable of holding a flourishing food chain.
Ideally, you might mark a few fish. But more often than not, you don’t. At least I don’t anyway. I’ll play around with drops if the area looks really good. Sometimes, on the first drop, I’ll pick up a few dogfish right away. If this happens, I’ll make a move to the next spot. It’s amazing to me how short of a move it can take to completely change the fishing. Where I am fishing, East of Chatham on Cape Cod, there are so many topographical changes that you’ll have plenty of spots to work.