HOGY JIG N' POP
ESSENTIALS

CAPT. MIKE'S GUIDE TO BLUEFIN

It's hard to imagine a fishery that is more exhilarating than "jigging and popping" for bluefin tuna. There's a lot of preparation, a lot of weather cancellations, early mornings and more than a few skunkings, but when your plan, weather and preparation and clear calendar all come together and you find a hot bite, it's pretty awesome! Despite the large fish and all the drama, casting and jigging for tuna is pretty simple as a practice.

To get started, you need the right boat, a couple of appropriate outfits and a relatively small assortment of leaders, terminal connecting and lures that would fit in a large backpack. In fact, I think the Spartan nature of jigging and casting to Bluefin tuna is a real factor as to why jigging and casting to Bluefin tuna has seen a huge spike in popularity over the years. Preparing for a jigging or casting trip for Bluefin tuna takes a fraction of the time of putting a trolling spread together or sourcing bait. - Capt. Mike

HOGY JIG N' POP

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Slow Topwaters: Sliders

SLOW TOPWATERS: SLIDERS

Notes: The slow approach is the ideal way to target tuna and is usually associated with good fishing where there are numerous schools and plenty for everyone. You can consider the approach to be a hybrid of The Running and Gunning Method and the Blind Cast Method.

  • When: This is a great approach when there are a number of fish breaking in a wide area.
  • How-To: Keep it slow and easy. No need for hard running. Idling up to a school at 10 knots or less is ideal. There is no need to hurry in this situation as there are plenty of scattered feeds and they are popping up and down. If you go slow and happy, you might not even get to the school before seeing fish. The main goal is to be slow and deliberate to keep from spooking fish as you close in on the distance.
    • Approach slowly when a nearby school pops up. Blind cast and believe!

Charter Grade Sliders

2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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Fast Topwater: Tuna Epoxy

FAST TOPWATER: TUNA EPOXY JIGS

Fast Skippy Retrieve: This is a tip-up, fast-crank retrieve. Great for imitating fleeing sea herring, half beaks and mackerel. This is the preferred retrieve to breaking fish or blind casting in calm water when you know fish are in the area. Although this method is most commonly associated with the Hogy Epoxy Jig® Lure, variations can be made with the Hogy Slider and Pro Tail by pointing the rod tip slightly above the horizontal position and reeling quickly.
  1. Steps:
    1. Cast out, collect line.
    2. Point the rod at a 45-degree angle and increase reeling speed and rod tip height simultaneously,
    3. As you reel, twitch your rod back sporadically. This will cause your Epoxy Jig® Lure to pop in and out of the water simulating a fleeing bait fish.

Tuna Rigged Epoxy Jig Lures™

2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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Twitch Jigging: Sand Eel Jig

TWITCH JIGGING: SAND EEL JIGS

Twitch jigging is a variation of the slow jig with the only difference being a series of sharp, fast twitches in the rod. It’s almost like you are vibrating the lure with rapid rod tip twitches. This technique works particularly well with the Hogy Sand Eel Jig. It’s long, slender profile responds with a lot jerking rod tip motions. The huge benefit to this technique is that you can really dial in a certain depth. This is a useful method when “sniping” fish you have identified on the fish finder.

Steps:

  1. Drop to a specific depth that you are targeting.
  2. Twitch your rod with fast short movements.
  3. Every few moments, change the depth by 10’, repeat.
  4. Once you have too much line out from boat drift, reel in and repeat.

Benefits:

  1. Stay in a key strike zone for a very long time.
  2. Faster motions might trigger reaction strike.
  3. Allows metal lure depth, soft bait action.

Twitch Jigging Favorites

2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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Slow Jigging: Harness Jig

SLOW JIGGING: HARNESS JIGS

This is my favorite jigging technique for fishing with soft baits and I think the most underutilized. It’s a great technique for those fish you see on the fish finder that “won’t bite anything.” As compared to speed jigging, a slow-jigged lure is an easy target for lazy tuna. Slow jigging works best with eel tails such as the Hogy Harness Jig and Hogy Pro Tail Paddle Tail soft baits. You are relying mostly on boat drift and slow rod tip motions to work the bait. The natural softness of the plastic does the rest. It’s really a slow method. I jokingly teach people my method by instructing to fish like “you really don’t care about fishing.”

Steps:

  1. Drop to a specific depth that you are targeting.
  2. Slowly raise your rod tip and let it fall slowly.
  3. Every few moments, change the depth by 10’ slow cranks, then repeat slow jig.
  4. Drop back to bottom and repeat.
  5. Once you have too much line out from boat drift, reel in and repeat.
  6. Benefits:
    1. Stay in a key strike zone for a very long time.
    2. Natural subtle movements to present a slow easy bait for a lazy tuna to eat. The subtle movements of a soft bait tail are deadly.
    3. Easy technique for inexperienced guest on your boat.

Slow Jigging Favorites

2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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HOW-TO: HARPOON TUNA

USING THE POON HARPOON

One of the oldest tools in fishing, harpoons have a long history of landing large fish. From the days of the Nantucket whaleboats to today's commercial giant bluefin tuna fishing industry, harpoons have proven themselves as an invaluable tool. And now their use is becoming more and more popular with recreational fishermen.

The POON’s unique design incorporates a rigid lightweight shaft coupled with a high weight POWER HEAD. The lightweight shaft allows for easy handling and aims while the heavy POWER HEAD allows for pinpoint accuracy and penetration at any depth. The shaft is made from 1" hard coated aluminum. Although lightweight, the POON can withstand the rigorous pressure of large fish. Each component uses a universal thread and can be assembled in less than 1 minute.

LIFE'S TOO SHORT TO LOSE BIG FISH

2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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2oz (4.5inch) The EPOXY JIG™ Lure Olive

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