My first fishing trip of the year

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Wishing everyone a happy 2016!!!

Finally I was able to go out fishing for the first time this year. I was cancelled a couple of times due to bad weather.

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A historical cold wave has been hitting Japan and the weather has been nasty.  I was almost giving up this trip but miracle does happen!

The spirit is high and off we go on a popular jigging boat Tengu.

 

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The first fish on the boat was a jobfish from 80m deep.

Slow Jerker 603-4.
Jigger LD 2000
Super Fireline Colored PE2.0
Seaguar FXR #10
210g Rector

 

Soon after, at 160m, I got another contact.

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Touch the bottom, fast 1-2-3-4-5, slow 1, slow 2, slow… boom!
Pretty typical contact at the second slow after fast retrieve.

 

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Yes! 3kg Amberjack!

Slow Jerker 603-6
Ocea Jigger 2000NR-HG
Super Fireline Colored PE2.0
Seaguar FXR #10
260g Cranky

 

Got 2 fish right off the start. It looked good today. No one else got the fish yet, but it brightened everyone.

But from this moment on, the current started picking up. And we got some double layered complex currents going on down there. The captain tried to keep us vertical, but when the ocean is moving fast with complex currents like this, the water feels really heavy.

 

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Everybody had tough time with the heavy water at 120m to 150m. We tried to look for fish in the shallower water and didn’t find much. This is where the fish is. The sounder shows some big concentrations, but we couldn’t get any contacts for a couple of hours. Struggling.

I tried everything.

Slow Jerker 603-4 with Gawky 300g, 380g.  Didn’t work.  I didn’t think I was moving the jig.  The jig probably wasn’t falling as the currents moves the line too much.

Highpitch Jerker 600 with 300g Spunky.  I felt the jig movements,   But no luck.

Slow Jerker 603-6 with Arc 290g.  It felt OK, for the first 3 plays off the bottom at least.  But no luck.

Slow Jerker 603-6 with Abyss 260g.   This is one of my setups I particularly like recently around 100m to 150m.

When I’m trying different approaches and looking for successful pattern of the day, I always try 3 speeds in the same setup with versatile jigs like Abyss, Arc and Rector.

Punchy application.  With strong rod jerk and fast reeling, I give some impact to the jig and try to make it swim after release.  It’s not as strong as high pitch jigging, but it’s closer.  I use 2 to 3 hours of motion range of the rod.
Slow Pitch rod actions on the clock →

Medium appliction.  Using 1 to 3 hours of motion range of the rod.  With or without falls.  When I do with the fall, I don’t reel while I’m bringing down the rod.  When without, I reel half the turn while bringing down the rod and I limit my rod motion range within about 2 hours (30 degrees).

Soft application.  Using 3 to 6 hours of motion range of the rod.  Soft and long lift and fall.  The fall can be free fall, or with a little tension on the line.

These 3 jigs really follow any of the speeds well.  Easy to make the overall rhythm of your play. I always try these 3 speeds with the same setup before I change to another.  I really recommend you to do the same.  Differentiate 3 speeds in your slow pitch application, and try to find the rhythm with your rod work and reel work in each speeds.  

 

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And I finally hit it.  A 5kg amberjack from 140m deep.

Slow Jerker 603-6
Ocea Jigger 2000NR-HG
Super Fireline Colored PE2.0
Seaguar FXR #10
260g Abyss

 

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This was a delight.  I built up my game for it and broke the 2-hour silence on the boat.

With 260g jig on Fireline 2.0, I could only play 2 or 3 times in one drop.  After that, I could only feel the blur touch down and the water felt so heavy that I didn’t think I was moving the jig.

So I decided to focus on the first couple of plays and pull up 140m.  The captain was starting the drift away, up the current, from the fish because the ocean was moving so fast and we pass.  I asked the captain if he’s starting the drift really way far away from the fish, or when the boat will be on top of the fish by the time our jigs touch the bottom.  He answered that the boat will be just before fish when we touch the bottom.

So I timed it just to do a couple of plays and pull up.  And I dropped again when the captain kept drifting. It is a lot of work to pull up 140m over and over in such heavy water.  With a heavier jig I may be able to stay under a little longer, but Abyss 260g felt good (Abyss 230g on 603-4 felt too light) and I decided to keep dropping it.

 

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Shortly after, I got another one.  4kg Amberjack.

It hooked on the body, but it was clear the fish chased the jig.  I was doing medium application, I felt some movements around the jig, so I gave 3 fast lifts, hoping to make the fish chase the jig, then the contact came on the second slow pitch after that.  I’m glad that my Jigger Light Shiwari finds something to hook on.

 

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I tried something different when we were at 170m deep.

Highpitch Jerker 600
SOM L120Hi
Super Fireline Colored PE3.0
Seaguar FXR #12
320g Cranky

This highpitch rod is really handy for a tough situation like this.  My application is slow pitch.  Cranky works well with short small uplifts, but in this heavy water, no slow pitch rod can flick this heavy weight jig.  It worked with HPJ600.

 

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I switched to Arc 290g on Slow Jerker 603-6, hoping to get a bigger fish with slow moving big jig, but instead, I got a smaller 2kg Amberjack.

But hell, I was on fire!  I was the only one catching the fish.

 

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Then toward the end of the day, the complex currents eased down.  Even though the fast moving ocean gave the captain a hard time but he was able to keep us vertical and the drift started hitting more fish concentrations.

 

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I didn’t even have time to take photos.

 

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A big fishing day!  Yeeeee-haw!!!

 

 

I hope you find this article informative and helpful to you!

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