FAQ: What are the best tides for slow-pitch jigging?
What tides to fish is the same as other fishing modalities. There are times that fish gets activated. When the tide is not moving, fish is not activated. When the tide is moving too much, fish stays very at the bottom and is not activated. The moderate moving tide activates fish.
Slow-pitch jigging expanded the efficient range of fishing that the other jigging techniques used to have. Still, there’s limits.
When you have choppy waves, the jigging becomes really difficult. With all the ups and downs, it’s really difficult to control the movement of the jig. You can time your jerks to the waves for some extent, but you can’t really do much.
Long Fall Jerk has better chance. The falling action is the catch. The waves don’t matter.
It’s ideal that the current is moving under 1 knot.
If the boat has the spanker (the tail sail to keep the boat heading upwind), you can do up to 3 knot current. If the boat is sea-anchored, which is the least you need to do for slow-pitch jigging, I’d say 2 knot current is pretty much the maximum. Of course this is just a general idea. It depends on the wind, the depth, the layers of currents and other factors as well.
What you can do under the strong current to push your limits are:
- Use a heavier jig like 250g to 400g
- Use a thinner line. PE2.0 is just about a standard for slow-pitch jigging. If you go down PE1.5, PE1.2, or PE1.0, it makes a difference.
- Use as many long-falls as possible.
- Use high-pitch jerk if you have a suitable rod.
When the current is strong and pushes your line away from you, you are not in a straight line with your jig. In a couple of try, your line will be drifted further. When you jerk, you can just move the line, not the jig. The jig is just hanging in mid-water. Sometimes you can’t even touch the bottom. You need to pull it all the way back up and drop again.