What is “Slow-Pitch” Jigging?
This is the state-of-the-art jigging techniques that has been spreading all around Japan and elevating the game of jigging to another dimension. The concept and technique have been presented by a man named Norihiro Sato. I learned jigging from watching his DVDs. He is my Sensei.
If you know jigging as what it used to be (or see “What is wrong with the old-style hi-speed jigging?“), you think, “Jigging is tough!” Jigging used to be a hard muscle work-out. It’s still an exciting game and it does work in a lot of situations, but on the other hand, it’s a fact that a lot of people has come to jigging and never come back.
But jigging looks totally different in this video. It’s all in Japanese, so if you don’t understand, just take in as much visual information for now. It is my intension to share the principles and techniques throughout this website.
Slow Pitch Jigging by Norihiro Sato
Looks easy, huh? Well, it is really easy in terms of that you don’t have to torture your muscles.
If you know the old way, you might be going “How could possibly a fish bite the jig like that?”
Believe it or not, this technique does work.
- It works for a wider range of fish species. (From fast-swimming fish to bottom fish
- It works for a wider range of fish’s moods. (Not only when the fish is active, but also when they are not active.)
- It works for a wider range of sea conditions.
- It catches more fish.
Well, when the fish is active and you are where the fish is, any methods would work.
One time I was helping a fellow angler pulling his catch onto the boat, leaving my jig hanging in the water. When I returned I saw my rod fishing on its own. It was a small tuna, which many still believe that they need to move the jig super fast to catch. The boat was only rocking and dancing the jig.
But the fish is not active all day. In fact, in most places the active time lasts about 2 to 3 hours at one time, and it happens a couple of times a day. If you don’t want to wander around the ocean all day looking for activated schools of fish, you need to come up with something different. So how do we fish when they are not active? Slow Pitch Jigging came out of that idea.
How Does it Work?
Predators always look for easy targets to feed on. The easier, the better. It’s an instinct.
Crippled bait fish make random movements, they dash and stop, dart in irregular directions, make flashing actions, and fall to bottom. In the ocean ecosystem, going downward is a sign of weakness, either it’s not being able to swim or it’s hiding for cover.
This is what the slow pitch jigging is trying to direct, tempting the fish eaters.
Slow pitch jigging is not slow reeling. It is a continuous sequence of stop and go in each pitches. It’s basically 1 pitch per second. That tempo is very slow compared to the conventional style of jigging.
1In the moment you give a pitch of reeling, the rod gives in nicely and bends, giving the smooth upward acceleration to the jig. 1 pitch can be 1 turn around, 1/2 turn, or 1/4 turn. You can jerk up the rod a little to each pitch, or not.
2After a pitch, you stop and hold up the rod. In that moment the rod springs back up, releasing the power in a whip action so that the jig is tossed free to the side. The center-balanced jig slides to the side and moves in a horizontal position for an instant. It is when the jig is on its side that the chasing fish comes up for a bite.
3You bring down the rod with half the reeling or not reeling at all. If you reel half on the way down and the half on the way up, the jig keeps dancing upward with suspension on its side in between. If you don’t reel on the way down, the jig free-falls and does its own built-in actions on the way down. This is also a popular moment for a bite.
4Just when you feel the jig weight pulling down your rod tip, pick it up with your reeling and jerking to give another pitch. This might be a moment that you realize that a fish made a bite in your previous step. You can change all kinds of different actions to your rod, speed, length, rhythm, timing and the combinations of all kinds.
To see more slow pitch application.
How to make actions in Slow Pitch Jigging →
You never know what triggers the fish to react to your jig, but basically, the slow-pitch jigging has learned that it’s when the jig is on its side, the horizontal position, and when the jig is falling, going downward, that it attracts most bites. In other words, these are the moments when the jig is free on its own, when you are not doing anything to the jig. Slow pitch jigging wants to maximize those moments. You do less. Get the jig horizontal. Let it swim on its own. And let it fall.
This method has achieved tremendous results with all kids of fish. The groupers, codfish, rockfish and other bottom fish used to be not much the targets for the conventional style of jigging. But now those delicious fish are our greatest customers with Slow Pitch Jigging. Tunas, amberjacks, yellowtails and other fast-swimming fish also like this slow moving and falling jigs, too.
The most essential part of Slow Pitch Jigging
is to stay in a vertical alignment with your jig. Almost everything we do in the setup and the boating is primarily to serve this purpose. And it is when we can’t stay vertical that the slow pitch does not work.
The most fun part of slow pitch jigging, I think, is that you have so many tactical choices. The slow pitch principles teach you to become aware of the jig movements. And the awareness enables you to change something when it is not working. You have so many choices. You can change the rod, the reel, the type and the weight of the jig, the line, the leader, the rings, the hooks, the assist line, your application of reeling and jerking. The combination is unlimited, but yet, it’s not so complicating to study. The slow pitch principles are pretty simple.
I really hope this website will help you understand, enjoy, and go deeper into the game as much as I do.
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