After you’ve tossed your jig over board and its on its way to the bottom, you need to consider how your going to retrieve it?! There are many ways to do this and some of them are very simple indeed! Firstly – watch your line as it sinks. As soon as your jig is in the water, regardless of where you are, it’s fishing for you and can be hit! When you have you jig to the desired depth, you can simply tuck the nicely formed butt section of your jig rod under your arm pit and lift & drop. A slow lift or a quick lift its up to you! Mix it up and see what the fish are up for. Sometimes all they want is a very slow short lift and other times you might have to make your jig race up off the bottom with a fast lift followed by a quick few turns of the handle then another lift – keep in mind that after a retrieve like this, your likely to need to open the bail and drop your jig back to the bottom. Regardless of what retrieve style you do, you really need to get out there and test the water with a multitude of actions. But for the books, one of my favourite retrieves is one of the simplest ones. A simple lift of the rod tip and a complete jig ‘free fall’back down till the rod tip is at water level again and then repeat. It’s a one handed action that does wear you out so you can do it all day and it gives the fish plenty of opportunity to not only find your jig but eat it to. Sometime if your jig is moving to fast or traveling to far away from the target fish, they wont bother trying to eat it – it’s to much trouble to try to catch for the size of it. This is where a shorter lift keeps it in their face and you in the action!
Check out basic slow jigging techniques in this clip
Speaking of all things small. One of the reasons that this style of fishing is gaining so much cred so fast is because of the amount of fish it catches and the diversity of species. Why this is, is because fish, regardless of there size, eat many, many more small food items than big. This is a simple economics rule – smaller creature are both more numerous, not as smart and swim slower than other larger creatures. The swim slower part of the equation is simple put down to their power to weight ratio and the fact that they run out of steam faster (tick number one for predatory fish). The fact that they are in such large number means that they don’t need to think outside the box and are pretty much like a herd of sheep (tick number two for predatory fish). In this situation they’re designed to have some collateral damage without it affecting the species. And the sheer number of them makes them an easy target (tick number 3).
So being that so many predatory fish (the majority of the species we as humans want to catch) eating so many small items everyday it doesn’t take a astro physicist to work out why micro jigging works so damn well. The jigs you are tossing into the water are within the size range of the majority of the food source categories of the prime fish species we want to catch – and their not always small fish! Big fish eat small foods and lots of it!!
Rods, Reels & Lines – Looking at the rods, reels and lines used for this style of fishing, you can safely say that there is something going on with the rods but the rest of it looks pretty normal. Normal spinning type reel – check, normal type braid – check, but whats with that kooky looking rod? To be honest the rod is where it’s at. To do this type of fishing you can use a hand-line but to do it in comfort and style, you need one of these rods!
The bottom line with these rods is that their are very parabolic (parabolic – bending easily from the tip to the butt in a more even curve) which serves two purposes – 1/ To soften the blows of those heavy head shakes mentioned before. 2/ To bring the power play of the loaded rod back toward the angler. This is an excellent feature of the rods and something you will only, truly realise once you have one in your hands and have it loaded! By bringing the power of the loaded rod back down towards the angler, it allows you apply much more pulling force down the line without you realising it. It’s very comfortable and user friendly. Something you just don’t not get out of you 7’snapper spin rod!
Orra 2 Inshore
To be fair to the reels and line, you should be using a light weight spin reels in 2000 to 4000 size and there are a couple of different braids around that will have you do this type of fishing a little better. They are the braids that ‘sink’! Sinking braids have been around for a while now and started out life in the squid fishing department. Now available in heaver weights, you can find them on reels destined for micro jigging.
Wrap it up – Micro jigging is something you all must try but if you’re going to have a go, make sure you do it properly. I know that how I went at it and let me tell you…you’ll catch a surprising amount of fish doing it. Where the soft baits are not cutting it and you feel you need to be down on the bottom in more control, this is the system for you. So far the telly stands at an average of 4 to 1 fishing micro jigs against soft baits. No need to tell you its the micro jigs that are the 4…but then again I just did!