How-To: East of Chatham Bluefin Tuna | Jigging

The tuna fishing out East of Chatham has been pretty consistent over the past few years. We filmed this tuna jigging video in mid August, at the height of a a stellar jig bite…

We were vertically jigging 6.5-8.5oz Hogy Sand Eel Jigs in anywhere from 150-200’+ of water. The target species was obviously tuna, but specifically rec. size fish anywhere up to 72″. Due to the nature of our gear and the regulations, we weren’t looking to tangle with a giant on this trip, but you can’t always pick and choose what fish decides to come get a taste of your jig! Joined by renowned Northeast angler, Eric Harrison, we were able to locate the fish, present our jigs in a proper manner and hook up on multiple 60″ class bluefin tuna!

Spinning Outfit

Rod: 5′ 6″ St. Croix Mojo XH Jigging Rod

Reel: Shimano Stella 18k

Line: 100lb Hollow-Core Braid

Leader: 12′ 100lb Fluoro Wind-On

Lure: Hogy Lures 6.5oz Sand Eel Jig

Conventional Outfit

Rod: 5′ 6″ Shimano Terez

Reel: Shimano Talica 25

Line: 100lb Hollow-Core Braid

Leader: 25′ 100lb Fluoro Wind-On

Lure: Hogy Lures 8.5oz Sand Eel Jig

Search & Drop

This is a great approach for locating fish. A combination of idling around/near any life and observing your electronics greatly increases your chances of marking fish. Especially on this given day when there was not any surface feeds. As soon as I mark fish on my finder, I’ll take my boat out of gear, give it a slight check in reverse to stop any forward motion and fire my jigs down to the desired depth.

Twitch Jigging

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. Its long, slender profile responds with a lot of jerking rod tip motions. The huge benefit of 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.


  1. You’re able to stay in a key strike zone for a very long time.
  2. Faster motions might trigger a reaction strike.
  3. Fish at desired depth.


  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-feet and repeat.
  4. Once you have too much line out from the boat, reel in and repeat.

Fast Jigging

Fast jigging is associated mostly with metals The bites tend to be more aggressive but you need to also pay careful attention to bites on the drop.


  1. Quickly cover the entire water column.
  2. Excellent technique for aggressive feeding tuna.


  1. Drop to the bottom or below targets identified on the fish finder. Engage and reel quickly while jerking the rod. Cranking fast and furiously to the surface.
  2. Drop back down and repeat.

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