Slow Pitch Tuna Jigging | Harness Pro Tail Eel
A couple of weeks ago, Capt. Mike Hogan and the Salty Crew set their sights East of Cape Cod to join in on the fun of the fall tuna run. With the Hogy 6oz Harness Pro Tail and 200-feet of water, vertical jigging throughout all levels of the water column is almost too easy.
Once you’ve hit bottom, it’s important that you fish these baits very slowly. When most anglers think of vertical jigging, they think of rapid rod tip twitches and reel cranks as you bring the bait up through the water column in search of a strike. But bringing the rod tip up very slowly and letting the bait sink down is just as effective and looks even more appetizing.
“The biggest mistake anglers make when vertical jigging soft baits is that they fish them too fast,” Capt. Mike Hogan said as he slowly lifted and dropped the rod tip, creating a natural flutter-like presentation of the soft bait eel tail. “The advantage to having a soft bait jig as opposed to a metal jig is that you have that very natural undulation so the bait will be very life-like, even at slow speeds.”
If you’re used to fishing with metal jigs, you’re used to fishing very fast but it’s key to fish slowly with these soft baits. There will even be times when you want to let it sink down to the bottom and sit there for a few seconds. More than 50-percent of the time you will get hit on the drop, which makes it important to keep a good eye on what your line is doing when you’re letting it out. If it starts to go out really quickly or even noticeably slows down on the drop, close the bail and reel fast. It might take 10 to 15 seconds to feel the pressure of the fish but odds are if something weird happens on the drop, you have a fish on.
“I can’t even tell you how many times I’ll let the line out and have a fish pick it up on the drop,” Capt. Mike Hogan said. “A lot of times, the fish will spit the hook and you won’t even know until you look at the jig and see chafe marks from being inside the tunas mouth.”
The slower you can fish a soft bait, the better!