Vertical Jigging for Trophy Class Stripers with the Hogy Slappy Eel
Capt. Jamie Simmons of Buzzard’s Bay Outfitters and Capt. Jimmy Pragana of Epic Offshore head out with the Salty Cape Crew to target monster, mid-August nighttime stripers with the “slappy technique,” which is a slow, vertical jig along the bottom of the water column where these 35lb.+ class fish can often be found.
“It’s just about sundown out here in early August and there has been some really quality bass fishing going on,” Capt. Jamie Simmons said. “We’re gonna do some vertical jigging tonight.
The technique involves dropping the Slappy Eels to the bottom and bumping them across the bottom. Wind and tidal movement can help entice the fish even further, especially during the nighttime.
The crew is using super light tackle rods and reels, which adds to the fun of targeting these 35 to 50lb fish. When the tide is a little slower, they’re going to be using lighter weights but as the change in tide picks up, they’ll likely bump up to heavier ways to stay in contact with the bottom.
Tip 1: Use lightweight jig heads around slack tide. Increase the jig heads weight as the tide or the current builds.
“The Hogy Barbarian jig heads are perfect for these soft baits,” Capt. Jamie Simmons said. “If you’re not going to use a quality hook here, there’s a very good chance you’re going to straighten out your hook with some of these fish.”
The Barbarian Jig Head is known to be durable, strong and reliable, especially when fishing with light tackle.
Looking for the perfect depth and structure combination, the guys cruise around waiting for the tide to turn.
Tip 2: Drop the Slappy jig all the way to the bottom. Keep the bait in contact with structure.
Once they find the right structure and schools they are looking for, they drop the lure straight down to the bottom and begin vertical jigging.
Tip 3: Use short, sharp rod twitches to impart a dancing action in the bait.
By lifting it up two or three feet, the baits are still within view of the fish in the area, which usually strike on the drop.
With a fish on, Capt. Jimmy Pragana angles it towards the boat. Scooping it into the net, he removes the soft plastic Slappy Eel and releases it into the darkness.