How To: Vertical Jig Sand Eels for Tuna

We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Capt. Cullen Lundholm to discuss vertical jigging Hogy Sand Eel Jigs off of Provincetown from his trip on September 21, 2019 and here’s what we found out.. 



Capt. Cullen Lundholm

Location: Stellwagen Bay off of Provincetown and East of Cape Cod. The tuna have been keyed in on large sand eel bait balls. Look for minimal bird and surface activity in water deeper than 140-feet.

Tides: There are pretty big tides right now which is making it more difficult to stay vertical. Heavier jigs are necessary on the higher tides and lighter weight jigs can be used on the smaller tides.

Approach: To locate suspended bottom activity, search for a any surface signs of activity and work the area closely while monitoring the fish finder for any bait or fish marks. Dropping down to the bottom, focus the jigging retrieve on the lower 30 to 40-feet, targeting marks on the fish finder around sand eel schools.

Rigging/Lure Selection: Tuna rigged 6.5oz and 8.5oz Sand Eel Jigs.

Why This Bait? Right now, tuna are keyed in on large sand eels in deep water with heavy current. Heavy sand eel jigs creates good bottom presentation near where tuna are feeding and the heavier weight will help keep the jig vertical in heavy current.

Colors: Green and Olive are excellent imitation colors for natural sand eel presentation and works best when tuna are keyed in on sand eel bait balls.

Retrieve: Work the jig quickly up 20 to 30 feet from the bottom while implementing short pauses in between to allow the jig to flutter, drop back down and repeat.


Rod: 7-foot Jigging World Black Widow 300g

Reel: Shimano TwinPower 14000

Line: 80lb Superslick

Leader: 100lb Fluoro wind-on

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