By Rob Rodriguez
Vertical jigging in the waters in South Florida is very productive and my favorite style of fishing. It has become a very important tool to compete in the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament.
Let's start with Rods. With Vertical jigging, a specialized jigging rod is best. These rods are small yet strong and are created to work vertical jigs with specific weights. Parabolic action is desired. It is a matter of personal preference. Most jigging rods tend to be 5 to 6 ft. Personally I like a longer Jigging rod so I can clear around my kayak if needed. I use Adrenaline custom rods (www.adrenalinefishingrods.com) that are tailored to my specific style of jigging. What you feel comfortable with is the best rod for you.
As for reels there are 2 choices- high speed to fight fast moving pelagic's or low gear to horse up big fish. I prefer small strong light reels. The Accurate Valiant 300 is a 9 oz tiny reel with tons of power. As for line braid the key is no stretch and plenty of strength (40-50 lb braid is best). Leader material will give you some stretch - good choice is 40- 50 lb Fluro.
Now let's get to the metal jig with free-swinging hooks, there are different options again my preference are Jimyjigs. Jimyjigs (www.jimyjigsusa.com) are well made and durable. They all have superglow with some impressive color schemes.
Ok let's begin....
Drop the jig to the bottom and retrieve it with a rhythmic motion that creates a vertical walk-the-dog action that's irresistible to fish that will cause a reaction strike. The technique works over featureless bottom, plus it's effective when fished through suspended schools of bait. It works over wrecks, reefs and rock piles. Also bouncing off the bottom 3/4 times lifting the jigg 5-10 ft and dropping back down is a great way to target snapper and grouper. No strikes work that jigg higher 30-50 ft and drop back down. No strikes either increase or decrease your speed. By increasing your speed you cut down on your chance to get snagged up on the wreck or structure. You are going to want to use a heavier jig to keep you as vertical as possible. Trust me the fish will definitely let you know when you get it right. No or little current I recommend a smaller jig 3-4 oz.
Grab your favorite Jimyjig and hit up your local waters.. And get ready to compete in the Extreme Kayak Fishing Tournament. You can see more reviews here.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida