This article will prepare you for your first attempt at shore jigging. The author, Vladimir Nesic is a jigging enthusiast, as well as author and editor at Spin & Fly Magazine. He’s been shore jigging along the Adriatic coasts of Croatia and Montenegro.
Originating from medieval Japan, shore jigging quickly spread all over the world to find a great number of loyal practitioners, especially in many of the countries along the Mediterranean coast.
In essence, shore jigging implies the casting of heavy lures, or jigs, in various deep underwater locations near the shoreline. Some of the best spots for this type of fishing include the rocky cliffs, quays, port docks, piers, jetties etc. The core of this exciting technique lies in the erratic rod/jig action, which is accompanied by plenty of free spooling.
There is virtually no wrong way of animating your lure when engaging in this type of fishing.
Feel free to experiment and combine various types of different presentations during each cast: you can test your luck with fast twitching, slow jerking, one jerk and one roll up, you name it. For maximum impact, you also may want to consider combining these with a traditional high speed, straight retrieve.
If the conditions allow, it can often prove fruitful to let the jig fall all the way down to the bottom just after you’ve lifted it some two thirds of the total depth, then repeat the entire process all over again. The motion of the jig during its fall can additionally aid in triggering the fish’s reaction.
Apart from countless serious anglers from all over the globe, some of the fish species that also seem to display a keen interest in this type of fishing include Amberjacks, Snappers, Bonitos, Tunas, Groupers, Bluefish, Kingfish, among others. Furthermore, the use of a lighter tackle and smaller jig sizes can be a very productive way of targeting some smaller fish species as well.
The hits are normally very strong and the fights nothing short of spectacular, especially if you consider the fact that you’re often going to have to position yourself on the very edge of the cliff, with little maneuver space and a large, powerful fish on the other end of your line.
The tackle should be a spinning combo with fast action comprised of a heavy 9’-10’ spinning rod and a strong spinning reel, filled with a high-quality braided line. You shouldn’t make compromises regarding the quality of the tackle used, as you can count on the fish putting a lot of strain on it during each fight. It isn’t easy to go against powerful maritime predators even from the comfort of the boat, let alone the rocky shores where you can’t afford the luxury of letting a hooked fish run freely.
You’re gonna need a powerful rod with a casting weight between 60 and 200 grams, depending on the lure density and targeted fish size.
As a matter of fact, the massive popularity of shore jigging has led to the emergence of a brand new category of spinning rods, designed specifically for this purpose, and many of the best manufacturers now regularly entertain such rods in their offers. Some of the most popular models include: Zenaq Muthos, Shimano Coltsniper, Major Craft KG Evolution, Xzoga Mastery, TenRyu Power Master, Yamaga Blanks Blue Sniper, Apia Foojin’ Black Line, Ripple Fisher Runner Exceed, Daiwa SJ (Shore Jigging)…
The most beloved reels used for shore jigging are surely the likes of Shimano Stella SW and Daiwa Saltiga, but there are lots of great reels in the lower price range as well, such as Shimano Saragosa, Fin-Nor Inshore and Penn Conquer, only to name a few, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find a model to suit the needs of almost any fisherman. The reel should have a hi gear ratio and must be able to wind the line perfectly.
Arming yourself with a waterproof drag is welcome, but not mandatory. The two things we should pay attention to regarding the drag are the fact that it must be super precise, as well as the maximum tension that it can endure. This kind of fishing will really put your equipment to the test, so if you want yours to last years, it’s useful to pay close attention to these sorts of features.
We recommend the use of best jigging lines with depth colouring, so you can easily track the exact depth of your lure at any given moment. This, of course, is a bit more about comfort rather than pure necessity, since standard braids will still work fine. Most of the Japanese jigging PE lines are going to fit your needs perfectly.
As for the breaking power, PE lines # 2.0 to 5.0 are just right for this purpose, and in standard measurements, the lines with 20 to 60 lb test power are generally considered to be the exact match. Great products to try on for a size are: YGK Power Hunter, YGK PE Compact, YGK Ultra WX8, YGK Ultra 2 Jig Man, Duel Super Smooth, Duel Hardcore X8, Sunline Cast Away, Sunline PE Jigger HG, Varivas Avani Casting PE, Varivas High Grade PE, Daiwa UVF bay jigging 6 Braid + SI, Daiwa SW 8 Braid + SI, Xzoga Jigging PE, Power Pro, as well as many others.
40 – 80 lb test strength shock leader or a fluorocarbon leader (1 meter in length) must be used for two reasons – first, to make the lure looks more appealing to the fish and second, because these lines are a lot more abrasion resistant than the braided lines, which is an issue since we’re going to be spend the majority of our time fishing on the rocks. Good manufacturers include Seaguar, Sunline and Xzoga.
There is a great number of manufacturers and jig models that can be used for shore jigging. Some of the best and most popular of lures are the HTO Shore Jig, Maria Shore Blue EX, Maria Mucho Lucir, Maria Metal Flicker, River2Sea Searock, DUO Press Bait.
Most of the lures designed for shore jigging technique are intended to be used with an assist single hook attached to them, but the smaller ones are usually used with treble hooks instead. Assist hooks for jigs can be bought, and some of the best hook manufacturers, such as Owner, do have them in offer. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even try tying them yourself.
Here’s a tutorial teaching you exactly how to do it:
A couple of extra items that can come in handy while shore jigging include a nice pair of gloves and a net with a long handle for landing the fish.
Try this technique on your next fishing vacation and I promise you’ll have a lot of fun with it. If you have any additional questions regarding this underhyped yet amazing fishing technique, let me know in the comment section below!