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Thread: Bottom Jigging Question

  1. #1

    Default Bottom Jigging Question

    Dumb question - I'm considering picking up a few KodiakCustom jigs, but is there any strategy to avoid hooking the bottom and losing the jig? Especially fishing around rock-piles, etc? With my luck I'd leave the good part of a tackle shop on the bottom!
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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by healerf18 View Post
    Dumb question - I'm considering picking up a few KodiakCustom jigs, but is there any strategy to avoid hooking the bottom and losing the jig? Especially fishing around rock-piles, etc? With my luck I'd leave the good part of a tackle shop on the bottom!
    . Only the obvious, try to keep the jig near the bottom, not on it. Easier to do when anchored vs drifting of course. Once I drop the jig down and find the bottom, I usually try to jig 3-10 feet from the bottom, especially in rocky areas.

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    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    I suggest you only use jigs that don't work or that you don't like. Any jig you like or catches fish will get snagged and broke off. Also the more expensive the jig the more likely you will lose it.

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    Member carolinaboy's Avatar
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    Too funny.

    Another tactic is switch to circle hooks. I just got back from a week on POW island. Jigged up 12 species and lost no jigs. Caught two sea cucumbers somehow or other; both snagged. Felt like a soft bite, I set the hook.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Jigs with assist rigging tend to snag less.
    Fish down hill from Rock piles and pinnacles.
    Keep your jigs just off bottom when jigging.
    There are also other jigs made in Alaska that are as good if not better for much less $$ than Kodiak Custom jigs.



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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    ...try to keep the jig near the bottom, not on it....
    Yeah. We don't worry too much about being right on the bottom when it's snaggy. To emphasize the point, we haven't even bothered to jig this year. We've been catching all the halibut we want while trolling or mooching 20'-30' off bottom. They come right up and grab it. I figure those eyes are on top of their head for a reason- They spend a lot of their life looking UP as well as in front of them. If they can see food passing overhead, they'll come up for it.
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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Timely thread for me. College roommate comes up once a year to fish and he'll be here again next week. We like to run to Seal Rocks when weather permits. Over the 10+ years we've been doing this trip, I'd say he loses 10 jigs a year. That's a lot of $$ on the bottom of the ocean, and quite a bit of line as well. After year 3 he comes up with his own jigs

    Seal Rocks is one of those wicked rocky spots, and the drift is usually quick. I've wanted to drop hook out there, but afraid I'd lose my anchor. What I've really wanted to do is dawn the SCUBA gear and try and retrieve those jigs, as well as a 100 more from all the charter guys.
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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    Over the 10+ years we've been doing this trip, I'd say he loses 10 jigs a year.
    You're cry if I told you how many I loose in a year. I consider jigs like bullets anymore, if you go shooting you're gonna loose em. As for the OPS question, active rods snag less because you're paying attention more. Fish from the top on the pile down as best you can. Anchoring you don't tend to loose many. Rigging butterfly hooks helps reduce snags greatly. If drifting pay attention to the sonar, as soon as it starts getting shallow let everyone know, have them crank up a bit and re-drop too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior View Post
    Timely thread for me. College roommate comes up once a year to fish and he'll be here again next week. We like to run to Seal Rocks when weather permits. Over the 10+ years we've been doing this trip, I'd say he loses 10 jigs a year. That's a lot of $$ on the bottom of the ocean, and quite a bit of line as well. After year 3 he comes up with his own jigs

    Seal Rocks is one of those wicked rocky spots, and the drift is usually quick. I've wanted to drop hook out there, but afraid I'd lose my anchor. What I've really wanted to do is dawn the SCUBA gear and try and retrieve those jigs, as well as a 100 more from all the charter guys.
    build yourself a pipe & rebar grappel and drop it in the rockpiles(no chain). If it snags just power it out and bend the tines back into shape.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Some trips all the jigs make it back, some trips several of them end up on the bottom. A few tips.

    If drifting from deeper to shallower, be very attentive to keep reeling as you drift. Inexperienced fishermen seem to be less attentive and more apt to loose jigs. When you feel a snag, let out some slack then give the rod a good jerk or two, sometimes this frees it. When you do hang up, motor around the jig and sometimes you'll free it. When none of that works, grab your fish bopper, wrap your braid around it 5-10 times and break it off. There's a point at which your fishing time is more valuable than the cost of a jig. Some rock piles are extra grabby and you have to figure out if fishing them is worth the cost in lost jigs. I've fished a few spots where every time I loose a couple of jigs and the few rock fish taken from those piles just aren't worth the loss in hardware.

    There's something to be said for having several dozen jigs on board so if a few get lost on a trip, in the overall scheme of things its no big deal. Also something be said for just buying a few jigs now and again each season until you have a decent supply on hand so the loss of jigs doesn't sting as much. Also fish a variety of jigs, I like leadheads with large grubs or shads, roust-a-bout lures with assist hooks, diamond jigs, cheap copies of butterfly jigs (the paint peels quickly as opposed to roust-a-bout). I haven't used Kodiak Custom due to the high price, though they have a wonderful reputation.
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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    build yourself a pipe & rebar grappel and drop it in the rockpiles(no chain). If it snags just power it out and bend the tines back into shape.
    Now that is some great advice!!!
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    Last year I started running 100 pound braid on my jig polls and have cut my loss in gear in half. Now I just have to replace hooks after there bent straight!
    I use Kodiak customs but last year I started using savage jigs half price.
    10 days until ling season



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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Always good to run some heavy mono shock leader too, prevents toothy critters from cutting the braid so easily and taking the jig with 'em.
    Arrowtooth and lings are good examples.
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  14. #14

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    I bought a couple of Collins Custom lead molds off the internet, our jigs cost less that $2 each to make, the molds were about $175 each. We use rattle cans to paint them and almost always rig with assist hooks. Might be an alternative answer for some the readers and cut a bit of the expensive bottom loss. Feel free to PM me for details if interested, it's easy to make them.

  15. #15

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    My wife, the boat owner, said it's closer to $3 per jig including the (2)#3 eyes, #16 J-hook, 400# kevlar line, lead, shrink wrap, propane, and paint. My labor is free LOL!

  16. #16
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rav'n Mainiac View Post
    My wife, the boat owner, said it's closer to $3 per jig including the (2)#3 eyes, #16 J-hook, 400# kevlar line, lead, shrink wrap, propane, and paint. My labor is free LOL!
    You forgot to pro-rate the price of the mould :-)

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    You forgot to pro-rate the price of the mould :-)
    I have molds I've been using for over 40 years. They're lifetime investments, and kinda like prorating the cost of your first date right out of high school.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about getting one of the doit 7 & 9 oz flutter jig molds.



    I'm not a huge fan of doit molds, but it looks like a decent design and would pay for itself pretty quickly. I just need to loose a few more jigs to justify getting the mold.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  19. #19

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    A few years back I bought those molds in every size they make. I don't bother gluing on the eyes, but they're well designed for that. I gotta say, more than any other jig mold I own, that style in particular has put a real hurt on my jig buying. You can change the way it acts a lot simply by changing how long or short, how fast or slow you jig the rod. It can act like a Buzz Bomb as easily as it can act like Dart Jig with very little flutter. They sink like crazy when you want to get to a distant bottom fast, yet they're easy to fish at mid-levels. I won't say they work any better or worse for halibut, but they knock the pants off darts or any other jig I've used for king salmon. Heck, I'd buy the jigs by the bucket full if the molds weren't so cheap and easy to use.

    Just be sure and get the wire inserts made by Do-It. Thought I'd make my own, but what a PITA even with a wire bender. Heat the mold well before your first cast, then go into production. I got a 2# ladle from a plumbing supply and use that for casting all jigs and weights up to 16 ounces, and it's perfect for these. Only time I've really run into trouble casting anything has been when using ladles that were too small for the job.
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    If you fish assist hooks can't you just use regular eyelets at the head vs a wire form? the bottom loop on my jigs just end up getting bashed from bounding on the rocks.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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