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January 22, 2013

Bottom Fishing with Kabura Jigs

Revolutionary jigging style puts a new spin on bottomfishing.


Fishing the jigs is half the fun. While traditional bottom jigs require little more than bouncing along the bottom, kabura jigging is a game of finesse and style.  

Once the jig hits the bottom, start cranking slowly to bring the jig up off the bottom. If a slow retrieve doesn’t work, try fast. Try jigging. Try a staccato retrieve. Try different retrieves until something works. 

As the jig climbs through the water, the fish sees the bullet head and dancing skirt, and can’t help but bite. That’s when the second half of the fun begins.

Resist the urge to set the hook on the strike. Instead, crank slowly. The fish will nibble its way up the rubber skirt. This is when the soft rod comes into play. As the fish chews its way up the skirt, the rod bends deeper and deeper. Each bite is transmitted up the braided line, through the rod. When the rod is bowed to the hilt and the fish is tugging on the line, the hook is set: time to claim the prize.  

But this is light tackle, and the fight isn’t over until the fish hits the deck. A five-pound sea bass will put this gear to the test, and a 10-pound tilefish or 15-pound grouper will wear you out. The rod bucks, line chirps off the reel, and you’ll start laughing as you try to keep it up, turning the small reel and holding tight to the rod that is bent double. That’s the fun of Lucanus.

Gear Up with Kabura Jigs

The jig, the heart of kabura jigging and the Lucanus system, in various sizes and configurations adapts to a range of conditions and species. The attachment loop on top is placed so the jig hovers horizontally. Another eye on the bottom can be rigged to a sinker or a second jig. While a single jig might not always attract fish as effectively, the single allows you to drop the jig and retrieve much faster. A 2-ounce jig will hit the bottom with light current in less than 50 feet of water. I use a 31⁄2-ounce jig down to 150 feet. From there to more than 50 fathoms, I go with a 51⁄2-ounce model. A 7-ounce model will take the jig past 100 fathoms with light current in the water column.