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January 22, 2013

Bottom Fishing with Kabura Jigs

Revolutionary jigging style puts a new spin on bottomfishing.

Single  

Attach the jig to 5 feet of 20- to 50-pound fluorocarbon leader with a uni-knot. Use a slim beauty knot or ­a Bimini-Bristol combination to attach the leader to the main line, which is ­usually 40- to 50-pound braid.

William Osbourne, California rock cod and sand bass expert, says: “I use the lightest jig I can get away with in the current and depth. Keep it simple. Drop down to the bottom, then reel up two cranks and wait. Most bites feel like I snagged some kelp. Don’t swing, just let the rod load up.”  

On Florida’s Gulf Coast, Capt. Steve Papen prefers the single rig for amberjack, snapper and grouper. “Skittish fish often hang out where the rocks meet the sand. I cast the jig, then slowly drag it back over the rocks. The little hooks and bullet head have less chance of getting snagged.” 

Tandem and Drop Shot

Tie a smaller jig, 2 to 5 ounces, to the fluorocarbon leader coming off the mainline. Then attach a 3- to 5-foot length of 30- to 50-pound fluoro to the bottom eye, and tie on a heavier jig, 5 to 7 ounces.

Cod and haddock specialist Capt. Jack Sprengel, of Warwick, Rhode Island, favors this rig: “I fish the jigs ­drop-shot style with a 3-ounce jig five feet above a 5-ouncer. This increases the number of hooks in the water and adds weight to get the jigs to the bottom.” 

In deep water and heavy current, it might take additional weight to reach ­bottom. Tie a 2- to 5-ounce Lucanus to the leader, attach 7 feet of 30- to 50-pound mono to the bottom eye, and add enough lead to get down. When the sinker hits the bottom, let it lie. Then, drop the jig and crank it up slowly until you feel the weight of the sinker. Drop the jig again and repeat.    

Avoid the additional snagging potential of double jigs by keeping them off the bottom. 

Florida Panhandle angler Sonny Granger’s amberjack, snapper and grouper technique keeps the jigs off the ­bottom: “We attach the jig with a loop knot, which improves the action. Also, you don’t have to drop the jig to the bottom. They work best on fish suspended in the water column.”