Tips for jigging action
The Butterfly technique requires a precise motion to impart the right fish catching action to the jig. This technique works for both conventional and spinning tackle with the same results.
After the jig is dropped to the desired depth, the rod tip is facing down. With an upward circular motion, the rod tip will be lifted up on the upswing on the reel handle and lowered on the downstroke of the rotation. The reel retrieve is a tight circular motion that is close to the body with the rod butt held loosely under your left armpit. The distance in which the rod tip moves from top to bottom is approximately 10 to 20 inches depending on the desired lure action and retrieval speed. This technique will work on a fast or slow retrieve depending on how the fish are reacting.
The Butterfly Long Jig is a very productive lure and works well with the standard jigging technique outlined previously, as well as the following long jig technique explained below.
The long model jigging technique works with both spinning and conventional tackle. This technique requires the rod butt held loosely under your armpit depending on what type of tackle (spinning or conventional). After the jig reaches its desired depth, the rod tip is facing down. With an upward jerking motion, bring the rod tip up to the 11 o’clock position. Once up there, wind down taking up the slack in the line until it comes tight, which will lower the rod into the starting position then repeat as previously described. You can adjust the speed of retrieve depending on how the fish react.
Vertical jigging is deadly for tuna; with the right equipment and technique, you’ll be prepared to take on these brutes of the sea.
You can work your jig a number of ways. When approaching a school of tuna, try casting into the school and letting it sink to about 20 feet below the surface. Start your retrieve by yanking the rod up and only reeling as you drop the rod back down. Vary the speed of the retrieval from very fast to slow until you figure out how the fish respond.
Another method is to get on top of the school and try a true vertical approach. Guide into the school as quietly as possible and pitch your jig over the side as you mark fish under the boat. Let the jig drop to 80 to 100 feet and then wind straight up in a short circular motion, at varying speeds, watching the rod tip load and unload.
“Swimming” the jig through the water column is key to butterfly jigging.
Another retrieval method is to violently whip the rod up to about 11 o’clock overhead and then straight down to the surface of the water all the while reeling the jig back to the boat. It’s important to vary the method and speed of your retrieval until you get the fish to strike.
A jigging motion is a very rhythmic up and down motion. Always keep the rod moving, either fast or slow, but the jigging motion always stays the same: the rod horizontal, lifting and reeling, getting into a rhythm.
Every time the rod tip “loads and unloads,” the jig is swimming through the water column. This is the key to butterfly jigging, as opposed to hammer jigging, which is a flip it up and let it drop. That is not swimming the jig.