Island Jigging!
  |  First Published: April 2007

Jigging is a great way to catch some awesome saltwater fish in the Whitsundays. This month we’ll explain where to start jigging and what species you can catch.

Arm stretching fun!

Vertical jigging is a fun saltwater sport. You can catch fish like 30kg GTs, big golden trevally, monster cobia, mackerel, tuna and bulky reef fish.

You just have to make sure you are jigging in the right location; otherwise you can get very exhausted!

Where do I jig?

If you find bait you will find fish. With jigging, finding lots of bait is the key. Depth sounders are the tool for getting on top of big bait schools.

The best things to see on your depth sounder are large blobs. The blobs are actually tightly packed schools of bait clinging together, trying to avoid the predators roaming around them.

Bait schools can usually be found off huge rocky headlands as well as around isolated rocks, which rise out of deep water. Wrecks are also fantastic spots to jig as they act like a beacon for fish in the middle of featureless water.

At the moment, we are trying to find an old sunken bulldozer which fell off a barge a few years ago. It sank into deep, featureless water and we just know there will be big fish there!

Whitsundays jigging hotspots include Double Rocks, Mackerel Bay Headland, Hook Passage and the northern tip of Hayman Island.

An awesome, yet simple, guideline to follow while jigging is as follows:

(1) Drive around and look at your sounder.

(2) When you see a school of bait, drop your jig down through it.

(3) Sink your jig to the bottom, then wind and pulse your rod back up as fast as possible.

Remember, set the hooks hard as jigs are very heavy and can easily fall out of the fish’s mouth.

Jigging gear

The fish that you catch while jigging usually have sharp teeth or are able to wrap you around sharp objects such as reef.

Leader material of 100lb and higher is the best for staying connected to big fish and braided line from 60lb+ is perfect. PE8 braid is very good for jigging.

Shimano Stella reels (8000 to 20,000) or Daiwa Saltiga 6000GT reels are expensive, but they are worth it. 15-25kg rods are enough to turn most big saltwater fish!

An awesome jig is the Williamson ABYSS 200g jig. Small Raider jigs and Bumpa Bars are also effective. However, I recommend removing the treble and replacing it with a single jig hook. The jig hook won’t catch on the leader and it will snag a lot less.

If you are searching for more jigging information, go to www.gtfishing.com.

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