by Gary Brown
Back on the 15th of July 2013 I put together Part 1 of Jig Heads. The alternative to a hook and a ball sinker. Since then I have had a number of anglers contact me about how to rig the baits up and could I include a few photos.
The authors three favourite baits for bream
I have found over the years the main two things you need to make sure when using any type of bait, is to learn how to tie a half hitch and to make sure that your hook point is always out of your bait.
Bait Mait is used to help tie off the end of the squid
Types of baits that you could try using with jig heads are; white and blue baits, whole pilchards, garfish, slimy mackerel and squid. You could also try using strips of mullet, squid, striped tuna, tailor, slimy mackerel and don’t forget two of my favourites the peeled prawn and the pink nipper. In the accompanying photos I have only demonstrated with peeled prawns, pillie tails and a strip of tailor.
To help you out I have attached a You Tube clip of me demonstrating on how to put on a prawn. When you watch this clip you will see that I was using a hook, not a jig head, but it will give you the idea of what you need to do to position the hook point and how to do the half hitch.
Putting on a prawn both peeled and whole.
In the last article on Jig Heads the alternative to a hook and sinker I cover a couple of techniques that I use to target Australian Salmon, bream and flathead and in this one I will give you a couple of techniques on how to target trevally, snapper and whiting.
Notice how the prawn is straighter when placed on a jig head
Technique No 1.
There are a number of baits that I prefer to use when targeting snapper. They are whole and half pilchards and garfish, strips of mullet, tuna, bonito, squid and I have even used pink nippers. Due to the fact that snapper have extremely strong jaws and crushing plates you will need to use strong jig heads.
Half hitching the narrow end of the strip bait stops it bunching up on the jig head
When using a pink nipper for bait with a jig head I will start threading the hook into the bait about 1cm from the end. This will allow me to tie a couple of half hitches around the tail stopping it from sliding down the hook or flying off when you cast the rig.
If you are fishing from a boat or the shore and there is not a lot of current, but just enough to slowly take the berley and bait way from you I will select a jig head weight so that not only is the current taking the bait away from you, but the bait is also slowly sinking.
Technique No 2.
When you arrive at your chosen silver trevally spot start your berley trail going. Then it is just a matter of dropping your lightly weighted bait into the berley trail and start to slowly feed out the bait. The trick to this type of fishing is being able to stay in contact with the bait as you slowly feed it out with the current and when you feel a bite or a bit a weight you will need to drop your rod tip to allow the trevally to take the bait down. Once you feel the weight you need to lift the rod up sharply. This will then set the hook and you can then settle down to fighting the fish.
Types of baits you could try are as follows; are pink nippers, peeled prawns and small narrow pieces of squid.
Due to the fact that silver trevally don’t have much in the way of teeth and their mouth is very soft I will always peel the prawn before I put it on the hook and I will always make sure that the hook point is out of the body of the prawn and last but not least I will put a couple of half hitches around the tail of the prawn.
Technique No 3.
Same as technique No 3 you will need to set up your berley trail, but the rig you are going to use this time will be a sinker, swivel and a leader of between one to two metres in length and have a threadline reel that is of the bait feeder type (secondary drag at the reel of the reel). Once you have baited up the hook you will need to cast it out about ten metres. You will then need to re engage the bail arm and place the rod into one of your rod holders or you may like to hold onto it.
The next step is to engage the bait feeder system and wait for the fish to swim off with the bait. It is just a matter of turning the handle and re engaging the front drag system and striking to set the hook.
A selection of baits and terminal tackle need to do the job
Technique No 4.
Time and time again I come across anglers who will cut a pilchard up into piece, pin a hook through a piece and then proceed to cast it out only to have the piece of pilchard fly off the hook in the opposite direction. Try using Bait Mate to tie it onto the jig head.
When chasing whiting in the shallows I will anchor my boat with two anchors so that the boat is at 90 degrees to the flow of the current. Once my berley trail has started to work and the whiting are in the berley trail I will cast out my bait and wait for the whiting to pick it up. The style of jig head I tend to use here is the TT hidden weight style or the Nitro Torpedo style.
The next time you are out why don’t you try using a jig head instead of a hook and sinker.
Remember to keep the hook point exposed out of the bait