Saturday, May 20, 2023

Shark attacks my catch!

 


I was on a sharing trip with Arabian see charters with Captain Mario. This was my first jigging trip with them. Usually they take us to Ledge, submarine, and some locations in between. We were five anglers.

When we reached the first location, we saw another boat already fishing. Usually, I like to start where no boat has fished so you get some strike. When we looked closely, we saw one angler was fighting a fish. So was great enthusiasm we started dropping our jigs. As I reached the bottom boom, I got the strike. The fish came up soon indicating a long tail tuna. Then we continued jigging there got few more long tail tunas.

Later in the day I got another strike right at the bottom. As I was reeling, I was feeling light. The fish was coming up. Yes, it was another long tail tuna. After reeling few more meters, I felt the fish running. I had set about 4 kgs drags as I was PE 2. Wow I thought maybe I had stricken a huge, long tail tuna. Later I felt the fight was intermittent as you can see in the video. It was completely different, and I was confused what could it be. The reeling then was hard and when about 20 to 30 meters was remaining, I felt the reeling was suddenly so light. I thought maybe I lost the fish. But with slight resistance when I saw color of the fish, I knew long tail has stopped fighting. When we gaffed and tool the fish out, we see one quarter of the fish eaten by a shark.

Someone in the boat commented it is no more long tail Tuna !! of course we can’t call it long tail with the tail missing.




Tuesday, May 16, 2023

What color Jig to use for deep sea fishing

 

Do you know why the ocean looks blue? When you take a cup of sea water it is colorless. But why does is it appear blue. Water is 800 times thicker or denser than air. It has different light absorbing properties. Only 20% of the light penetrates below 20 meters water. Below 50 meters it is 1% of light. It is .002 % light below 100 meters. The ocean is blue because water absorbs colors in the red part of the light spectrum. Like a filter, this leaves behind colors in the blue part of the light spectrum for us to see

So does color matter ? All colors get absorbed by the ocean at different depth. Red, orange, and yellow get absorbed in less than 20 meters and appear like black. Green is visible until 100 meters- remember the light is only .002% so it is almost dark, and color may not be visible. Blue is visible slightly over 200 meters.



If you see all very Deepwater creatures, they are red or other lighter color. Red and other lighter colors are not visible in deep waters. The fish camouflage to prevent it from being eaten or to get some food for itself. Therefore, fishes have developed to listen to movements than see. While jigging we intentionally want to jig to be visible to the targeted fish. To make it visible only way is to add some luminescence to the jig.

Although I use all colors of jig orange color with zebra pattern is my favorite. Orange color disappears in much lesser depth and appears like black with zebra pattern looks like a real fish. If you see most of juvenile fish have zebra pattern. Below picture of barracuda shows how a zebra pattern is even in large fishes. 


If we are jigging over 50 meters color is not important. But because it so darks out there Luminesce jigs work better. Get the super glow jigs.





Monday, May 15, 2023

Why do we need drag on fishing reel

 Drag is the resistance in reel which make it’s hard for the fish to pull the line. It can be adjusted. There is star or lever type drag on overhead reels.

When you jig or cast, and the fish takes the bait it starts running to save its life. If we do not put some resistance, they can pull all the line we have on reel. Large predator fish can easily overpower us. So, we need to tire them quickly to get them to the boat. The drag assists us to tire the fish.

Say for example I can run at speed of 8 kilometer for 10 minutes continuously. But if I carry a 5-kilo bag, I may not be able to run 10 minutes. I will tire soon probably I may run 5 minutes if I am strong. Same principle applies to fishing. When we set the drag to at 30% of the line strength that means when the fish runs it carries so much weight. A 15 kg strength line we will set 5 kg drag. Every time fish takes line it is carrying 5 kgs. So, they get tired fast. When we reel after they get tired and follow the line easily. Usually, they start fighting more when they see the boat. Such sudden impact on the line can snap the line. so, as you get the fish closer to the boat, we need to reduce the drag. It is heartbreaking to lose the fish when you’re almost landing the fish.

The drag helps us fight and land large fish very effectively


Setup required for Slow pitch jigging

Slow pitch jigging is a special technique where we make the jig imitate an injured bait to entice a fish take it as a bait. When the fish takes the bait, we need to reel and land the fish to the boat. The depth should be at least 50 meters deep for the technique to work. A special slow pitch jigging rod is used to “pitch” the jig. Pitch means flipping the jig slowly and strongly. The jig should be vertical all the way down for this technique work efficiently.

So, fishing by slow pitch technique has two parts. One is to entice the fish by imitating like a bait fish. Other is to reel and land the fish.

 what do we require to do the first part. I.e., to entice the fish.

  1. We need a jig
  2. We need a line and leader system to reach the bottom of the ocean
  3. We need a reel to hold the line
  4. We need a rod to move the jig.

What do we need to for the second part I.e. to land the fish

5.Assist hooks to hook or hold the fish
6. Reel to bring the fish up.

 

Now let us see each item what the requirement is.

 

1.      Jig: As we saw the whole technique is dependent on moving the jig. We could fish from 50m to any depth. So, the jig should be capable of reaching the bottom of the sea and be vertical. Depending on the depth, we need to vary the weight of the jig. If we are drifting boat, it is very difficult to keep jig vertical unless we are heavy on the jig. Also jigs have many different actions. Some fall, some slide. Fall one can be used when the current is slow, and drift is low. Long jigs which slide are suitable when current is high, or the drift is more. Is color of the jig important? – not really. Glow helps if we are fishing deeper waters.

2.      Line: Now we require a line to take the jig to bottom of the ocean vertically and allow moving them when jigging. A special polyethylene (PE) braid line is used for the same. The PE line comes in varying thickness. Thinner the line easier it is to reach bottom vertically. Usually, PE 2 is suitable. We can go down up t0 1.2 PE if we are beginner depending on the target fishes. Also, thinner line allows the jig to move on its own freely. The PE line should not stretch so that it transmits the rod actions to the jigs. If they stretch, we will be moving the rod, but jig will not.

3.      Leader: when we get a fish they will fight for their life. They may run into the rocks. PE line is weak in friction. Any contact with rock will cut the line. so, a leader is required to acts as a cushion when the fish fights and prevent PE braid from contacting the rocks. The leader also should be as thin and flexible as possible to allow the jig to move freely. I use 30 or 40 lbs. leader.

4.      Rod: a SPJ rod should be capable of pitching the jig slowly and strongly. After the pitch the jig falls on its own taking a horizontal position. During this time most of the bites happen. If the pitch is too strong the jig could move violently. If the pitch too weak then jig may not move to horizontal position. The rod tip is flexible bit strong spring like action enough to flip the jig. As we saw we may use different weight jigs depending on depth and current. So, the rod should also match the weight of the jig. The rods are rated from 1 to 6 usually and depends on the manufacturer.

For example, a power rating 6 rod is 150gms to 300gms jigs. If you use a 150 gms jig the action is going to be strong spring action and the jig will be free for a long time. If you use a 300 gm the pitch action will be slow, and jig will fall faster. Say suppose we use a 100-gm jig on this rod the jig will move violently and not have intended action.

SPJ technique is to entice the fish even when they are not actively feeding. If you use any other rod, we will get fish when they are active but not when they are not. The pitching action of the rod is key.

5.      Reel: As we saw the rod is specially made to pitch the jig, they may not be capable to fight the fish. The reel is used to fight the fish.  It should hold sufficient line and capable reeling at least one meter line per crank.

How much line? - experienced anglers advise at least 600 meters. I would not suggest anything less than 400 meters. You never know what size of fish we are going to get hooked to and should have sufficient line to fight.

An overhead reel is preferred due to sensitivity however if you have a spinning reel just use it until you feel to change. But remember when you use a spinning reel you will have to use the rod to fight.

 

6. Assist hooks: in slow pitch jigging we use double assist hooks both in top and bottom. Bottom assist hooks can be longer and function as stabilizer when the jigs move to horizontal position. Install the assist hooks so that they are on the flat side.

7. Solid and split rings: I use no 5 or 6 solid and split rings. Some anglers use swivels as it removes the line twists if the jig spins. It is advised to keep the metals as low as possible. So, I directly tie the leader to a solid ring.

 

Hope this article was useful. Please do comment. We can discuss and improve the article to the benefit of beginners.

 


What Is PE braid Line

 

    PE braid is  fishing line made from a material called polyethylene (PE). It is also commonly referred to as braided line or simply "braid." It is constructed by weaving multiple strands together resulting in a strong and thin line.

The number of strands and the weaving pattern can vary, affecting the line's overall strength and stretch. Many braided lines often have more strands, resulting in a smoother and rounder profile.

The key advantages of PE braid is its high strength-to-diameter ratio. It is considerably stronger compared to monofilament or fluorocarbon lines of the same diameter. This allows anglers to use thinner lines with increased strength, providing greater jigging depth and improved sensitivity to detect subtle bites.

PE braid also has minimal stretch, which means that it transmits even the slightest movements and vibrations from the fishing rod to the angler's hand, resulting in improved sensitivity and better hook sets. During high current situations jigging could not be possible as any action feels like stretching a rubber band. During such conditions we do not want to have the braid to stretch. If the braid stretches, then that would cancel any action on the jig. Remember moving the jig is the primary motive and in high current and high drift of boat this could be challenging.

The biggest disadvantage of PE braid is low abrasion resistance. If the PE rubs with anything it will break. There are two places it can rub. One is at the reef or rocks at the bottom of the seafloor. Other is boat when the fish is running. To avoid this, we need to have a leader or fluorocarbon with sufficient length.

Also due to lack of stretch any sudden impact can break PE. A fluorocarbon leader will absorb any sudden shock.

PE braid strength is provided by the manufacturer in lbs or kgs or by size . Example of a PE JIGGER ULT 4 BRAID SPJ is given below

Overall, PE braid is a versatile and durable fishing line choice that offers significant advantages in terms of strength, sensitivity, and reduced stretch allowing greater depths of jigging.



#slowpitchJigging # Jigging #Deepseafishing #offshore fishing# PEline #PEbraid

Monday, May 1, 2023

What is Slow pitch Jigging

 Slow pitch jigging is a fishing technique which involves using a metal jig and special rod to move the jig. The technique involves in creating a mimic of an injured bait fish. The jigs used are heavy metal in various shapes. Slow pitch means the jig is pitched slowly by the rod to imitate the bait fish.


Yellow fin Tuna on Slow pitch jigging

This was developed by Sato Sensei a Japanese angler. I am mentored by Totos of Japanese anglers secrets.

Slow pitch jigging (SPJ) is different from fast jigging. In fast jigging the jig imitates a escaping bait unlike a injured fish in SPJ.

This technique can attract all kinds of fish. In bottom fishing you will need keep using shrimps of cut fish. They do not attract large predatory fishes. Also, fishing is limited to sea floor. In SPJ complete sea column can be fished. If the sonar or fish finder says fish is at 100 meters depth you can right go to 120 to 80 meters and jig and target the fish.

I have got Amberjacks, Long tail Tuna, yellow fin tuna, red snappers, ruby snappers, Bonitos, Trevally’s and even sultan Ibrahim on jigs.

This technique can entice the fish for an easy prey. Remember food is scare at deep waters.


#slowpitchJigging # Jigging #Deepseafishing #offshore fishing

King Fish Hits again ! Deep sea fishing trip - Abu Dhabi

  A few angler friends set up a trip in Abu Dhabi. This trip was primarily to hunt for King fish or the King Mackerel. I am always shy of sh...