Tuna fishing has always been a fun and exciting trip to make during the year, so why not find a way to add some more fun to the trip.
Over the last 10 years or so, tuna fishing has been changing with the addition of jigging. It has been highly promoted and is a very good way to put a few extra fish in the boat during the trip.
There are a few different styles of jigging. The one we see very common now is the fast, “jerk and crank” style, or the Japanese style. This style of jigging is usually done with a short rod with the most common size ranging from 5 to about 5-1/2 feet. With this style of jigging, a short lightweight jigging outfit is usually used, the reason for this is that you must be active while jigging, and the energy used with a longer or heavier outfit will not allow you to continue your technique for a long period of time.
There are specialized rods from JIGGING MASTER, OTI, Smith, TunaMax and a few others that have the power and light weight to target bigger fish and still be friendly to the angler that is jigging all day. These rods are usually a slow parabolic action, meaning they can bend almost into the grip when loaded fighting a big fish. They will also have a tip action that will match the jig being used.
Most jig rods are rated by grams such as 300g 400g 500g, and a PE rating which relates to the line class, PE 5, 6, or 8. The PE line is special braided line marked in colors every 25 feet so you know your jigs are in the strike zone while jigging. The line is very important part of the jigging gear.
Matching a lightweight, powerful rod to the reel is important. The new smaller jigging reels such as the OceaJigger, Diawia Saltiga, Shimano Trinidad, or Ocean Mark Blue Heaven are all good choices. They have enough line capacity and drag to handle most large tuna and the weight is typically under 28 to 30 ounces, which is a good weight to look for when searching for a reel.
The jigs used for this fishing are usually trying to imitate the baitfish or whatever the fish are feeding on. The jigs are designed to attract the fish and provoke a strike. You will want to find jigs that are the right length and color to match the bait. This usually means having a few size choices and different colors, blue, silver, and green colors are always good choices for starters.
Center-balanced jigs and bottom-heavy jigs are very common for the waters in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, the center balanced jig will have more flutter when jigging or falling. The bottom heavy jig will sink faster and get to the bottom, or cover depth faster, and they both have different actions when retrieved and jigged. The flutter action can induce a wild strike from a tuna.