In the world of fishing saltwater, there are many pro's and con's. Everyone has a different outlook
opinion or idea, and that is all good. The following is ours and what we experienced while developing the blackfish jig. Do not hesitate to try an idea or use a different method. We are pretty sure that we have it licked, but hey, you never know!
Q. Why a spinning reel and rod?
A. A spin set up is great for using braided line and the feel for the jig on the bottom is so much better. Not to mention it is a blast battling this fish on light tackle spinning gear. Just make sure the rod and reel are up to it. One of the most important is a reel with serious drag spec's. Don't try this with a discount house rod and reel. We hate to see grown anglers cry.
These fish do not fool around and will test you and your gear to the fullest.
Q. What is the most important thing to do when using a jig for tog?
A. First and foremost is getting on your spot and anchoring properly. Once on the spot, fish every inch of the boat. The front the sides and the back. Re adjust if need be. If there is nothing there, Move! It takes a little work to blackfish properly but the effort is well worth it once you are in the bite. Carefully planning and executing your trip will generally lead to a great day.
Q. How do you jig for blackfish?
A. That is sort of a misnomer. You do not jig for blackfish! You actually use a jig to catch them. Simply get the jig to the bottom and hold up on the slack. Lift and move it around slowly. If you feel a tap lift slightly, and by slightly I mean an inch or less off the bottom. If at that point you feel a little more weight than normal give a short sharp hook set and hang on. On the other hand, If there is no noticeable weight on the jig put it right back down. They will return for a second round most of the time. Once or twice at the most, then check your bait. .
Q. What weight jig should I use ?
A. You only need to use a jig that is heavy enough to get to the bottom without drifting out of the targeted area. The lighter the better! Braided line is highly recommended for this.
Q. Does the color and jig style really make a difference ?
A. That would be a Yes, and a NO. When setting out to target blackfish with jigs there is a few pointers that we need to set straight. The first one is that you can basically use any jig to catch blackfish. We still sell standard jigs for tog and other bottom dwellers on our site. They will without a doubt catch there fare share of blackfish. But there is going to be those days when it seems like someone turned on the lock jaw!. In our case and prior to the introduction of our Craggy Tidaltails Blackfish Jig'z we were using ball heads and banana heads with lots of fish coming over the rails. It was great to say the least. But in the process of doing this we noticed a few things. One of which was
missed hook sets, lots of words you would not want your kid to hear, fish pecking at or ripping off the crab, and only a few really descent fish in the mix. So we started to experiment a little with head design, hooks, and hook placement. Although these changes seemed to work a little better, there was not much of a noticeable difference at first until we started to experiment with the colors. This was done with the help of some really good tog anglers, a few divers and spear fisherman that actually saw what was going on down below. This was the most important find for us in developing the colors. Contrary to what you here, the colors are not done to match the crab. The powder coats we developed, and own. Were made to make the jig indigenous to the bottom in shallow to extremely shallow water. It took a few years of trial and error but then we started to notice better hook sets, and more and larger blackfish. Mission accomplished! The fish were now inhaling the jig and crab and running away with it like a striper would. So! it seems we have accomplished what we set out to do, and that was to make the jig blend into the bottom and have the blackfish nail it without spooking even if the jig was being moved. This applies to fishing the shallows for blackfish that are devouring Asian crabs.
There have been numerous times we have been near or next to boats that are not doing so well and they are beside themselves with what they are seeing. The deeper we go the less this has to do with your success. Some of our customers will disagree with this. I guess it all depends on what kind of bottom your fishing.
Q. What is a good rod and reel?
A. There are lots of really good reels to use. We prefer a reel with a high drag setting coupled with a good graphite rod to be able to drag them up out of their haunts. Some of these fish will put you and your equipment to the test for sure. It makes all the sense in the world to have what it takes to control these brute fish. Since the end of last season we switched over to the Quantum Smoke Reels, and prior to that we used the Quantum Cabo and Boca reels. The rods we use are Lamiglass Inshore Graphite's and Crowder Rods. You can use what you want it is only a matter of how long you want it to last. We spool the reels with Sufix Braided line and Seaguar 3 ft Fluorocarbon leaders. Shimano also is a good choice of reels. Remember! The big togs will put it to you, so be prepared and your trips will be not only exciting but rewarding as well.
Q. Cost vs Standard jigs?
A. We can and do make jigs that can be used that are in-expensive. The Tidaltails Jig'z are labor intensive to make and If you knew what went into making them you would not even think about it. Just for a quick example. The Craggy Tidaltails Jigs have 3 basic colors and 2 colors that we developed as strain colors, finished with a hard clear top coat. This is what makes the jig what it is and why it works so well!. It is a tedious job to paint and heat treat, it takes a lot of time. Couple that with the fact that we manufacture everything here in the states and are subject to overhead costs , FET taxes, the rising cost of lead, and the high cost of doing business in the states, which we all know is ridiculous. But! as mentioned above you could use any of our blackfish jigs when the bite is hot and the tog are committing suicide. But when the fishing is tuff it makes all the sense in the world to use what works best. That would be our Tidaltails "Craggy Colored" Blackfish Jig'z. So to put it simple, it is a labor intensive jig to make but well worth the effort and the cost. It is not just a lump of lead with green and orange on it that someone brought in from China or poured in their garage and thru in a toaster oven. It has our passion for black fishing built into everyone and we hope it rubs off on you.
Q. Is Tidaltails the first to use jigs for blackfish.
A. Not at all. There a re a few anglers that have been using jigs for years. On of them was a friend from Mamaroneck named Warren. That is when I first saw jigs being used for tog. But using some of the jigs on the market had inherent problems in the way they fished and we did lose a lot of jig's, which is why we set out to make it better with less of a loss and more fish. So the answer is a NO we are not the first to use jigs for blackfish. But we are the first jig designed specifically to use for blackfish. which has revolutionized black fishing forever, and made it more of a sport that takes place inshore.Note on the following: I did not want to touch on this subject. But after a friend of mine was seriously burned from a pot of lead exploding, I thought I should. This is my opinion only and it may differ from yours. So read it with an open mind before jumping to conclusions. There are many variables and conditions that are not even mentioned pertaining to this subject.
Q. Is it cheaper to make my own jigs.
A. Some people do, and have been doing it for years. If you know what you are doing and have the proper environment and equipment to do it, go for it. I have to agree that there is great satisfaction in catching fish on lures that you make yourself. If done correctly it is very doable. We can even better the way you do it. We are a distributor for Do-it Molds, Powder coat Supply and a Fume Exhaust Co. We can help get you on your way to casting parts.
On the other hand and directed at the novice.
Now if you are new to this there are few things to consider.
First you have to purchase all the equipment and supplies to cast and paint your parts. Unless you are going to set up for manufacturing large volumes of lead parts for the tackle industry, it can be costly. Also be aware that you expose yourself and others to deal with lead, lead fume, lead dust, and paint fume in your house, garage or shop. Do you know how many jigs you can buy for the cost of setting up a small scale casting operation. Not to mention the safety part of it. Most backyard casters buy scrap lead or use what friends give them. Our motto is if it is not new lead, Don't use it. If you ever saw a piece of moisture ridden junk lead dropped into a pot of hot molten lead, it would surely change your mind. It can cause some serious injury. So it is something to think about before you try. If you only need a few jigs here and there. You are better off just buying some unfinished jigs of your choice and painting them if you want to catch fish on a jig you created. There are many types and styles that are really cheap and can be purchased on our site. So let me repeat myself once again. If you have the know how and the means to cast lead parts, go for it. Otherwise leave to the work to us and spend your time and money fishing. Just saying!
NOTE/Heavier Jig'z: Just to keep it honest! We have had many requests for a heavier jig for deeper water, and they can be used in most cases, We use them in the deeper faster moving water. A stout rod and conventional reel will always be needed. But it was not made to take the place of the traditional hook and sinker for deep wrecks, reefs and late fall black fishing, be selective were you use it. . But! If the bottom allows the use of the jig, then go for it. Especially with our high hook rig. It could be allot of fun. If more than 4 ounces is needed. It's safe to say you should go
with hook and sinker. The jigs can be used in many situations but was not intended to replace
the conventional means of black fishing. Fin Strike makes many rigs and hooks for this type of black fishing.