Catching Blackfish on Jigs!

Catching Blackfish on Jigs! Here are some tips on how to make the transition.

Catching Blackfish on Jigs
Author Matt Sorrentino with a nice blackfish caught on a 1.5 oz Magictail Game Changer Tog Jig.

Catching blackfish on jigs is an absolute game changer when fishing for tautog. The lighter tackle used for this type of fishing drastically contrasts more standard methods of catching these fish. Experienced anglers who attempt catching blackfish on jigs will find there is quite the learning curve. Often, I see guys who’ve been catching blackfish for years, but on heavier equipment, finding a great deal of trouble trying to make the switch. So this often leads to folks quitting before they can master the new technique. I’ve put together a few tips I’ve gathered over the years because I’d like to help you catch blackfish on jigs.

Start with a heavier jig and work down from there.

If you’ve been blackfishing for a while, you’re most likely using at least an 8 ounce weight regularly. It’s very easy to feel the bottom because these heavier weights add more tension to your line. It is easier to decipher what type of structure you’re on because of this and easier to find the holes you want to be fishing. When you attempt to throw a 1-2 oz jig down for the first time, everything is going to feel extremely off because of the weight difference. Start with a heavier weighted jig, get used to the feel and work your way down to the ideal range.

Go Lighter on your mainline.

You’re fishing a light jig and anything that can help the jig get to the bottom faster is going to help you maximize your opportunities. Do you know the difference in abrasion resistance between 50# braid and 20# braid? Me neither, but I can promise you it’s insignificant. I use 15 pound braid on my main jigging setup paired with a real that has a max drag of just less than 15 pounds locked down.

Don’t Swing!

Here’s where it’s going to get tough for you seasoned vets. You’ve been dialed in for years. You know what the right bite feels like and you know when to swing. Well, now that you have a jig on, you’re wrong. The feel is going to be off. Everything is more sensitive now. Thats the reason catching blackfish on jigs is so effective. You’ll need to re-learn the feel, the best advice I can give you is to let your first few baits get completely stolen. Let them eat it, just try to dial in the feel for the different type of bites.

In the end, rely on what you know.

It’s still important when catching blackfish on jigs to fish in a similar fashion. You want the bait on the bottom. Ideally you’ll find a piece of hard structure, a ledge or a whole. Keep the bait still. When you get the right bite, or when your line goes slack (Sometimes the fish will just pick up your jig and swim away.), Swing for the fences! Cross his eyes, reel quickly and get that fish up and away from that structure. It is crucial you react quickly here. If you fail to move the fish quickly I can assure you a broken heart and a few minutes in the penalty box retying.

The equipment I use when catching blackfish on jigs.

Rod – Daiwa Proteus

Reel – Daiwa Low Profile Baitcaster

Line – Cortland Master Braid

Leader – Diamond Pink Fluorocarbon

Jigs – Magictail Gamechanger Tog Jig

If you’d like to learn more about catching blackfish with jigs…

and live in or near NJ. I invite you to join me on December 7th on the Osprey, sailing out of Atlantic City. On this trip you will learn from myself and other experts in the field, the different tactics employed to catch blackfish on jigs. The all inclusive trip includes seminars on the boat, your fare and gratuity, a rod and reel demo from Daiwa, free gifts and giveaways and entry into a $500 pool. For more info and to sign up check out

www.fishermansheadquarters.com/uae

Limited Space Available

A spring limit of nice Blackfish caught on Magictail Tog Jigs

Catching Blackfish With Jigs

Catch Blackfish With Jigs

by Matt Sorrentino (@swagmattic)

Whether you’re new to the game or an old salty dog with decades of experience dropping rigs on wrecks, there’s a lot to learn if you want to catch blackfish with jigs.

Skip ahead to the videos!

Do you attempt to catch blackfish with jigs? You should! At times they out fish rigs and produce really big catches. I must ask… How did anglers target summer flounder 10, 15, 20+ years ago? The majority now target them with jigs. The migration to the jig occurred in the sea bass and tuna game years ago and guess what… The tog game too!

Light tackle jigging for tautog is still a relatively new technique and the concept is simple.  Lighter line, small reels and lighter rods all directly contrast conventional tog fishing wisdom.  Lighter tackle allows the  small jigs to get to the bottom faster, entice more bites and with its stealth approach gives the fish a sense of security so they take the bait. Unlike heavy blackfish rig fishing (typically use 6+ ounce bank sinker) the tog can pickup the smaller jigs and swim away without feeling the tug of the line and weight as they crunch and munch the bait. Light tackle jigging for tog allows anglers the most natural presentation of baits. This directly results in more bites and opportunities to catch. The obvious first step top catch blackfish with jigs is to pick out the jig.

December 6th with a limit+ of blackfish/tautog using a 2oz MagicTail Tog Jig.

Tog Jig Options

There are a variety of tog jigs options on the market. With all of the brand names,  at some point you’ll ask, “What type of Tog Jig should I use?” Or “What is the best Blackfish jig?  In my book, the answer is simple. It’s in the name of the jig…  The Magictail “Game Changer” Tog Jig is the best jig. Whether targeting blackfish from the boat on reefs and wrecks or land based fishing, Magictail Tog Jigs outproduce.

There are 3 basic types of Jigs used for Blackfishing.

The Bean Jig – The bean jig is a flat jig that lies with the hook on it’s side.

The Football Jig– Resembles a football with the hook pointing upright.

The Banana Jig – Similar to the football jig this jig is more slender and the hook point still faces upright.

How do Blackfish feed?

Tautog pick at their food.  They’re typically chewing on mussels, barnacles and other crustaceans clinging to rocks and structure.  When feeding off the bottom they come at the bait from above and pluck at it.  That is why you get those small taps when you first feel the fish.  Setting the hook on a tog is a process that gets refined only with practice and experience. But as common sense would point out, if the fish’s point of attack is from above the jig, you would ideally want the hook pointing in that direction.  When you swing that hook is more likely to land and set in the fish mouth then with a side facing jig. 

This photo shows the unique design of the Magictail Tog Jig.

So what sets the MagicTail Game Changer Tog Jig apart from the Football and the Banana Jig? 

It’s all in the intricate design which was advanced from the classic football and banana styles. The Magictail Tog Jigs take the concepts to the next level! The lead head shape ensures the jig always lays flat and doesn’t roll. The long shank, super strong and super sharp Mustad Black Nickel hook has all of the right qualities; shank length to easily bait and accept large pieces of crab while offering the ultimate in strength and point sharpness. The upward facing hook sits with open space between the hook and the bottom structure.  This allows the fish to swim in and take a clean swipe at the whole hook. It makes the elaborately timed hook set process a whole lot easier and increase your hookup percentage.  These are is the Magictail Tog Jig secrets which set them apart for all the others.

Check out the video links below to learn more about the Magictail Game Changer Tog Jigs.