Vertical Jigging for Striped Bass

Capt. Phil having some luck jigging up some stripers.

  Vertical Diamond or Butterfly jigging for striped bass and bluefish has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years off the ocean side inlets of Chatham as well as in Cape Cod Bay. Large school of striped bass take up residence in 30-100 feet of water, feeding on sand eels and other small, thin profiled bait fish. This scenario has made vertical jigging an ideal method for targeting the striped bass and bluefish in these area.
   While not a highly technical style of fishing, having a basic understanding of the techniques and gear employed by the most successful local fisherman that employ this technique will take weeks or months off the typical learning curve. The following is a basic guide to help you get started if you are not familiar with vertical jigging.
   There are many lures that will work well vertically jigged…but, by far, the most effective are Diamond Jigs, in the A007-A47 size ranging in 3/4-4 ¾ ounce. They are similar in size and profile to the striped Bass’ favorite summertime food on the Cape, the sandeel. Their bright, silver sides can be picked up by game fish at a good distance in deeper water, however, the lure’s frantic, wounded baitfish mimicking action allows Stripers to locate the lure in deep water utilizing sensory in their lateral line. The most popular diamond jigs we sell at Goose Hummock are the Fin Strike A0077-A17 with Fluorescent Green tube tail, but we have gone through periods where the bright white or Fluorescent red tube tails produced as well or better.. Many fisherman keep a good supply of the tubing in various colors, so that tubes may be changed out as fishing conditions demand.
 ChrisOn  Most Goose customers use jigs in the 1 to 4 ounce class on either a high speed conventional reel such as the Avet MX3, Daiwa Saltist® Lever Drag Single Speed Conventional Reels or Shimano Calcutta 400TE. matched with a 6’6-7-foot medium action graphite jigging rod rated for 30-50 pound line. The rod needs to have a light tip action to effectively impart the proper action to the jig and to be able to detect light pick ups, but also have a powerful, stiffer butt section stout enough to muscle 40 lb+ class fish.
   Bluefish love the jigs as much as bass do…and can make short work of your jig supply if you are unprepared . Make sure you are equipped with some light wire or heavy mono leaders for the occasions when the blues take over the bite. Fishing too high in the water column increase the odds that you will run into blues…try dropping your jig to the bottom quickly and cranking the jig up only a few cranks if you are getting bitten off consistently.
   Our best selling butterfly jig, made by Shimano,are sold without hooks. Many of our customers prefer to rig these jigs with Owner Dancing stinger hook rigs. Essentially, these are a dual single hook rig withe short looped leaders that are affixed to a solid ring attached to a split ring at the top end the jig. The belief is that not only does this set up decrease the fishes leverage to shake free , but also increases hook set conversions as striped bass are believed to strike their prey close to the eyes.