Like the never ending search to build a better mousetrap, there always seems to be a new and fantastic invention to lure fish to the end of your line.
When we consider the relatively recent explosion of lure fishing with braid lines, fluorocarbon, soft baits, inchiku, slow pitch and kabura style jigs; the options to arm yourself with seem to be never ending.
So where in the equation do micro jigs fit and are they any better than other lures? Well, yes and no.
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The reason you will want to give micro jigging a go is all about fun. Microjigging is for the light gear enthusiast, and it can turn an average fishing session into a rod bending, line peeling grin festival even on small snapper and kahawai.
What even is a microjig?
Catch Fishing microjigs
Much like a miniature slow pitch jig, microjigs are a small metal lure, usually fairly long and flat with one or two small assist hooks attached at the head end. As the name suggests they are diminutive in size, starting as small as 7 grams and up to around 40 grams, with around 15-25 being the most commonly used.
Microjigs a deadly in work-up situations
Microjigs’ imitate a small baitfish struggling and fluttering about and can be used right through the water column depending on where the fish are feeding.
How to fish a microjig?
Light gear is the idea, the best setup being a small medium action spinning rod and small spinning reel; around 2000 – 2500 spooled with 3 – 6 lb braid.
A couple of metres of 10lb fluorocarbon makes a good leader. Attach line to leader with a double Albright, and tie the end of the leader directly to the split ring at the head of the micro jig. An assist hook will also be swinging off this ring. These hooks are very small and act much like a trout fly, setting easily with light gear and difficult for fish to dislodge once they are on.
A very small overhead bait caster can also be used, and can actually be better while the lure is on the drop, as you are more connected with the lure during its descent. However they are harder to cast so are not always the best option if fishing very shallow such as from kayaks or smaller craft.
Fish a micro jig much like a soft bait. You are on the drift (with a sea anchor deployed if there is any wind) and casting in the direction you are drifting.
Allow the lure to flutter to the bottom, staying in touch but without dragging on it. This can be done by gently controlling the line coming off the spool with your fingers before engaging the bail arm.
Leave the lure on the floor for a few seconds, this is commonly where the strike will happen, even though it may seem unlikely.
Gently twitch the lure back towards you, keeping it bouncing along the bottom until it is directly below you. At this point you can actually let the lure drag along the floor giving it the odd lift for as long as the current lets you stay there.
Where to fish microjigs?
Given the light-weight nature of the lure, microjigs are best suited to being fished from shallower waters up to about 20 metres or so. They are perfect for fishing from a kayak, inflatable or dinghy, as well as drifting closer to shore in bigger boats.
Microjigs can be fished effectively from most vessels
Rather than fishing directly over structure where you are at risk of snagging or being skunked by a better fish, aim to fish the sandy or muddy areas around structure.
Try a mixture of colours, as sometimes one will work better than another. Good options to start with are orange or green.
It’s true that when the bite’s hot, almost lure will catch fish, but microjigs in particular are deadly in work-up situations. I recommend matching your lure size to the fish you’re targeting, this means you can enjoy playing a bigger fish without the stress of being busted on the bottom.
When to fish microjigs?
When it seems that pannie snapper are all that is on offer, or you want to save your expensive softbait bodies from pesky nibblers; busting out the micro outfit can really perk up your day. Not only will catching smaller fish become more fun, and when a bigger fish does come along it becomes a real reward to finally bring to the net.
Microjigs generally aren’t limited to any one season and will work at any time of year, but being small and reasonably fast makes them better suited from Spring through to Autumn; when predatory fish are a bit more mobile and aggressive.
All microjigs used in this article are from Catch Fishing. Check out the Catch range now at www.catchfishing.co.nz/