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Shimano Bottom Ship 2 the jig for all occasions

Yesterday’s charter aboard Reel Force out of Lancelin proved to be an awesome experience thoroughly enjoyed by all. Not only was it an enormous pleasure to have the opportunity to fish alongside AFL legend Glen Jakovich but also fish with the new Bottom Ship 2 jigs manufactured by Shimano. The idea whilst filming episode 6 of Perth Fishing TV was to fish baits versus metal jigs and see what the results would prove?

We were targeting demersal species such as Dhu fish, pink snapper, break sea cod and bald chin groper in water depths of around 25 – 45 meters. The sea conditions were absolutely perfect with a gentle 5 – 10 knot s/w breeze drifting us along nicely over the low swell. Out came the Bottom Ship 2 jigs and after a couple of drops it soon became obvious to all how effective these sensational new jigs really were.

The Reel Force Charter crew of Skipper Brendon and crewman Jeff were exceptional and not only put us on the largest number of Dhufish I have ever experienced but also took an enormous amount of care when releasing undersized or unwanted fish. These boys certainly have their local areas fish stocks in mind and are doing a fantastic job of maintaining them for future generations to also enjoy. I would highly recommend Reel Force Charters to anyone wanting to experience a professional and productive fishing charter.

I found the 90 – 110 gram bottom ship II jigs in orange gold to be the jig of the day accounting for 6 Dhu fish, 4 samson fish, a very nice Harlequin fish and a variety of other assorted species for me. Fished from Shimano’s Stella 5000 SWXG loaded with 20lb power pro braid and coupled with a Grappler GRAPS603 PE3 jig rod these jigs are an absolute pleasure to fish with. The combination of these jigs and this quality Shimano fishing outfit not only ensure an extremely enjoyable fishing experience but also a highly effective one. Fluoro carbon leaders of 40 – 60lb are ideally suited.

This super relaxed yet highly effective form of jigging is by no means a recently developed technique and is something myself and probably many other anglers around the country have been slowly developing over the last 7 years or so. Finally anglers are now starting to realize the full potential this style of jigging offers providing them access to a technique that has now proven to be unbeatable. Believe it or not this technique is far less taxing on the angler than most and is far more economical and effective than bait fishing. It simply requires dropping the jig to the sea floor engaging the bail and slowly lifting and dropping the jig allowing it to flutter around close to the bottom. Once the jig is around 2 – 3 meters up drop it and begin the super slow retrieve again until the line angle becomes too shallow and effects the jigs true action. Try to imitate the slow rocking motion of a boat and allow the jig to flutter up and down seductively.

My theory is that jig styles including the Bottom ship II which are rigged with plastic squid coated assist hook set ups offer demersal species an unprecedented artificial option. When you speak with a lot of local divers they will often tell you of the Dhu fish they encounter gathered around their anchor chains upon their accents. These fish are drawn by the sound of the anchor chain rattling on the reef. I feel that most if not all demersal and semi pelagic species are in fact attracted by small, soft, metallic sounds similar to the ones produced by a metal jig clunking down on a reef or wreck. Most bottom jigging hook ups occur within seconds of the jig hitting the bottom and this theory would possibly explain why? The combination of the plastic squid coated assist hook and metal jig could also possibly imitate a small reef fish attacking a small squid, cuttlefish or octopus. It seems too much of a coincidence that these jigs catch everything from small unwanted reef dwellers similar in size to the jig to real monsters.

The smaller fish see the squid trying to flee from the slightly larger predator and nip in to grab the squid before they miss out and the larger fish just want the lot. Even when bites are slow or shut down this technique will generally produce results and has certainly replaced the need for purchasing smelly bait. These jigs do in fact represent 99.9% of a reef fish diet and are capable of imitating everything from small bait fish to prawns and even cray fish. Fishing with jigs also enables anglers to fish the entire water column from top to bottom, as soon as the jig hits the water you are fishing.

Jigs are effective on their way down, whilst they are worked on the bottom and also when being retrieved back to the boat allowing anglers to target an enormous variety of species at from bottom dwelling demersals to line burning pelagics.  You can take your jigs home at the end of a day’s fishing and use them over and over again instead of throwing old, smelly bait away and having to scrub it off your boat and clothing. Jigs are more enjoyable to fish with, less taxing on the angler and much more effective than any other form of bottom fishing. Shimano Bottom Ship 2 the jig for all occasions.

Ps. Keep visiting our Perth Fishing TV Facebook page for new episodes, including a fully detailed and instructional segment dedicated to not only the above mentioned jigs and technique but also the result of our controversial baits versus jigs competition.

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Hand tied fly’s and lead heads are still the bomb!

Well with the warmer weather finally on our door step it’s time to tie up some fly’s and lead head jigs and head off in search of some flatfish. Targeting Bar tailed flathead and flounder here in our magnificent Swan River is something I have enjoyed immensely over the years. Not only are these fish great sport on ultra light spin and fly tackle they are also not too bad on a plate either. Flathead and flounder are generally not that difficult to catch with most junior and novice anglers beginning their angling experiences targeting these great little fish. The Swan River here in Perth is an ideal location to target these species with plenty of warm, shallow water and likely flat fish haunts. The fly’s and lead head jigs pictured are quite simple to tie up and are one of the most effective flat fish artificials I have tried over the years. They are cheap, quick and easy to tie up and most importantly, blow fish proof. These particular models range from ultra light size 4, bead head fly’s to 3/4 ounce 1/0 lead head jigs and are tied from both synthetic and natural fibers. The fly’s are tied from chartreuse and white deer hair fibers to add extra movement in the water and also help to prevent tail wraps during false casting. The lead heads are tied using synthetic fibers which are great for durability and hold their shape in the water perfectly. The gold flash in the center of them all shines through and represents the lateral line of a small bait fish and the hot pink binding appears as open or flared gills which all panicked bait fish display when being preyed upon. The green or chartreuse and white theme with hot pink binding seems to be the most effective colour pattern for flat fish such as flat head and flounder regardless of their location here in Australia and represents the appearance of most small prey items these fish prefer. Simply hop and drag these lures across some warm, sandy shallows using ultra light spin and fly tackle, flatfish will often lay in areas of broken up bottom such as sand, weed, rock and especially gravel or crushed shell. Their camouflage allows these fish to remain completely undetected as they lay in wait of any small fish or prawn that may make the mistake of venturing too close before exploding from the river bed to engulf their prize. Light 10 – 15lb leaders and tippets are preferred depending on the size of the fish being targeted and are simply joined to ultra light 4 – 6lb braided lines using an albrite knot. Loop knots are also preferred to allow the fly or lead head extra movement during retrieval.

This Friday 2/10/15 the tide is perfect and rises steadily from around midday to late afternoon in the location I have chosen to fish, the water will be warming nicely by that time and the rising tide should see the Swan River flatfish coming on the chew. Wish me luck and I’ll post the results soon.

Calm seas, clear skies

Nick Hocking

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