This screen shot shows the lure hopping perfectly on the bottom.

Deep water jigging secrets

In this month’s article I would like to give you a few tips on one of my favourite techniques, which involves using small lures in deep water. The lures needed for this technique are standard soft plastics and my favourites are small metal and plastic vibes. When discussing what areas this form of fishing would work the best, I find that the deep holes in the rivers that are 6m and deeper are the best. Deep water jigging

Sometimes I head down to the mighty Clarence River where I am working with my clients in holes that are over 20m deep. Let’s get started on how to do it. The first thing I do is use my sounder to locate bait schools that are holding close to or even better on the bottom of the hole. If I don’t find bait on the bottom I will pull up stumps and keep moving to other holes until I find what I call a target drop. Deep water jigging

Pouchy with a nice jewfish caught while deep water jigging in 13m of water.

Sometimes you will see big fish like jewies or trevally marking around the bait schools, which show in what’s called arches, which is absolutely fantastic. Other times you will see bait but no arches, but you can almost bet that there will be flathead lying on the bottom under the bait, which you can’t usually see on the sounder. So now that you have found a target drop, you can position the boat directly over it and lower the lure to the bottom as quick as possible.Deep water jigging

Matty was happy with one of the many flathead he caught deep water jigging.

Your line will go slack, which means you have touched down on the bottom. The next step is to lower your rod tip to the water and use a very even series of short sharp lift and drops of the rod tip, about 50cm up and down is fine. These short even jigs of the rod tip will help your lure maintain contact with the bottom and that is where you want it to be.Deep water jigging

The real wizardry is keeping the small lure continuously on the bottom while drifting in deep water with the tidal flow. The trick is very clever boat handling skills, with the use of either your petrol or electric motor by making small forward or reverse movements to insure that your line stays completely vertical. For example, if you are drifting and the angle of your line starts moving away from the boat, you reverse slightly back to keep it vertical.Deep water jigging

This is a fantastic bait school on the bottom and produced some nice flathead.

In contrast if the line starts to move under the boat you have to shunt the boat forward, with this boat correction usually being needed when the wind is opposing the tide. This technique might sound a bit intimidating, but trust me, it is a very simple and highly effective way of fishing and something that all anglers can learn with time and practise.Deep water jigging

About Brad 'Smithy' Smith

Smithy has been working as a full-time professional fishing guide for over 20 years, which makes him southeast Queensland’s and northern NSW’s longest-serving guide. Above all the commitments Smithy has in the charter industry, his overriding passion has always been to pass on his specialist experience to anglers and teach people of all ages and angling abilities the correct techniques required to catch all the Gold Coast’s estuary species on a variety of different lures. Smithy’s unique charter operations guarantees you will catch fish on lures or you don’t pay.

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