What is “Slow-Pitch” Jigging?
This is the state-of-the-art jigging techniques that has been spreading all around Japan and elevating the game of jigging to another dimension. The concepts and techniques have been created by a man named Norihiro Sato. I learned jigging from watching his DVDs. He is my Sensei.
If you know jigging as what it used to be (or see “What is different from hi-speed jigging?“), you think, “Jigging is tough!” Jigging used to be a hard muscle work-out. It’s still an exciting game and it does work in a lot of situations, but on the other hand, it’s a fact that a lot of people have tried jigging and never come back.
But jigging looks totally different in this video. It’s all in Japanese, so if you don’t understand, just take in as much visual information for now. It is my intension to share the principles and techniques throughout this website.
Slow Pitch Jigging by Norihiro Sato
Well, it is really easy in terms of that you don’t have to torture your muscles.
If you know the old way, you might be wondering “How could possibly a fish bite the jig like that?”
Slow pitch jigging works!
- It works for a wider range of target fish. (From fast-swimming pelagic to demersal fish
- It works for a wider range of fish activity. (Not only when the fish is active, but also when they are not active.)
- It works for a wider range of sea conditions.
- It catches more fish.
Well, when the fish is active and you are fishing in the place where the fish is, any methods could work.
One time I was helping a fellow angler pulling his catch onto the boat, leaving my jig hanging in the water. When I returned I saw my rod fishing on its own. It was a small tuna. Many people believe that they need to move the jig super fast to catch it. But the boat was only rocking and dancing the jig and this fish took it.
But the fish is not active all day. In fact, in most places the active time lasts about 2 to 3 hours at one time, and it only happens a couple of times a day. When they are not active, you need to come up with something different. Slow Pitch Jigging came out of that idea. Sato Sensei tried to figure out how to catch a fish when everyone else is not catching, and how to catch one fish more than anyone else on the boat.
How Does it Work?
Predators always look for easy targets to feed on. The easier the prey is, the better the hunting is. It’s an instinct.
Crippled bait fish make random movements, they dash and stop, dart in irregular directions, make flashing actions, and fall to bottom. In the ocean ecosystem, going downward is a sign of weakness, either it’s not being able to swim or it’s hiding for cover.
This is how the slow pitch jigging is trying to attract the target fish.
Slow pitch jigging is not slow reeling. It is a continuous sequence of stop and go in each pitch. It’s about 1 pitch per second. That tempo is very slow compared to the conventional style of jigging.
1. Reel to make the jig jump
In the moment you give a pitch of reeling, the rod bends nicely to give the smooth upward acceleration to the jig. 1 pitch can be 1 crank, 1/2 turn, or 1/4 turn. You can jerk up the rod a little in each pitch.
2. Hold up and let the rod kick
After a pitch, you hold up the rod. In that moment the rod springs back up, releasing the power in a whipping action so that the jig is tossed up free. When released, the center-balanced jig slides to the side and moves in a horizontal position for a moment. It is when the jig is on its side that the chasing fish comes up for a bite.
3. Let the jig fall
You bring down the rod with half the reeling or not reeling at all. Let the jig fall on its own. If you reel half on the way down and the half on the way up, the jig keeps dancing upward with suspension on its side in between. If you don’t reel on the way down, the jig free-falls and does its own built-in actions on the way down. This is also a popular moment for a bite.
4. Reel to pick up the jig and jump again
Just before you feel the jig weight at the end of the fall, pick it up with your reeling and jerking the rod to give another pitch. This might be a moment that you realize that a fish made a bite in the previous step, during the fall. You can change all kinds of different actions to your rod, speed, length, rhythm, timing and the combinations of all kinds.
To see more slow pitch application.
>> How to make actions in Slow Pitch Jigging
Let the jig swim and fall on its own
You never know what triggers the fish to react to your jig, but basically, slow pitch jigging has learned that it’s when the jig is on its side, the horizontal position, and when the jig is falling, going downward, that it attracts most bites. In other words, these are the moments when the jig is free on its own, when you are not doing anything to the jig. Slow pitch jigging wants to maximize those moments. You do less. Get the jig horizontal. Let it swim on its own. And let it fall on its own.
This method has achieved tremendous results with all kids of fish. The groupers, codfish, rockfish and other bottom fish used to be not much the targets for the conventional style of jigging. But now those delicious fish are our great targets with Slow Pitch Jigging. Tunas, amberjacks, yellowtails and other fast-swimming fish also like this slow moving and falling jigs, too.
The most essential part of Slow Pitch Jigging
It is essential to stay in a vertical alignment with your jig. Almost everything we do in the setup and the boating is primarily to serve this purpose. And it is when we can’t stay vertical that the slow pitch does not work. Well, at least you need a great deal of adjustments. Otherwise, in the non-vertical alignment, hi-speed jigging may work better.
The most fun part of slow pitch jigging (SPJ), I think, is that you have so many tactical choices. The slow pitch principles teach you to become aware of the jig movements. And the awareness enables you to change something when it is not working. You have so many choices. You can change the rod, the reel, the jig type and the jig weight, the line, the leader, the rings, the hooks, the assist line, your application of reeling and jerking. The combinations are unlimited, and they make differences. It’s a bit complicating first. You need to study to really understand it. You may need to let go of some ideas you have been holding. You cannot be successful by just buying SPJ jigs and SPJ rods. It took me 2 years to really understand this game. It is my intension to share what I understand to help you start this exciting game.
I really hope this website will help you understand, enjoy, and go deeper into the game as much as I do.
Hope the information helps you! Good luck!
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