This is the start of the jigging season here in Okinawa. Finally! God bless!

In the winter half here, bottom fish is active, amberjacks move closer to the shore from the deep, the tide is calmer in the day even in the spring tide, and the temperature is more friendly. The summer time is all opposite. The sunshine can kill you out there in this subtropical water.

So, this is my first day out in this season. During the off season I bought some new slow-pitch style jigs, Rector and Gawky from Sea Floor Control. I’ll see if I can find tunes with these state-of-the-art metals.

Gawky from Sea Floor Control

Rector from Sea Floor Control

Started fishing around 8:00 in the Nago Bay, about 90 meter deep. In the first run I was on Rector and found a really good tune with this guy. Rector really springs up and flies from side to side. You can see a long slack of the line after the pitches, which means the jig is flying through the water to the side. Also got a really nice falling action, which slides, flashes, and sometimes knocks like pushing down the water.

Hmmm… feels good! I thought.

And that good feeling and rhythm always brings a crop.
The second run, touched the bottom, 3 fast-pitches, and 3 slow-pitches, and BOOM!!!

Yes! Almaco Jack!

This was the first fish on the boat. It’s always such an honor to get everyone on the boat charged up with a good feeling for the day.
But we couldn’t maintain the momentum, just a few small fish to follow, and we entered the slack water time.

So I changed to Gawky to try out. This jig is really slow in falling, making a gentle rocking actions. It doesn’t spring like Rector. So the rod action should be slow and gentle, making the jig look like an unguarded happy bait, or a injuried weak bait. Emphasizing falling rather than rising – The long fall jerk.

I was just sensing the bottom and starting to pitch when the tip of my rod went straight down.

“Aza Hata” in Japanese.  Tomato Rockcod, a family of grouper.

It actually happens a lot with these slow-pitch style jigs to tempt the bites right when it touches the bottom. The falling actions of these jigs really do the job. Easy for me.

The fellow anglers are catching groupers from time to time. The captain is not seeing the sign of big fish on the sounders, so he spots some sounder picks at bottom here and there, doing the run-and-shoot operation.

One time he called everyone up to move again, I kind of cheated and did a couple more long falls. I was with Rector, about 12 meters above the bottom.
On the long fall, I saw the line slacking on the water, suspending, not falling… This is another kind of sign that a fish might catch your jig when it’s falling. This is one of my favorite ways to pick up the bites. It’s like spotting a hidden bite and strike.
I rolled up the slack and hit it hard.

Hooked! There you are!

Yes! My favorite Mackerel Tuna!

OK. I have decided I like Rector!

I switched to Gawky again. I was doing something like this; slow pitch, slow pitch, long pitch and long fall… slow half pitch, slow half pitch, long pitch and long fall. And this fish made the bite at the bottom of the fourth long fall, which means it was about 7 meters above the bottom, as my reel retrieves about 70cm at the depth of 100m.
You want to know how far from the bottom when you hook a fish. Some fish tries to go straight down to their hidings, the rocks. The PE line touches the rock, that’s the end. You try too hard to stop the fish beyond your settings, that’s the end. So the crutch time of the battle is in the first 10 seconds, near the bottom. That is why you want to know how much space, your margin, between your fish and the bottom.

Anyway, I let out some lines with this fish, a pretty good fighter, but it was not so much to worry about the bottom.

Another grouper with Gawky. This is a Coral Trout, one of the most appreciated fish on this island.

Gawky is doing a great job as well. Well, Gawky and Rector, they are now in my starters.

Amberjack, Mackerel Tuna, Tomato Rockcod, Coral Trout. These are my premiere targets around here. Well, the sizes may not be so impressive but they are definiitely Four Aces. How can I ask more for one day?

Around 60m to 70m cliff bottom. A grouper with TG Bait from Daiwa. Tungsten metal is 1.7 heavier than lead. So it’s heavy but small. 120g of this small jig is as heavy as 200g in the water. A rattlesnake-shake slow-pitch jerks with this jig can switch on even unmotivated fish.

Toward the sunset activation around 60m deep. Island Trevally with Spy 5 from Deepliner. Spy is the pioneering iconic jig for slow-pitch-and-fall jigging. Spy 5 is the new model. The hang time that this jig creates after the pitch is just extraordinary.

Well, what a wonderful first day in the season. Not very big ones in sizes, but I’d prefer many small delicious fish to one big fish. Now I have to plan how to cook these fish… It’s a lot of work. They are small each but all together it’s over 10kg of meat right there. Hmmm… So many plans and so little time…