Wishing everyone and myself a year of rich and delicious catch.

So this is my first day out on the water in 2013. And it’s raining again. This is the story of this season.
But I was determined to make a pay-back today. My last 2 fishing excursions were not very productive. And I did so much reflective thinking over my errors. Now I was focused.

It was not only raining but also gusty. But today we were getting on the boat on the east coast, which is behind the island to the north wind. So off we go in a light shower.

For most of us it was the first ride on this boat, Ryusei-Maru.
The northern half of Okinawa Island is rural mountains, untouched nature. We had to drive longer to get to the boat than usual, but the boat reached the first point in 10 minutes right out of the port. And we will learn this ocean was richer than any of us expected.

And I was about to have one of the most fishing productive days in my life.

Yellow-edged lyretail

We started out in 60m deep.
My first fish was a Yellowtail Barracuda. I don’t have the photo as it was raining hard.

This is my second fish.
A red – orange cod with a beautiful tail.

Yellow-edged lyretail
Variola louti

The jig was Gawky. A long fall jerk. You can see the fish bit on the rear, which means the fish made the bite when the jig was falling.

Some fellow anglers got some small amberjacks.
Then the boat fell silent for a while. We are trying to attract some bottom fish with the long fall jerks but no fish followed. The captain decided to move out to 150m deep.

Then the show has started for me.


Seriola dumerili

Rector 210g – Notice the fish made the bite on the rear.

Dolphin Fish Mahi Mahi

Dolphin Fish or Mahi Mahi
Coryphaena hippurus

With Rector 210g – It was hooked on the rear.
When I was dropping down the jig, it was letting out the line in a funny way. Then I knew someone took the jig and ran.

It is a female, judging by the round shape of the head. Males have a bigger square head. When catching this fish, it’s important to knock it dead before laying it down, otherwise the fish will go wild for a long time on the floor and it will make a big mess. And when you try to hold it down, the hooks hanging around its mouth can hurt you seriously. You have to be really careful catching this fish.

Highfin Amberjack
Seriola rivoliana

With Rector 210g. It was hooked on the rear.

Not to mention, I closed all my catches with “Ike-Jime” right when it’s caught to keep it fresh and delicious for days to come.

Suma Mackerel Tuna

Mackerel Tuna
Euthynnus affinis

Rector 210g. On the front hook.
My favorite Suma Tuna! This fish always makes my day. The Tataki Sashimi is soooooo delicious.
It hit when we were all retrieving the jigs. It could have happen to anyone but it hit me. Lucky me!

Crimson Jobfish

Crimson Jobfish
Pristipomoides filamentosus

With Rector 210g. On the rear hook.


Highfin Amberjack
Seriola rivoliana

With Rector 210g. On the front hook.


Seriola dumerili

With Rector 210g. Hooked on the front.

I was on fire. The fish just kept contacting me.

And it came the pay-back time.

It was just about before 10 cranks from the bottom when I got another hit. I made the hooking swing twice and started pulling up. First it felt like an average size, but after couples of seconds the fish suddenly started darting and dragging out line. I knew I was about 10m from the bottom. Now 6, 5, 4… Counting the color marks on the line that’s being dragged out fast. I needed to stop it. Or free the line. I used my thumb to stop the reversing turn of the reel and prayed that it would stop the fish.

And it did.

A big sigh of relief. And I had pulled up 5m more before the fish started the second run. I tried to put the same amount of pressure on my thumbing as I remembered I did to stop the first run. The fish dragged out couples of meters but then it stopped.

OK, now loosen my drag and pull up very carefully as my knots can be damaged pretty good by now.

Got it!

A 8kg Highfin Amberjack.
PE2.0 and 40lb leader With Rector 210g.
This catch is a high prize for me. I felt like I have paid back.

This one too is hooked on the rear.

I don’t know why but big fish like this can start light on hooking, and then all of the sudden start running like a king after maybe 10 cranks of retrieve. Maybe a big fish needs some time to turn around and get in high gears?

Blue-lined large-eye bream

The show still goes on for me.

Blue-lined large-eye bream
Gymnocranius grandoculis

Rector 210g. Hooked on the rear hook.

I’ve always wanted to catch this fish. I’ve heard so many anglers say it’s delicious and never had one myself.

I’ve never caught so many fish in 1 day. I couldn’t stop.

There was my very objective self in my mind that was trying to understand something.

There were 6 of us.
There were 2 other anglers catching many fish.
The other 3 were not having a good day.
I know they are all good anglers.
But the difference is so distinctive.

So what is the difference?

Is there so-called “hit pattern” each day?

Jigging experts say there’s a hit pattern everyday. The particular jig movements that fish bites on. And it changes everyday.

I’ve always believed that as that’s what it says in the textbook. So every time I go out, I always try to find that pattern. And I always keep looking for it until the end of the day. I’ve never had an experience to say, “I’ve got the pattern of the day!”

Today I tried to prove it to myself. I tried to stay with the same pattern that brought me the first fish at 150m deep.
I had the 3oz Highpitch Jerker with PE2.0, 40lb leader and 210g Rector. The jig, 210g, was between 7oz and 8oz. This rod is a stronger setting for the slow pitch jerk with this weight of the jig. The kicking action is bound to be strong in flicking the jig out.
Rector is a responsive jig with a unique falling patterns.
The action was 1 pitch 1 jerk with some changes of the pace, and I put in some moments of short falls occasionally. The jig must have been moving actively with long slides, and then short falling in a turning around action at the edge of the slides probably.

And this caught all the fish.

And 9 out of my 12 catches were hooked on the rear, which means the fish made bites on those short falling actions.

Now this must prove pretty much that that is the hit pattern of the day. So it seems.

But on the contrary, I had a hard time finding something in common with other anglers who caught a lot of fish today. They said they found no particular pattern, as they hit with the long-fall, the slow-pitch and the high-pitch.
But those who didn’t catch many fish agreed that they might have been doing too much small pitches like 1/2 and 1/4.

Hmmm… So that might be the difference? I don’t know. I’m not convinced yet. I’d like to focus on this again in my next excursion.

For technical information on Slow-Pitch Jigging, see the link.