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Best hook configurations on metal jigs?

Remote River Man

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Hi all -

I've decided to try out some metal jigs for a change, to see what it's all about. I have a Berkley Skid Jig - pictured. Now, being completely new to jigging and therefore clueless about hook options/combinations, I've noticed mine comes with a single hook up the front. I've seen other jigs that have either two hooks dangling from the front, or nothing at the front at all... just a treble hook attached to the back end instead.

My question, for any experienced jig users out there, is this:

Should I be using this jig 'as is' (single front hook), or 'improve' it by either replacing the single front hook with a double hook setup, or opting for a treble at the back instead? I'm assuming adding double stinger hooks to the back (in addition to the existing front hook) is probably overkill, and would perhaps adversely affect the jig's characteristic fluttering motion through the water. I also assume a hook up the front plus a treble at the back is also a no-no, since nobody seems to do this.

Any advice for a newbie on the best way to hook up my jigs (and what has worked best for you, through trial and error) is most welcome....

Berkley Skid Jig.png

Edited by Remote River Man
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I do some shore based jigging in Sydney harbour and have done pretty well out of it over the years. If you want to put a treble on the back then you may as well buy a Halco twisty then cast it out and rip it back as fast as. This is also an effective technique and got one of my mates a mack tuna in Sydney harbour amongst the kings and other pelagics he was hooking up last summer.

Firstly, wherever possible tie to the solid ring which is attached to the hook rather than the split ring or the eye on the lure. Shore based I use them two ways. Firstly, bang them out and when they have hit the depth I like I lift the rod through a long medium to fast paced arc and then wind quickly down. Repeat quickly once or twice more then on the last time I lower the rod without winding and fast enough so I am not in contact with the lure but slow enough so the line doesn't wrap around the rod tip. This allows the lure to flutter rather than swing its way back to the depth I require (in my case often the bottom but not always). The second method is a bit more difficult to describe (it is a rod tip down fast wind while bouncing the rod tip each wind) but it gets the lure ripping/darting in a straight line towards me several times in a row like a fleeing baitfish then I lift the rod to create the slack which allows the lure to flutter.

If you are in direct contact with the lure it does not get that erratic dart that forces the fish to chase. It acts more like a pendulum and does not look good. To see the erratic movement that I am talking about drop the lure in the water where you can see it then lower the rod quickly so the jig can free fall. Watch the movement closely. Lift the rod and repeat. On your longer pauses you need to get the slack in the line to allow the lure to flutter as it was designed to.

From a boat, in general work the lure through the water column using a fast lift and wind down retrieve which will see the jig swim up in fast darts with a quick pause when you set for the next rip. When you have passed through the section where you think the fish are lift the bail arm and allow the lure to flutter enticingly back down. I have several rods with jigging braid (colour changes every 10m) and one of the places we use them is about 140m of water and so it allows me to stay in the sweet spot more easily without hitting the bottom each time.

The eye gives the fish a target to aim for (and baitfish are swallowed easier head first - ever noticed birds spinning a fish around to eat it head first) so usually tie to the end with the eye on it. We have done this for kings and I can feel them having a go several times before hooking up and then they fire up when they realise they are hooked.

There is also slow pitch jigging for which other Fishraiders have done some good reports.

In Sydney harbour I've got small ones (10 to 15gram) I use on my bream rod and others up to 40gram which I use on a 9 foot rod with 10lb jigging braid which allow me to cast to between 90 and 110m (with a tail wind) and cover some serious ground. I also have heavier ones for some of my other rods for say on a boat.

Amongst my wide variety of these jigs I have single, double and triple hook combinations. With three hooks there are more points to get hook ups but more points to snag up if the lure is hitting the bottom. I also think it doesn't increase the hook up rate dramatically (if at all) so leave your one as it was designed. For off the shelf lures I usually leave the number of hooks alone but have upgraded several with stronger hooks to suit the Australian conditions. If you are using a Halco twisty type cast and rip back lure then I suggest changing the treble to a large eye single of similar size. They are often stronger, do less damage to the fish and are easier to unhook.


Edited by DerekD
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45 minutes ago, Remote River Man said:

Thanks Derek D - great stuff. Thanks for the explanations - very thorough!

Good luck with it and looking forward to hearing your results. Depending on where you are in QLD you may have to adjust your set up to take into account the sharp teeth some of the fish have up your direction. I put in a few more notes in my original response so you may want to read it again.

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