I can see there are going to be some intense opinions on this subject but that is okay as both sides have some valid points. Not everyone is going to end up a dedicated jigger as well as spend over $600-$1000 for a reel and at least $400-500 plus for a new carbon fiber rod that looks like it should be for sea bass but can put down 200 lb plus tuna in the hands of the right angler. Even with state of the art high end tackle we have found a number of anglers still like to chunk and troll as that is their thing and find jigging way too much work when the bite is not red hot. I also go back to the dark ages jigging for tuna when we used reels like Penn Slammers, Daiwa BG90 's, Newells for jigging nice 30-50 lb Yellowfin right at the Hot Dog and the Baltimore Canyon at night. Even caught a few at the East Lump many years ago on in jigs. Well things changed for us real quick when we decided to try jigging for Bluefin Tuna along the 20-30 fathom lines and watched as we were spooled in seconds on all our spinners or just blew the side plates of the Newell's or melted the reel trying to stop a 150 lb Bluefin. Well that was then and the world of jigging is now light years ahead of back then with the advance in tackle plus the shear numbers of those now that love jigging and this number keeps increasing every year now in our NE.
Now comes the guts and glory part of my post: I am one those that have gone out and purchased thousand of dollars worth of some of the best jigging tackle money can buy for our charter boat. Here is the reason why.
The answer to the current jigging craze is very simple. Many anglers now enjoy catching fish (tuna in our case) more on jigs than chunking and way more than trolling. It is as simple as that. We have heard this from many of our customers and we have made the financial commitment to provide world class top end jigging tackle on our boat for the anglers that are just starting out or seasoned pros although almost all of them bring their own tackle. As a matter of fact I just I am adding more fine dedicated jigging tackle so our customers can experience a vast array of different types this coming season. We plan to have at least 8 high end dedicated jigging reels both in conventional and spinners along with all custom rods made from the very best carbon fiber blanks. We also recently committed to advertising in the new jigging and popping magazine that we feel should be an overwhelming success since so many anglers are now taking up jigging and want to know more about it everyday.
This is not new for us as we did the same thing 4 years when we saw how well the new Shimano 16 series reels and later the Penn 16 reels worked with hollow core spectra from Basil and purchased a bunch of them to replace the heavier 30-50 class Tiagra gold reels. We still use 50 TLD's and 30-50 Tiagras for trolling but everything else are the newer light weight reels for jigging and chunking. The last few year we have seen so many improvements in tackle getting lighter and more powerful using spectra lines and we have changed with the times. What it really gets down to for our charter business is we try our best to offer our customer what they want and the last few years we are seeing so many that enjoy and want to jig when on charter trips for tuna. We have started to hear from our customers on how much more they enjoy fishing with the newer lighter powerful tackle and the fun it provides compared to the older heavier stuff we all used for years. It is kind of like fighting a nice size tuna from a chair versus stand-up these days as we got rid of the chair about 5 years ago as stand-up is how we do it all the time now because that is what our customer want to do. More than anything else we are seeing more and more customers requesting jigging trips with us for tuna and it really does help keep our charter book filled and we are in the business of taking people fishing. People that fish with us just plain enjoy feeling the raw power of a tuna eating a jig and the ensuing battle more than they do catching tuna on the troll or in some cases chunking. I think that is why we are hearing so much about jigging these days as it is just a real fun way to catch fish. Not always by any means as there are times dead bait or trolling is far more effective plus jigging can and often does take patience but so does trolling or chunking as well. I personally could care less how we fish as it is all good in my mind but we try our best do what our customers want to do and seeing their smiling faces when a tuna slams their jig and how much enjoyment they get out of fighting tuna on quality tackle is why it is becoming so popular these days and more and more anglers are now buying dedicated expensive jigging tackle. They love fishing this way period.
From a practical conservation point of view when the jig or chunk bite is red hot on tuna well over 150 lbs like we have seen in recent years using top end tackle that can get the fish to the boat in a timely fashion is a good thing for the fish in my opinion as we release most of the tuna we catch. If the nice size Yellowfins should show up at night this coming season I feel there is no better way to catch them at night than on jigs or early am when they are surface feeding than on a popper. One thing about canyon Yellowfin jigging you do not need to break the bank or have all that high tech tackle as we have caught them for many years with just decent chunking tackle but if a few start pushing over 100 lbs like in 2007 you will be glad you have good quality jigging tackle.
Remember that fishing is about having fun with your friends and family and everyone has thier own perferred way they like to fish and that is the way it should be as long as we enjoy our time on the water. It really is about enjoying ourselves which ever way we chose to fish.