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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I rarely get any luck when I'm jigging , however some boats around me always get fish on the jig. That's why I mostly stick to bait. I want to try new things, but the old way works so much better for me, are there any tips on how to get rockfish on the lures and jigs?
 

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There are many variables at play such as depth, current and structure but assuming you’re in areas where fish reside (since you have seen others nearby catching), the key is to keep your lures moving through the potential strike zones. Many lures such as jigs with paddletails and crankbaits impart their own actions with a simple retrieve. Others require some additional movement on your part (jigging) to entice the fish.

There is much local information available in on-line fishing forums and via books written by Chesapeake fisherman to guide you in proven lure selections and presentation techniques. They are excellent sources of information.

But the absolute best way to learn is to put away your bait for a few trips and to toss and retrieve lures. A ½ oz. jig with a three inch paddletail in 5 to 10 feet of water near structure, or a like sized Rat L Trap or X Rap are good starting lures for stripers. If you’re in deeper water use heavier lures to make sure they get to the depth of the fish. Or if you want a simpler start with artificial baits, use 1/8 oz. to 1/4 oz. jig spinner combinations and cast them in shallow water near riprap for white perch. They'll soon teach you what a strike on a lure feels like and whet your appetite for more catches with artificials.

Good luck,
 

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A day spent with Walleye Pete or one of the other LT specialist guides is better than a year of reading. See if you can find a guide who will take you out (your boat or his) in the waters you normally fish in; even better than learning their home waters !
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A day spent with Walleye Pete or one of the other LT specialist guides is better than a year of reading. See if you can find a guide who will take you out (your boat or his) in the waters you normally fish in; even better than learning their home waters !
What are some other LT guides?
 

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MD Bay King, you sound like me 20 years ago, except I trolled. I was very sucessful trolling, but I just was not having as much fun as I thought I should be. So I tried to develop a way of light tackle jigging that would work as well as trolling did for me.
My best results were when I trolled to locate hungry Rockfish, then switched over to jigging on top of them. Even then I did not catch many fish. It was frustrating. Knowing that fish were there, but I could not get them to bite.

I will not bore you anymore with my learning curve, except to tell you that it was unnecessary. There are books now, Shawn has written a couple, guides who how to jig, Tom Hughes, and walleye Pete, and successfull light tackle jiggers who post here sometimes. You will learn much faster just by watching someone who knows how to jig, than you can by trying different methods alone.

So it is really up to you how you become successful at LTJ . Just know that you CAN catch plenty of nice fish regularly, and have a lot of fun doing it. Oh yeah, one thing more. It's a lot more work jigging a one or two oz. lure than you might imagine.
 

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Walk on trips are an economical way of learning. I've been very successful with Walleye Pete & Brady Bounds, learned tons, & have only heard positives about Tom Hughes, Mark Galasso, Dennis Flemming, & Shawn Kimbro. In fact, i have never heard a negative comment from ANY Chesapeake Bay guide. A few hours on a guided trip can save you a lot of money and more than pay for itself. As a matter of fact the day after I LTJ with Walleye Pete, I went to a completely different location & jigged up small red drum & keeper stripers where I had previously unsuccessfully fished.
 

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Yes the best way to learn is to: read everything that Kimbro has written, read the archived posts to this forum from Superfish, book a trip will Walleye Pete or other light tackle guide and tell them it is a teaching trip.

However, while you are working off that TODO list, it's also super simple to grab a medium graphite (fresh water bass fishing) rod, spool the reel with #10 power pro, tie a uni-knot to add a #20 mono leader and finish with 1/2 once jig head on a white or chart bass assassin or a 1-2 oz sting silver. Go out and find some working birds and start casting and jigging into the school. You will not learn the proper technique this way, that can only be accomplished after your TODO list is done. You might have fun and learn a thing or two on your own and it will give you a feel for what it is your are trying to perfect. Becoming a really good light tackle angler is a lifelong pursuit and there is always some aspect of it that you can improve. It never seems to be something that you can master and it's always a challenge.

PS...DO NOT RUN YOUR BOAT THROUGH THE SCHOOL OF BREAKING FISH! That is a NO NO. Cut your engine up current and drift through them. Running your engine through the school is a cardinal sin among light tackle guys.
 

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When you find breakers, resist the urge to catch them on top. Instead send down a stingsilver, hopkins, diamond jig or a 5"+ soft plastic on the appropriate weight jighead (this takes practice) to get to the bottom quickly. The larger fish will be down there.

Good luck, have fun.

Mike
 

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I recommend 'Rudows guide to the Chesapeake' and 'flyfisher's guide to the Chesapeake '. Just a little more to add to your reading list ;) Also as a newbie myself I can assure you that your 'to do' list wont feel like 'homework' for long, it becomes just as much of a part of the fishing experience as catching fish. As others aluded LTJ is more a philosophy to fishing and it does take time but every small step is still a success. Keep at it!
 

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One bit of info was neglected. There are some times and places where if you are not in the right spot due to wind tide or bottom structure, 10 feet to either side of success can equal "0".
 
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