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October 26, 2001

Get Jiggy With It

Get your trolled baits under structure.

Going offshore without my downrigger would be like fishing with just one arm because nearly half my strikes come on the deep baits. I usually run a 1/4-ounce Sea Witch in front of a ballyhoo on wire leader.
After bailing dolphin around floating debris, I troll the area using downriggers because wahoo that feed on schoolie dolphin usually hang deeper. If I get no strikes by the third pass, I snap the line free of the downrigger clip and jig the bait as it passes under the debris to entice reluctant fish. This technique once helped me catch five extra wahoo from a floating pallet that had already given up several dolphin and a 40-pound 'hoo.
Capt. J.R. Rudzin
Hot Pursuit Charters
Islamorada, Florida