This week I fished on Grafham trout water with the duke. With the zander in Grafham now well-established,Â fishing for the species at the annual lure fishing trials has taken over from pike. For the Duke and myself it was home from home stuff, the pair of us having pioneered the jig fishing/soft plastics boom that has nw swept across the UK.
With Grafham being big, windswept and deep, the fishing is challenging and on the day in question most of the boats blanked. The zander were found predominantly in forty to sixty feet of water, the method being to drift as slwoly as possible over targert areas, jigging vertically underneath the boat.Â
Vertical jigging in this way takes a late of patience and concentration. A few years ago I had some lessons with Dutch jigging master, Bertus Rozemeir on a large water in the Netherlands.
When fishing in water as deep as sixty feet, only low diameter briaded lines will allow you to fish with light, sensitive jigs right under the boat: thicker lines catch the undertow and tend to get blown into a bow. Using the right rod is key too – light, specialised jig rods are the order of the day and I have great faith in a rod I bought in the states, a Loomis ‘Bronzeback.’
Despite the slow fishing both the duke and myself caught our fish using long, smelt-shaped plastics fished on jig heads. You can see the jig that Mick was using in the wide angle shot of him with his fish: it’s a lure from the latest range of soft plastics by Fox (soon to be launched over here). Note also the barrel-shaped jig headÂ (also by Fox).
Vertical jigging is one of the most difficult fishing techniques to master requiring good technique and fantastic concentration. We love it!