15 Minutes With: Capt. Jay Shields
Here’s what we learned…
Tides: Moving tides are important; the incoming tide seems to produce the best bite.
Approach: Begin scouting for flocks of birds actively feeding or resting on the surface. You may need to sit and wait near birds that are resting until the albie school begins to feed again. This can sometimes take 30 minutes or more to happen, but when the fish show you can slowly motor around and get a view of what the bait concentrations are in the area.
Despite the common approach of casting down wind into fish, positing your boat to cast into the wind allows a lot better line and lure control. This allows you to make slight adjustments to the retrieve of the SI Epoxy Jig and find what action the fish are looking for. One major advantage of the SI Epoxy Jig when casting into wind is its aerodynamic shape allows for long casts, even into a strong head wind.
Bait Selection: 15g and 20g SI Epoxy Jigs.
Why this bait? As mentioned above, the aerodynamic shape of the SI Epoxy Jig allows for long casts on light tackle. This allows you to easily reach fish at considerable distances.
Colors: Bone and bubblegum are the most productive when fish are feeding in bay anchovies.
Retrieve: Capt. Terry Nugent of Riptide charters showed me how to fish the SI Epoxy Jig at super high speeds when albies are spread out and feeding in a large area. It works, big time! To fish it Terry’s way, retrieve the 20g Epoxy Jig very quickly, skipping across the wave tops, splashing the bait. This gives the impression of a small group of anchovies that have broken away from the school.
When albies have concentrated bait into a tightly packed school, the 15g in bubblegum can work very well. The light weight of the jig allows you to keep the jig in a small strike zone for a longer period of time. Sharp twitches can be used to keep the bait dancing within the bait ball and up near the surface.
Rod: 7’ Shimano Teramar Medium – Fast Action
Reel: Shimano Spheros 4000
Line: Suffix 832 10-pound test
Leader: 3’ of 12-pound test Seaguar Fluorocarbon
Leader Knots: Triple surgeons knot from line to leader, attach the jig to leader via a small clip.