15 Minutes with Hogy® Ambassador Eric Harrison
Here is what we learned…
Tides: Moving tides
Approach: I hit channel edges and deeper holes in bays in areas with current from the tides. Using my fish finder and Navionics map I hung on the edges of channels looking for bait balls or marks from big fish. In deeper water, I was jigging mini-Hogys on half ounce jig heads and in 15′ or less I was swimming the 10″ Hogys on Barbarian jig heads.
Rigging Selection: The Hogy® 6/0 Barbarian Jigs in 1 oz and .75 ounce with 10″ Jiggin Hogys and 4″ mini Hogys.
Bait Selection: Hogy® 10inch Jiggin’ Series.
Why this bait? I started with the 4″ baits because we were finding clouds of very small bait. The little Hogys were similar in size to the bait fish and also produced some bonus fish like fluke and stripers. After catching mostly smaller weakfish, I up sized to the 10″ Hogy and started catching larger fish.
Colors: Fishing around bait balls I wanted a bright color in stained water. Bubblegum and white were the top choices. Bubblegum is an excellent color in stained water, it really stands out.
Retrieve: In 115′ to 25′ I was vertically jigging the Mini-Hogys just off the bottom. The near bottom approach minimized the number of bluefish hits and was the best producer of the weakfish, it also generated more than a few fluke. When I found some bait balls in shallower, I worked the 10″ Hogy around them. Again a low and slow approach was key to avoiding the bluefish and connecting with the weakfish. Most of the weakfish were just off bottom, but a couple came up near the surface when I was on bait balls. When there is a large cloud of bait, work the whole water column. The small bait seemed to be the key to finding the weaks.
Rod: I was using a custom graphite USA rod I designed for medium plastics. The rod is rated for .5 to 2.55 oz and 10-20# line . It is extremely light so is very sensitive which is very helpful for keeping your bait in the zone on a windy day.
Reel: The Shimano Chronarch 200 was my reel of choice, small and light it is a quality reel that can stand up to saltwater fishing.
Line: I was using 20# power pro with a double uni knot to a 20# mono leader. Braid is helpful when fishing in deeper water or on windy days.