Lately with all the party boats running offshore for cod, pollock and sea bass during December into January, those using a jigging outfit for sea bass caught less of the trash fish which seem to be more common these days.
In this region we seem to now have a very heavy infestation of silver eels, and when combined with the congo bunnies, spiny dogs, hackle heads and other cold water creatures, jigging and squidding will noticeably lessen the amount of these fish you will bring up.
Boats from Shinnecock and westward will see a good amount of trash around some of our deeper wrecks when the water temps start getting down to that magic 40 degree level. That is why I recommended in articles I have written over the years to bring 3 outfits, with one of them being a standard Montauk cod jigging outfit that can handle jigs up to 10-12 ozs.
If the dogs are heavy and crawling up and over the wrecks as they seem to do now and you still want to fish, you can rig up two ways:
1- Just remove your tube teaser above your jig, and just drop down with the jig and squid with it.
2- Put a heavy sinker on in place of the jig, and tie your surgical tube teaser a foot and a half up the line if you want to jig.
You have no control in having the captain of the vessel making a move off a offshore wreck if the wreck starts to get 'dogged up.' One big reason is that many times the dogs will get picked through and back off to where it is now fish able with bait. Another is that the captain has few choices when he is offshore since there are just so many wrecks to fish and most will have the same situation of the dogs making a nuisance of themselves on other wrecks in the area.
This is where you now have to try to fish through them, and depending on what part of the wreck the captain has the boat over, if you are on the heavy hang of the wreckage you may luck out and catch some edible fish by just dropping straight down. If the party boat is anchored and your now off to one of the corners of the wreck, then you are just going to have to deal with trying to fish through the trash and it will mean at times fishing with one hook and your rig a cranked a few feet off the bottom.
The key if your using a jig, put on a single hook teaser, cast out and then slowly work it back. If you want to see how far your jig moves when you crank, go up on top of the party boats upper deck with your rod, and carefully let down the jig to the main deck. Now slowly crank up 2-3 turns. It will give you an idea on how far your jig moves on every crank of your reels handle.
Here are some shots I took from a recent offshore wreck trip to give you an idea of the surgical tube teasers that were used to catch cod in this area. Here is a setup with a standard surgical tube with a 9/0 and 10/0 hook that many are familiar with.
For those who don't believe that red hake (ling) will take a 9/0 size hook when squidded and jigged this is one shot I took. I caught a number of ling by 'tea-bagging' my jig, but in this one instance a ling took this jig as soon as I started to slow squid it along the bottom:
Here is my favorite surgical tube teaser rig with the jig on the bottom with the larger surgical tube along with the smaller surgical tube rigged on a 4x strong hook. You can also use your standard octupus style Gamakatsu or Owner hooks in 4/0 - 6/0 for this fishing. Notice how that tube teaser 'stands off' and not flopping down along the main line.
Just a reminder.......
Right now as the cod are swimming along with the small mackerel and herring on the OPEN BOTTOM off our shores, a jig in the 6 ounce range is perfect for casting and squidding with. These fish are not on the wrecks and are following the bait and this is where you want to use the technique that Sergio has mentioned in the SIMPLE 1-2-3 squidding thread. It works and you must have patience in working a surgical tube teaser setup if you are fishing on bait readings for cod.