Much thanks to a friend for always passing a few pictures and tips from his offshore GOMaine trips.
So what are the secret terminal tackle ingredients?
I was specifically told that this, and mind you, a commercial fishermen on what he recently experience with the jigs, curly tail and OE TACKLE - Surgical Tube.
1- Tubes were killer
2- I think I only caught 3 pollock on jigs between - the 20 oz hammered diamond - 17 oz Norwegian and nothing on the 16 oz Lav
3- All the fish in the big box just on tubes dark red/blue and fluorescent pink curly tails
I should point out that we are not stating anything which I or others who are excellent jig fishermen for pollock, have not stated before. Surgical tubes work for pollock....but...
During this past spring on the VOYAGER - Nantucket wreck and jigging trips and I again emphasize this past very cold water spring, surgical tubes did not work.
What did work on those spring trips.....FLO PINK CURLY TAILS!
1- Carry both curly tails and surgical tubes with the preferred number one option - the 6" FLO PINK CURLY TAIL
2- Surgical tubes are killa, and we know this from fishermen such as Tony 'Fish' and 'Big Bob' Spencer.
3- For pollock, the palette of colors are also well known with FORREST GREEN being the go to choice, with dark red, burgundy, blue and purple the next group of colors if you purchase surgical tubes for targeting pollock.
4- Hammered jigs are what we prefer these days, and we do love, as does Captain Jeff of the VOYAGER, the 8 and 10 oz 'DB' style hammered jigs, IF YOU CAN HOLD BOTTOM and WORK THIS SIZE PROPERLY.
5- We also should point out that the old standard diamond jigs like the S&G - SMOOTH CHROME DIAMOND, have a well noted record of success while cod and pollock fishing off Nantucket Shoals and the GSChannel. (I should also point out, and thanks to Captain Keith A., S&G jigs is supposedly coming back).
6- If you cannot find the S&G jigs, over the past few years it is apparent that a number of local and overseas jig makers have copied the shape of the S&G jig, and they do work...we use them! Surprisingly those chrome diamonds coming from China are almost similar to the S&G in shape and the eyes as well as swivel hold up well.
7- ViKe style Norwegian jigs have their moments where they will out fish other jigs. In the past they were slightly more expensive to purchase. Also you would hear from those fishermen who would use this style on cod and pollock trips would complain about the 'eyes' being bent and worse, mangled (literally have to throw the jig out as the bottom eye was in such bad shape) when used to pound hard bottom on Georges and GOMaine trips (a similar complaint that we could say about any chrome diamond jig). I point this out since we like to use them, but lately we have seen the standard diamond shape fish as well as anyone could ask for. You do not need to specifically buy this style of jig for pollock and cod fishing.
8- If you make your own surgical tubes, try as best to attach the hook to BALL CHAIN. Here also, many old time fishermen will point to how many cod and pollock they have caught on a regular 'swivel' tube, but ball chain as many have come to learn is a big difference maker. In fact the other day I was contacted by a fishermen looking to buy this specific 4-ball chain for making tubes (good luck too!). It is well worth the price if you are targeting gamefish to use ball chain.
9- As for hooks, there are two general styles with one being the well noted and standard O'Shaunessey (with variations of Mustad 3407 and 34091DT Open Eye or the shortened-tuna style 9175) or Gamakatsu with their SEA HOOK (preferred as it is that good). Our recommendation? SIWASH in 6/0 size. I prefer VMC as their hooks seem to be the best value and hold up very well to hard fishing.
10- Finally the techniques which work for BOTH cod and pollock.... first the traditional 'tea bagging' which is a slow lift of the jig off the bottom and then FOLLOWING THE JIG DOWN. You can keep just barely lift the jig off the bottom or go to the New England swinging 'heave-haul' style. Normally a controlled SWEEP of the jig which barely lifts the jig a few feet off the bottom is more consistent in catching cod. The second is the traditional squidding techinque, and here you have to learn how to slow-squid. Pay attention to the speed in which you turn your handle, as once you lock onto that rotation of the reel handle, you can literally catch a fish fish a cast.
Here it is, so hopefully I will be seeing in the near future some pictures just like this below:
Oh I should add this too as it was recently from Captain Jeff...