This simple Catfish jig could be a great start to your season, sure to keep your line buzzing.
First, you’ll need an egg sinker on the end of your line, a classic catfisher companion, and a favorite for live bait. It’ll be great for catching these alleged bottomfeeders (Apparently, there is some debate about whether or not catfish are true bottomfeeders). Whether or not Catfish really sink to the bottom or choose to look up for their meals, I’m not inclined to doubt what works.
Next, you’ll need a barrel swivel, because the part after is gonna be monofilament line, and you don’t want tangles or twists weakening or damaging the line.
A few inches of monofilament line (Ok, about two feet of it, at least 20lb line), and you can add on your hook. We prefer a Gamakatsu Shiner hook, anywhere from 2/0 to 5/0, so you can keep your live baits, well, live! They’re strong, too.
This setup should get you catching cats in no time, and without getting to complicated in our rigging. Now go get some cats! (And report back on whether you find them at the bottom or elsewhere, would you? Now I’m curious.)
Use Small Plastic Grubs, Catch Mighty Numbers Of Light-biting Bottomfish
Ever wondered what those light nibblers are that never get hooked? Sometimes they’re small rockfish but other times they can be large light-biting rockfish and lingcod. Using smaller hooks and 2-inch grubs will quickly solve the mystery.
For ocean purposes, Gamakatsu makes snelled leaders with baitholder hooks ranging from size 2 through 6/0. They come pretied with long, 24-inch leaders to allow you ample room for tying your own tailor-made leader-sizes. The lack of a loop on one end gives you the choice whether to tie your leader directly to a swivel or to make your own loops. The perfection loop is the perfect choice for most bottomfishing rigs.
You can also resnell these ultra-sharp baitholder hooks using heavier pound test if you so desire. Go with smaller Gamakatsu baitholder hooks and they will rapidly tell you what the bait-stealer is on any given day. –Larry Ellis
Dancing Stinger Hook For Bottomfish
NOTES: Diamond jigs with a shrimp fly (or two) are the lure of choice for many bottomfish anglers. Not only is the rigging simple, it’s very effective at quickly getting down to the fish and enticing them to bite. It’s not uncommon to bring up two or three black, blue or other various rockfish at a time with this rigging.
Cutting the stock treble hooks off the bottom of the diamond jig and adding a dancing stinger hook (or two) will not only result in more fish hooked but keep you from snagging the reef you are fishing over. While the initial investment in new hooks may seem expensive, it will quickly pay back in saved jigs. –Andy Schneider