The beauty with fishing LRF style is that you don’t need to over complicate anything.
One of the most basic and easiest to fish rigs is the simple jig-head. This is basically a head weighted hook, which is available in a choice of hook sizes and weights, to which you add the lure of your choice.
I’ll fish with a jig-head in four different ways, depending on the weather, tidal conditions and what I am fishing for.
If there isn’t much tide running and the weather conditions are favourable, I’ll quite often use a lightish jig-head, maybe something around the 0.8g size and let it wash around and sink slowly through the water column. It’s surprising how many fish you’ll catch when you aren’t actually doing anything. A slow sinking piece of Berkley Gulp Sandworm or a tail kicking Gunki LS Whiz can prove irresistible to fish, especially pollock and mackerel when they are competing for food. A simple tightening of the line indicates a take, quite often happening after only a few seconds of casting out. It’s also a great method for catching surface feeding garfish.
If I want to fish the lure slightly deeper and work it more, I’ll step up the weight of the jig-head to something around the 1.4g size. This will still be taken on the drop, but will obviously sink a bit quicker. Once it’s around the mid-water mark, I’ll start working it back in little flicks, pauses and short quick turns of the reel handle, making the lure hop and dance through the water. I favour the worm baits, swim-baits and fluke style lures for this sort of method, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of lures.
If the weather isn’t favourable, the tide is running hard or I simply want to get my bait down quickly, I’ll up the jig-head to something around the 2.4g mark. This size jig-head is also good for working baits in deepish water near the bottom for species such as wrasse. If you want to specifically target wrasse, try using smallish craw or grub like baits and working them in hops and pauses just above the rock and kelp. Just make sure you stay alert, the first thing a hooked wrasse will do is dive straight down into the tackle graveyard.
Another way I’ll fish the jig-head is by jigging them up and down alongside harbour walls. If I’m fishing inside the harbour, such as at Mevagissey where it’s generally calm with hardly any flow, I’ll go as light as possible and work a small worm type of lure up and down the wall, starting on the bottom and working my way up slowly, where I’ll catch blenny, sea scorpion and goby to name a few.
I’ll sometimes drop over the other side of the wall which is out to sea and employ the same method, but here I’ll catch other species such as pollock and corkwing wrasse. Again, you may need to up the jig-head weight depending on weather conditions and tides.
Although I use around four different weight sizes of jig-heads, I only ever use these hooks in size 8 or 10. I find these sizes ideal for the lures that I use, which are thin worm style baits or 50mm swim-bait or fluke style lures. The important thing to remember though is to use a jig-head that suits your bait size, you want a good amount of hook visible out of the lure.