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By ED WALKER
Published February 13, 2008
With grouper season closing in a few days and red snapper shut down, offshore anglers will have to look more for sport than dinner for a while. We have been experimenting with one of the hottest trends in offshore fishing: vertical jigging or "butterfly jig" fishing. It takes practice but is a lot of fun.
Much of this technique is made possible by technology. Perhaps the most important: the new super-strong braided lines, which have very little stretch, allowing anglers to impart a quick action to the lure and feel a strike, even in deep water.
Fast reels help produce a jerky action. Even the rods for butterfly jigging are unique. Most are short, lightweight and strong. They reduce angler fatigue and maximize the fight from everything caught. The lure's design causes it to wobble almost horizontally when it is falling, when most strikes occur. Long leaders are a must. We generally use 8 feet of 80-pound test fluorocarbon. If kingfish, wahoo or other toothy critters are around, add wire to the terminal end.