One of the cool things about sport fishing is there is always something new and interesting to try. When it comes to catching coho or cut throat trout the traditional methods of casting spinners, back-trolling plugs and back-bouncing spawn have caught fish for decades. The new kid on the block is a jig casting technique called “Twitching”.
“The new Twitcher Jig is most effective way of catching coho in rivers I’ve ever seen,” says Jarod Higginbotham of Yakima Bait Company. “Not only is this presentation simple and easy to master, it works in rivers, lakes and estuaries everywhere coho are found.”
The Twitcher jig features a darter style head that imparts action when the jig is hopped or twitched. The body of the Twitcher Jig is made up of a mixture of rabbit fur, Maribou and squid tentacles that combine to create a jig with a pulsating action in the water. The hook is a 4Xs strong 4/0 size that is ideal for hooking and holding powerful fish.
Twitcher Jigs come in three sizes including a 3/8, 1/2 and 3/4 ounce versions making them ideal for casting in different water depths and current speeds. The Twitcher Jig is also offered in 18 different fish catching colors.
“When casting in rivers, I suggest making a long cast quartering slightly upstream,” advises Higginbotham. “Let the jig sink to bottom and then using aggressive rod strokes, jig, hop or snap the Twitcher Jig off bottom and let it sink on a slack line. Drop the rod tip, reel up the slack and give the jig another aggressive pop.”
This exaggerated jigging presentation is duplicated over and over again until the cast is completed. “The cadence or how fast the Twitcher Jig is worked changes from day to day,” adds Higginbotham. “Some days they want it darting aggressively and moving fast. Other days you have to tone down the presentation a little to help trigger strikes.”
Twitching with the Twitcher Jig is something that any angler can master with just a little practice. Strikes are explosive making this presentation one of the most exciting ways to catch salmon ever developed.
The ideal rod for Twitching is a seven foot/six inch spinning rod with a medium or medium/heavy action. Match this rod up to 3500 or 4000 size spinning reel loaded with 40 to 50 pound test super braid line. Braid lays on spinning reels best when a small amount of monofilament line is spooled on first and the braid added as a top dressing.
“Some anglers tie their Twitcher Jig directly to the braided line,” says Higginbotham. “I personally prefer to tie in a three foot long shock leader of 20# test monofilament line or fluorocarbon leader material. The shock leader helps to prevent breaking off fish on the hook set.”
Anglers who are tying the braid directly to the jig are best equipped with a black, smoke, green or other low visibility braided line. When using a shock leader, high visibility super braid makes it easier to detect strikes, especially when making long casts.
While the Twitcher Jig was designed with coho or cut throat in mind, this presentation also catches silver salmon, chinook, pink and Atlantic salmon. Anglers are also having great success targeting steelhead and stream trout using this unique Twitching presentation.
Casting is the best way to target most salmon and trout, but in the case of lake trout the Twitcher Jig can also be vertical jigged effectively.
WRAPPING IT UP
Twitching for salmon has flat out stolen the show among anglers on the west coast and this unique presentation has penetrated many other areas where salmon are found. It’s hard to beat the excitement of catching salmon on light gear, feeling the strike and setting the hook into stubborn fish. Casting the Twitcher Jig is just one more chapter in the book of salmon fishing. The Yakima Bait Twitcher Jig is available at fine sporting goods retailers everywhere.
Mark Romanack with Jarod Higginbotham