It’s no secret deep-water jigging is one of the most complicated ways to catch an already challenging speckled trout. But when fishing the reefs around Lake Pontchartrain, it’s definitely the most rewarding way to catch them.
Additionally, jigging plastic as opposed to live bait will oftentimes put bigger fish in the boat.
Capt. Ty Hibbs has spent his whole life jigging the deep water sof Lake Pontchartrain, and it’s become an obsession for the young guide.
Hibbs believes in using top-notch equipment to feel subtle bites from big specks. He uses Duce’s Delta series of rods, specifically a 6-foot, 6-inch model.
“It’s the shortest one they make,” he said. “It’s got a good, hard backbone so I can really hit them hard, but it’s got a light tip.”
Many anglers make the mistake of not paying close enough attention to their line, according to Hibbs.
“I watch the line so when the line jumps, I’m not giving the fish any time to react,” he said. “I want to hit them as hard as I can as soon as I can.
“Most of the time, you’re going to see your line jump before you feel it on the rod. There are a lot of people who miss fish because they’re not watching their line; they’re just waiting to feel it.”
Speaking of line, Hibbs goes back and forth between fluorocarbon and monofilament.
“If you’re new to jigging, start with fluorocarbon because it’s got a lot more feel to it,” he said. “You’ll feel everything a lot better.”
Monofilament and braided line both float, while fluorocarbon sinks, giving the fluoro an extra advantage when deep-water jigging.
“The fluorocarbon is a little cheating way to get it down and feel a lot better,” Hibbs said.
However, monofilament still has a place in Hibbs’ boat.
“I like mono a lot because I feel it bounces that jighead better than any other line,” he said.
As far as reels, Hibbs uses a variety of Shimano baitcasters, but he makes sure they all have one common attribute.
“I like high gear ratios,” he said. “You want to stick them, and get them to the boat as fast as possible. The more time that fish is in the water, the more chance he has to get off.”