Codfish can be fun to jig, especially when the bite is over relatively open water. Get in tight to a sticky wreck looking for bigger fish, however, and bait is often the choice of pros.
"We usually cull our cod from among the ling over wrecks and rough bottom in 90- to 110-foot depths," explains Capt. Mike Barnett of the Freeport, NY charter boat, Codfather. "We generally use 40-pound braid with a single 5/0 sproat-style hook set 3 feet off the bottom. Using one hook instead of a high-low rig results in fewer snags when working in wrecks and rubble. With the hook set a bit off the bottom, it also cuts down on the number of doggies.”
Photo by Outdoor Tom Enterprises, Inc
Keep in mind while targeting cod that you can't let these fish eat long enough, advises Barnett. “Allow them to chew the bait a bit before trying to set the hook,” he says. “Once you strike, get them headed up and away from the bottom quickly – just like you would a big blackfish."
Don’t rush to strike when cod fishing with bait. A slight delay before setting the hook can put more fillets in your cooler.
Fat Cow's Suggested Trailer for Cod: Fat Cow Fishing 5 1/2" Eel Tail Jig Strip