Fishing for Yellowtail and Bluefish With Metal Jigs

Use these tips to catch a variety of gamefish.

Casting lightweight metal jigs — known as “light iron” to Southern California anglers — is an effective way to target a variety of game fish, from bluefish to yellowtail.

1. Rod ‘n’ Reel
To cast these lightweight lures with distance and accuracy, use 8- or 9-foot-long, purpose-built “jig sticks” paired with high-speed conventional reels and 25- to 40-pound-test line.

2. Lures
The Tady 45, Salas 7X and Starman Candy Bar are time-tested. They come in myriad colors, but experienced “iron men” stick with basics like blue/white, mint green and “scrambled egg” (yellow/brown/white).


3. Action
Slight variations in manufacturing make each jig swim differently, so find the retrieve speed that maximizes each lure’s “kick” — sometimes you find that sweet spot by slowing down.

4. Depth
Try sinking the lure to different depths before beginning the retrieve, until you find where the fish are feeding. And resist the temptation to set the hook. Keep grinding until the fish pulls line.