Jigging the Shetland Islands on the Oberon
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Jigging the Shetland Islands on the Oberon

Discussion in 'Boat Angling / Angling Afloat' started by dkonig82, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. dkonig82

    dkonig82 Member

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    Earlier this week, I got back from a 3 day trip fishing on the Oberon in the Shetland Islands. The main aim for me was to test out some of the light jigging kit I was used to using on the species most commonly found around the UK.

    The targets for the trip were cod, pollock, ling, coalfish and maybe if we got lucky, a turbot or halibut. Most people seem to target these fish in the UK using either baits or pre-rigged soft plastic lures, but I was dead keen to fish them with light metal jigs and the Japanese style of gear.

    The main combo I intended on using for the trip was a Temple Reef Mytho LJ510B paired with a reel that I had never previously used – being the new Wiki Jigging 900H (which is distributed by Jigging Master). I had also brought along a favourite combo of mine – a Jigging Master Evolution Titanium 150 with a Shimano Ocea Jigger 1500NR for slightly heavier jigs. I had a range of jigs with me – mostly from 150 – 200gr, but had brought a couple of heavier ones just in case.

    The trip to the Shetlands from London is not the shortest. To get to where we were fishing involved flights to Sumburgh (via Aberdeen or Edinburgh) a ferry journey and a fair drive. The Oberon skippered by Kenny is the only boat fishing the area, and I’d heard reports of excellent fishing from Billy the trip organiser, who had been there the previous year.
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    When we finally sat around the night before the first day’s fishing and started discussing tackle for the day ahead, I began to think I’d packed too light. There was talk of big fish, deep water and strong currents which had prompted Billy to bring up 2lb weights. Skipper Kenny shared my concerns as soon as I put my Mytho combo on the boat with a statement of ‘ye’ll no get any fish up here on that!’. The metal jigs that he uses up there are around the 750gr – 1kg mark, and he thought it unlikely I’d even get to the bottom with the jigs I’d brought. If this were the case I’d have been stuffed, as there was no chance of me being able to jig 750gr on the gear I had with me.

    Luckily on the first day we had great weather with minimal wind, which made for a slower drift than we might otherwise have had. First drift of the day I used my heavier combo as I was going to be jigging a 200gr CB One Quick Zero jig. With the light PE2 line I was running (in contrast to 100lb on the combos provided on the boat) I had no problems getting down with the 200gr jig, and it wasn’t long before I’d hooked up a nice cod. The cod fights involved a bit of a tug of war on the initial hook up, but they are by no means a strong fighting fish, so the combo made short work of it.
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    After the second fish I decided to downsize the gear to the Mytho combo and 150gr jigs, and this is the combo I used for the majority of the trip. I was incredibly happy with the gear. The rod was comfortable up to 200gr jigs with the relatively slow jigging style that seemed to work best for the cod, and was light enough to make the fights really good fun. The reel too performed faultlessly. Plenty of super smooth and progressive drag to stop all the fish I encountered on the trip with a really smooth retrieve. Plus the whole setup is feather light, weighing in at only 470gr for the combo, which made it a pleasure to jig with all day. This is to my mind really a perfect combo for the UK, particularly if you don’t want to go all out with a more expensive reel, and it is the combo I’ll be reaching for first on my upcoming Norway trip.
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    The first day we boated around 750lb of fish, with the vast majority being cod to around the 30lb mark. The second day the weather took a turn for the worse, but we still stuck with our initial plan to head out to a wreck which was in 120m of water in the hope of getting a ling. It was a long steam out in trying conditions, but the chance of a trophy sized ling made the pain worthwhile. We did a number of drifts over the wreck and could see plenty of fish on the sounder, but I was struggling to get much interest from them. The water was deeper and the drift much faster than the day before, which gave you very little time in the strike zone with the jigs. Sadly I didn’t manage a ling on jig, but Kenny did get a nice one on bait. I did jig up nice coalfish though, which really fight well, particularly as compared with the cod. Actually throughout the trip it seemed that every species in the area was very happy to hit the jigs (with jigs proving the most effective catch method) other than the ling, with all ling for the trip being caught by the other guys on baits.
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    On the final day the weather was still average which meant we’d be fishing the sheltered side of the island. Although we didn’t get the same number of big cod as on the first day there was still loads of fish to be caught, with the jigs producing on every drift. Because the drift was much faster I was primarily using larger jigs (with a favourite being a Smith Meijume 220gr) and found that the addition of a plastic squid on the assist hooks made a big difference in strike rate with the cod. The larger sized jig also helped reduce the number of hits I got from the small coalies and mackerel allowing more time to hook the larger cod. I have taken a load of GoPro footage which I’ll hopefully get around to editing soon to show some of the action.
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    All in all it was a really fun trip despite the wind. It was a new experience for me fishing in such cold weather, but once you got used to jigging in 3 layers of clothing it was still great fun. Kenny is a great skipper and works hard to keep you on the fish, and I’d certainly recommend a trip up there to anyone based in the UK. I understand that they are also looking to send a boat to La Gomera in the Canary Islands in the coming months to focus on game fish trolling in the summer and jigging for grouper in the winter months, so hopefully will be able to get over there for a fish sometime soon!

    All the gear used is available at www.adventureangler.net or please drop me a message if you have any questions.
     
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  2. Conor Murphy

    Conor Murphy Member

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    loads of great fish welldone, great sport too on the light rod. sounds like great fun although i dunno about reeling a 1kg lead up 120m in strong drift!
    thanks for the report
    Conor
     
  3. JonD

    JonD Member

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    Mate thats a fantastic report and good to see you were able to use the lighter jigs. Totally agree with the fight from cod (we've been spoilt out here) but they more than make up for it on the plate. Seeing you in all those thick clothes reminds me why I moved ;)
    JonD
     
  4. Sea horse

    Sea horse Member

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    Dan, I am still waiting for your postal address so I can send you a copy of the video, the boys have had there,s and they were very pleased with it. You can Email me your address, Billy
     
  5. dkonig82

    dkonig82 Member

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    Thanks guys, it was certainly a lot of fun. Always good to try something new and was very glad that the jigs worked out the way I'd hoped.

    And yes Jon, not too bad on the chew at all. Having some Ling tonight as it happens and also brought back some live lobsters and crabs with me so have been eating well this last week!
     
  6. dkonig82

    dkonig82 Member

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    Oh and Billy - thanks, address sent.
     
  7. ETEC

    ETEC Member

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    It would be good to see you come out wrecking and lose 20+ of them jigs most wouldnt even lower 1 of them at that price!!!!!!
     
  8. davenic

    davenic Member

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    Good report and great fishing, well done on using lighter tackle.
    As far as the jigs go, the fish ain't fussy up there. Had eight trips on Oberon, using shads, rubbers eels, twin tails, bait and biggest cod to my boy(34lb) on mackerel feathers and a 36lb ling on a Savagear eel.
    Rocket science it ain't, well done again.
     
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