The success to a jig fishing trip is the ability of the skipper to put the jigger over and onto fish. The skipper must know where to look and how to give the jigger the chance to make the most of the opportunity.
The main advantage of vertical jigging is that you are placing the jig precisely where the fish are located. Knowing the depth of the shoal, the jigger can drop the jig to the exact required depth with multicoloured braided line. Working the jig at a precise depth is more effective than jigging blindly.
Predatory fish such as Greater Amber jack frequent underwater reefs and structures. Look for fish on the 'up-current' side of structures and reefs. It is the skill of the skipper to position their boat up current of the structure and allow for current and give sufficient time for the jigs to drift and hit their mark. From there it is the skill of the jigger to tempt the fish to hit.
There are different vertical jigging techniques like the 'Long Stroke' and the 'Short Jerk'.
Long Stroke is done by working the rod from the gimbal plate. The rod is lifted in a wide arc or long stroke then dropped to allow the jig to flutter downwards to induce a strike. Simultaneously, the reel is quickly wound in 2-3 turns for each cycle. This style is best suited to centre weighted jigs, and spinning combos with a longer rod.
High Pitch, Short Jerk is also known as “Mechanical Jigging”. The rod is carried under the armpit and the rod is stroked in a small arc. Simultaneously the reel is quickly wound in 1 turn for each cycle. This style is best suited to tail heavy streamlined jigs, and overhead reels with a shorter rod.
The above is a guide for the Japanese jig style, there are no set rules to abide so you can easily mix up the techniques and tackle to suit yourself. Certain species prefer a slower fluttery jig presentation while others prefer blistering speed. Both styles can be successfully worked at either slow or high speed or a combination of both. The attraction with jigging is the room to experiment to find what works for you.