I remember the first time I saw this type of jig. I was on a half-day boat out of San Diego, fishing the kelpline off Point Loma for calico bass. The stern was crowded with anglers fly-lining sardines into the kelp. Then I see this guy lob a jig into the kelp from his spot up the rail and promptly pull a bass out of the jungle.

I learned later that the jig was the Lucanus by Shimano. Naturally, I bought a few, but it took me awhile to figure out how to use this powerful weapon effectively. Sport Fishing magazine lays out how to use the Lucanus and similar jigs successfully. It’s easier than you might think.

IMG_1915Put down your jigging rod. Rest your aching arm. It’s time to consider slow jigs. The bean-shaped heads with wavy tentacles from manufacturers like Shimano, C&H Lures and Braid Products catch a variety of species without making you pump your arms into a cramp.

But why try these odd jigs when traditional metals are so successful?

“You don’t have to work them fast because of their design and action,” says Steve Grant, general manager of C&H Lures. “Offshore, sometimes you want to relax a bit. Drop the jig all the way to the bottom, and then make five or six cranks. If there’s no bite, drop the jig again. It’s great for getting those bottomfish.”

The list of species that bite these types of jigs is expansive. On the West Coast, yellowtail, white seabass, lingcod and rockfish all take the squid-looking metals. In the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, black sea bass, weakfish, fluke, amberjack, tilefish, snapper and grouper are liable to attack.

Photos: Sport Fishing (top), SoCal Salty (above)