Modifying the Gotcha Jerk Jig to Avoid Fouling

Updated on October 13, 2017

The Problem

The Sea Striker Gotcha jerk jig is a great piece of fishing tackle and is the standard Bluefish/Mackerel catching lure on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It has other applications, some yet to be discovered; my son uses them to catch Striped Bass (Rockfish) in the Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The lure does have an irritating property that can make you scream. The rear hook can jam in an upright position during a cast, and then the hook will snag the leader making the cast and retrieve a wasted effort. On particularly jam-prone lures the hook fouling can occur on 1 out of 4 casts. This is a real frustrating problem.

One Solution: Choose a Big Eyed Gotcha

Howard is the best Bluefish catcher on the Outer banks; the fish do tremble when they hear his footsteps on the planks of the Avalon Pier. His solution to the fouling problem is to select lures with the largest diameter eye in the rear hook wire. The large eye hole allows the hook to swing freely reducing the chance of fouling. The variability of eye hole size is the reason some lures are less prone to fouling then others.

Another Solution, Make Your Own: A Harrisonburg Jerk Jig

John is a true artisan and artist. His solution to the problem is to make his own jerk jigs. The Harrisonburg (my name) lure is a work of art; I have several and feel guilty when I use them. They should be mounted in a shadow box and hung on the wall, they are that pretty, and of that level of quality, more like jewelry than fishing gear. It should be noted that they are EXCELLENT fish catchers. Unfortunately, the skills and talent that are John’s are not in most us; so making lures from scratch is not a practical solution for the ungifted.

My Solution, Modify a Store Bought Lure

John’s Harrisonburg lure did provide inspiration to modify the store bought jig. The modifications which eliminate the hook swing thus eliminating the leader fouling are fairly simple. The concept is to rewire the Gotcha to shorten the rear hook attachment and retract the rear hook into the lure. The hook is prevented from swinging and fouling. The modified lures catch fish and eliminate the fouling frustration.

The Tools Required

The pictured tools are the ones I use to modify the Gotcha, certainly you may want to use other tools which accomplish the same task. Cutting the wire can be a challenge since it is very hard metal. The rotary tool with a cutting disk makes short work of the cutting job. Pliers of some sort are needed to hold the wire while twisting the loop and threading the wire through the body. The saw is needed to cut the end of the body and the knife is used to enlarge the body hole. Eye protection is recommended, bits of wire can go flying off while cutting and loose ends of wire are also a danger.

Heavy Wire is Necessary

The wire should be stainless steel and of heavy gauge. I have used 131 pound wire successfully but plan to use even heavier wire. Leader wire is available from tackle shops, mine came from the salt water fishing department of Bass Pro Shops.

Disassembled Sea Striker Gotcha

Begin disassembly of the lure by cutting the wire holding the center hook. Pull on the top loop after straightening the wire to remove it from body. Pull on the rear hook to remove it. Cut the rear hook loop to free the rear hook. Use caution while working around the hooks, they can stick you.

Cut Off about 1/4 Inch

The rear hook will not fit into the body without some modification. Cut about ¼ inch from the rear of the body then ream it slightly using a hobby knife. Test fit the hook and continue reaming until it fits.

Secure the Back Hook

Cut a foot or so of wire, loop it through the large treble hook. Twist the tag (short) end of the wire several times around the longer wire end. Cut the tag flush with the longer wire. Center the hook/loop on the longer wire.

Thread the Wire Through the Gotcha Body

The picture best describes the procedure.  

1.     Bend about ¼ inch of the longer wire into a slight angle (15 degrees or so), thread the wire into the back hole of the gotcha, and maneuver the angled wire through and out of the rearmost small hole in the Gotcha body.

2.      Pull the wire until the rear hook loop and a short length of the hook shank is totally in the Gotcha body.

3.     Slide the small hook unto the wire then thread the wire through the front small hole in the Gotcha. The wire will go through the metal head and out the top hole. Check to be sure the rear hook is still inserted in the body, pull the on the wire with the front hook if necessary.

4.     Make a large loop and insert the wire back into the small hole in the top of the lure, pull the wire through the bottom small hole until ¾ inch loop remains on top of the lure. Use care while threading the wire, the hooks can get you.

Form the Leader Attachment Loop

Bend the wire forward that is protruding through the bottom of the lure. Put the nail through the loop on the top of the lure. Twist the nail while holding the wire on the bottom. Put several twist in the loop, it will retract into the lure. Center the loop on the lure and cut the tag wire on the bottom of the lure. USE CAUTION, IT IS AT THIS POINT THE HOOKS WILL GET YOU. You are done.

The Finished Product

 You are done. Admire your work, take the lure fishing.

Variations on a Theme

The picture shows a couple of variations. The green lure has the lip angled upward by inverting the lead head. This causes the lure to run shallower in the water at slower retrieve speeds. I call it the surface Gotcha.

The chrome lure has the lower hook removed and a single hook rather than a treble hook. This variation is useful when there are a lot of fish in the water. It is not as effective at catching fish as a standard Gotcha but the fish are much easier to get off the hook with less damage to the fish.

 

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Kweeks10045 

        2 months ago

        I personally like to remove the front hook and then dress the rear hook white and silver material. I haven't noticed any difference in the number of strikes vs hookups and I seem to have more consistent success.

      • profile image

        Alan 

        4 years ago

        Much simpler solution...cut off first set off treble hooks leaving just the end treble hooks...lures actually works better and just as many hook ups!

      • Edward Kirk profile imageAUTHOR

        Edward Kirk 

        6 years ago from Maryland

        If you wire the lure as illustrated you certainly will have trouble inserting the head.

      • profile image

        tbdtbd925 

        6 years ago

        i am also a sportfisherman and your tip is very useful for me. i have been wondering how to modify lures to use them better. you gave me ideas.

        except that it seems your picture number 10 (going down)will not work? he head will not go into the body if the wire goes through the way it is pictured?

        thanks for the tip.

      • profile image

        ucangetfit 

        7 years ago

        This is outstanding, I like this a lot. Really cool info.

      • Granny's House profile image

        Granny's House 

        7 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

        Great tips. I am also a fisherman. I will rate and follow.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, skyaboveus.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://skyaboveus.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)