July 12 2018

Bringing the Mojo Magic to Cape Cod

13  comments

Phil Howarth

The concept of the Mojo rig has been around for a long time, and Mojos have been fished extensively from Chesapeake up to New Jersey.

I feel Mojos are going to be a big hit on the Cape this summer. They have proven to be deadly for catching big stripers, because Mojos mimic the large bait fish which jumbo bass find irresistible.

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What Is A Mojo?


The Mojo itself can be described as a giant bucktail jig with a reverse parachute skirt which bows out over a rigged rubber shad lure to help give it a bigger profile. It is rigged with either single or tandem hooks and trolled at slow speeds (2-4kts) in a similar style to the well known tube and worm technique.

The rigs themselves are often fished in tandem style with a three way swivel deployed above the heavier jig to which a second lighter jig is tied.

Multiple rigs can be deployed in a spread, and boats which have perfected the art of the Mojo will often deploy 10-20 lines at a time!

The weights of the Mojo rigs differ depending on the depth you are fishing over. It is imperative that the bottom jig is trolled just above the bottom, without bumping into the bottom.

Typical weights and depths for tandem rigs are as follows:

  • In less than 25 feet of water, use an 8oz to 12oz Mojo on the bottom, with 4oz to 6oz Mojo above 
  • In 25 to 50 feet of water, use a 16oz Mojo on the bottom, with an 8oz Mojo above 
  • In 50 to 75 feet of water, use a 24oz to 32oz Mojo on the bottom, with a 12oz Mojo above

Whilst the weights above look heavy, they enable you to use braid rather than leadcore or wire, as well as creating much less drag than say an umbrella rig - which ironically means you can fish Mojos with lighter rods and reels!

The Gear


Fishing the Mojo is normally done with conventional rods and reels. The Ande TSU range of rods do well, as well as the Tsunami TSTSU 6030 and the Tsunami Sapphire TSSAT 661 20- 40. These are all great options for Mojo trolling rods.

From a reel’s perspective, you need to be able to handle braid and have good cranking power to get heavy Mojo rigs to the boat quickly. The Tsunami Forged 12 is a fantastic option, with the Penn Fathom, Maxel 10 and Shimano Tekota 600 being great alternatives.

Line wise, you definitely want to fish braid, whether it be Power Pro or J Braid, in the 60–80lb test class.  Leaders are typically made up of 80lb mono but fluorocarbon will work too.

The Goose Hummock has teamed up with JoeBaggs Tackle to develop a Mojo range specifically for the waters around the Cape. These Mojos will come in single and tandem rigs, with single hooks, which we believe will cause less harm to the bass.

We are currently stocked with JoeBaggs Mojos, just in time for the run of summertime big fish in Cape Cod Bay and around the Outer Cape. We have Mojos in white, chartreuse and green mac colors.

Setting Out The Spread

The JoeBaggs Mojo is new for 2018 and is available at the Goose Hummock Shops.

You need to get your Mojo rigs fishing near the bottom, as that’s where the larger bass will be waiting. To do this, first get the boat running at 2-4Kts and let your Mojo rig down until you feel it bump the bottom, then lock the drag there and wait 10 to 15 seconds as the rig will slowly come up in the water as it starts to get trolled along. Then let more line out, again until you feel it bump the bottom. At this point set the reel to ‘strike’, either holding the rod or if running multiple rigs put the rod in one of the holders. 

Note the depth of where you first deployed the Mojo so you can make adjustments to the running depth as you troll over shallower or deeper water.  It’s fine if your Mojo bumps the bottom every so often, but you don’t want it to drag along all the time. 

The Mojo is designed to be fished with multiple lures in the water.  As previously stated, some boats are trolling up to 20 rods, which is a fine art and one that takes an awful lot of practice to perfect.

In the waters around Cape Cod, considering the number of boats and lobster pots which you will will encounter, running 4-6 rods should be plenty enough. This will help you avoid tangles and give you the flexibility to move spots at short notice. Plus it'll be easier to clear your gear when you have the fish of a lifetime on the line. Remember, no matter where you are fishing, only use as many rods as you and your crew can handle. 

When running multiple rods, set the heaviest Mojo rigs close to the boat, in the corners and tight to the bottom. The lighter Mojos can be run behind the heavier ones, still close to the bottom, with the lightest Mojos set right down the middle. The middle rig can be fished higher in the water. When you slow the boat down to fight a fish on the deeper rods, keep a close eye on the center rod as the sinking action of that middle rig mimics an injured bait fish which will often get hit as it falls.

In Conclusion


The traditional colors for Mojo rigs tend to be chartreuse and white. Pink is an alternate and we believe the green mackerel pattern will do well this season, considering how prolific mackerel have been the last few years around the Cape. It is important to have different color options for the shad itself as well as plenty of spares.  

Bluefish will also hit this rig, and they will often ruin the action by chomping off the tail of the shad. Even big stripers will in time beat up the shad, so just make sure you have some spares onboard.

The Mojo is not designed to replace the Cape Cod staples of wire line, lead core, vertical jigging and umbrella rigs. However, the Mojo is a proven large striped bass catcher that has been well tested in southern waters and should be used as part of your arsenal to help you catch the fish of a lifetime. 

Tight Lines! 

Captain Phil

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

About the author 

Phil Howarth

Phil and his wife Jan first fell in love with Cape Cod when they visited the Cape for their honeymoon more than 20 years ago. In 2013 they became proud co-owners of the Goose Hummock Shops in Orleans and Dennis, and have been full-time Cape residents ever since. Phil enjoys all types of fishing, from surfcasting for stripers, to fishing the canyons for yellowfin tuna.


  • I was thinking about using a mojo rig in fresh water. I have a tandem 12oz and 8oz . How much line shall I let out to get to a depth of forty feet . Boat speed at 3 mph

    • Hey Steve ?

      I’m not sure exactly how much line you should put out, but if you follow the procedure above in the “Setting the Spread” section, then you should be able to get it dialed-in with a little practice.

      Out of curiosity, what species of fish will you be targeting in freshwater with the Mojo? LMK when you can.

      Thanks Steve!

  • Very nice write up. I have been trying to do some research into trying mojos out west on Lake Powell and the Colorado with some large striper populations. I haven’t been able to find anyone else out here so no one has tried it or its failed and no one talks about it.. 😉

    I am having issues understanding rods any lure weight. I suspect I am over thinking this but hopefully someone can help. None of the rods I have seen are designed or listed to handle lures of these weights so what am I missing? I was thinking to start with 6, 8, 12, and maybe 16 oz mojos. We do have some really deep water so 50ft is well with in what I can target.

    Thanks
    Arthur

    • Hi Arthur,

      I not heard of people trying the Mojo in fresh water but I see no reason why it wont work for when the water is warm and they are hugging the bottom. The heavier weights are normally associated with the current running in the given water, you wont get very much at all I expect so I would suggest the lower size weights for sure, I would also suggest using the Mojo concept but with different lures, for example try a heavy savage gear sandeel as the bottom lure with a smaller one above, they are both paddle tails so will swim fine. If you took this approach you could bring the weight of your braid right down to probably 15 pound and use a more traditional rod and reel set up.

      Have a play and let me know how you get on.

      Cheers

  • Great article Phil!
    I’ve slowly been including MoJos into my program aboard Wingman.
    Your info will certainly speed up the process. I see this method having advantages over jigging with wire when the fish are hanging on the bottom.

    See you soon at the Goose!

    Captain Steve Leary
    Wingman Sportfishing

    • H Chris, to be fair this technique is more often used to get to the bigger fish when they are hunkered down in the deeper, cooler water. In the bay when the water is cooler, most of the fish are up top so go for surface hard and soft baits for some great fun fishing!!

  • Thank you for the tips , love gearing up in your store which is a candy store for us, fisherman of CC.
    Cheers!

  • It’s always fun to try new techniques for large striped bass and once Ryan introduced me to Sam, it was game on. Sam was able to set me up with a combo rod & reel to get started, along with a few different MoJo’s. I was very impressed with your staff as they offered lots of welcome advice. It’s worth the trip to visit Goose Hummock!

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