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Jeff Cammerino and the Jersey Rigg

            Over twenty years ago I was fishing at a lake in northern New Jersey from the shore and was having moderate success with a few different lures. I was intrigued as I watched some bass come close to the shoreline under some trees and seem to feed from what was falling from the trees. It appeared to be some type of larvae with a jackknifing motion that interested the fish. As I continued to watch this phenomena, I wondered how I might be able to create a lure with a similar look and effect. So I took a plastic worm, cut it to a certain length, put a small hook perpendicular in the center, and tried to cast it. It was too light, making it difficult to cast. I added some weight and it cast great but, once it hit the water, it would sink to the bottom. I abandoned that size worm and made one that was longer. I tried a different hook with no weight. When I cast this time, the lure stayed on the surface rather than sinking quickly to the bottom. My ideal was to be able to cast a worm at least thirty yards, have a very slow fall rate, and not need any additional weights other than the weight of the hook itself.

            After cutting and shaving some six-inch plastic worms down to the size of a cigarette, I finally came up with a worm that would cast well, but the fall rate still needed work. A few minutes later, a bass came under the tree again and I presented him with this worm. The fish stopped and just stared at it. Only after I twitched the rod tip did the fish strike. I caught my first bass on my new lure. This went on for a couple of hours as I caught about a dozen fish ranging from two to four pounds.

            For the next several years I cut, shaved, melted and poured my own plastic, trying to come up with the perfect worm for my technique. While catching several hundred bass through the years, my thoughts were what a great way to catch a fish, and maybe I should show others how to catch fish this way. I joined a bass chapter and explained to the other fishermen the technique I had developed for catching bass. All but one person, John Hemple, one of the best fishermen in the club, laughed at me. John invited me to fish a private lake with him. Before John had tied his first knot, I had five or six bass in the boat. At which point he just put his rod down and watched me fish for the next hour. After he observed my technique, style and motions, he proceeded to do the same. He immediately started catching fish. Between us, we must have boated fifty fish within a few hours. John stated, “What a great technique this is!”

            To make a long story short, I won almost all the fishing tournaments the bass club had to offer that year. After that, I started giving my prototypes to other people in the club to fish with, and they started doing well also. The following year, I started losing to people who were using my own lure against me in tournaments! After a while in New Jersey, I was known as the guy who was throwing a three-inch worm with a hook in the middle and winning tournaments.

            While fishing with a friend one day, he made a statement that I should start my own company by manufacturing my own worms. I laughed, but he continued to encourage me by offering financial backing. It took two years, umpteen thousands of dollars and a few tears to make a plastic worm that met my requirements and that would not break or split after repeatedly being cast. Now we needed a name. Since there was already a Texas Rig and a Carolina Rig, I decided to name the lure and the technique one and the same after the state in which it was created. Thus, the Jersey Rigg was born.

            The popularity of the lure caught on very quickly with fishermen in both amateur and professional tournaments in the tri-state area. At this time I started giving lectures and demonstrations at various outdoor and fishing shows. Testimonies from satisfied fishermen started pouring in. Many articles were being written by sports writers attesting to the effectiveness of the lure.

            Today, after being in business for ten years, the Jersey Rigg is made with the finest raw materials available and packaged by about twenty-five physically challenged individuals. Jersey Riggs are responsible for winning dozens and dozens of tournaments, including Lee Bailey Jr., who recently won $36,000 using gold Jersey Riggs at a Bass master sanctioned tournament in Missouri.

            At this time, I would like to thank God and all the people in certain places who were instrumental in helping me gain the success and recognition that I have achieved, for without them, perhaps this would never have happened.

Jeff Cammerino
Jersey Riggs

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