Rigg” for Bass
It’s a new lure and a new bass fishing style.
By Dave Ehrig
do you find a bass angler at 3:00 in the afternoon on the hottest day of the
summer? What outdoor activity could
possibly result in side-slapping fun, while perspiration drips from your brow?
Why, fishing, of course. And,
before you think that an air conditioner is the best lure for a clear
“bluebird day” consider a new style of fishing and a new lure - the Jersey
a clear-water lake in Pike County, the light-colored larva barely rippled the
water alongside the sunken birch tree. It
didn’t look like any predator-irritating, “secret” money winning
tournament lure that is currently devastating thousands of bass in the tri-state
area. The plastic lure didn’t
seem exciting until the fisherman’s line imparted a simple, deadly twitch.
than a blink, three large-mouths broke cove, rocketed toward the prize, and a
3-pounder hooked himself as he attempted to get away with the 3 3/4-inch plastic
morsel. Head thrashing aerial flips
sprayed the johnboat with water as the husky fish battled against the tightened
line. In less than ten minutes of
fishing, and on the hottest afternoon of the summer, the first fish was boated.
Jeff Cammerino, the inventor of the Jersey Rigg, winked as he slid the
moss-colored predator back into the water.
ability to stay within the strike zone of the fish makes this lure different
from everything else that a fisherman can throw at a bass,” noted Jeff.
“I have spent 17 years perfecting the high-density, supple plastic
“.larva” so that it stays suspended in the water right where fish feed.
You don’t need any weight added to the lure or the line.
A #1 or 1/0 hook fastened to 6 or 8-lb. test line gives an angler the
ability to cast 30-50 feet, and with the accuracy necessary to skip under a
dock, or slip inside a lily-pad opening.
most radical thing about this short stout plastic “worm” is the way you hook
it. Instead of being hooked through
the “head” and being pulled through the water “long-ways” as other
plastic worm baits are, the Jersey Rigg larva is hooked right squarely through
the middle, so that half of the “worm” hangs off each side of the hook.
When the Jersey Rigg hits the water, wait for a few seconds for the
ripples to subside, then give the little larvae a gentle jiggle.
If the bass where you fish are anything like those in the heavily fished
public waters where we tested the Jersey Rigg...hang on!
next bass slipped from under some lily pads and stopped just short of the Rigg.
“Watch this,” whispered Cammerino as he gave a twitch to the
silver-flecked plastic lure. This
time with a more casual slurp, the bass dined on what he thought fell from the
treetops. “The Jersey Rigg is not
just another plastic worm, crankbait, or jerkbait.
This is an entirely new concept. The
supple, but dense soft plastic imitate a drowning caterpillar, or other larvae.
It seems to trigger a feeding response in bass.
It telegraphs to the fish a giant, easy to catch and swallow a tube of
protein. This thing really gets a
this writer’s skepticism was still second guessing this innovation, wondering
if it had been “set-up on some pet fish”, we fished in a direction away from
the shady structure, out into the sun-baked “busy” part of the lake.
Rather than avoiding boats and docks, Jeff and his fishing rep, Rick
Faulkner headed straight for civilization.
No sooner had the bow swung into the wind next to a dock, than Faulkner
was tight into another fish. It
didn’t surface like a bass, but gave a telltale zigzag that is characteristic
of a panfish. “Look at the size
of this bluegill.” I was becoming
asked about the Jersey Rigg’s effectiveness on other fish, Faulkner stated
that it will and has caught everything from brown trout to muskies.
“If a fish eats larvae, it will take a Rigg.”
pointed to the style of hook-up as being instrumental to success with the Jersey
Rigg. By hooking directly into the
center, perpendicular to the lure, it gives the fish-triggering twitch that is
key to its effectiveness. The use
of weight, or wrong size of hook and line-weight, reduces an angler’s ability
to catch fish with this system.
catching and releasing about two dozen bigmouths, we floated over a shallow
weedbed of milfoil. I traded my
35mm Nikon for a 6-foot Berkley Bionics to get in on some of the action.
While I experimented with the casting, rate of descent, and twitching
action, Rick was into another fish. This
time it was a big smallmouth. The
dark-olive barring of the fish as it slashed alongside the boat made a real
contrast to the other fish boated so far.
gold and silver seemed to be the more effective colors on this brightly-lit,
clear water, Cammerino said that the darker pumpkin and motor oil were the most
popular with the area bait stores this spring.
Each lure is good for about a half-dozen hook-ups before they need
replacing, but one pack has 20 pieces, and that could result in a lot of hot
fishing. My own lure lasted through
three bass, a lot of water lilies, and mooring rope.
has pointed out that the lure has been fished in 25 PA/NJ/NY tournaments so far
this year, and on the Pro Circuit, names like George Cochrane and Jerry McGinnis
have splashed the water with a Jersey Rigg.
“It’s a best kept secret of the pros because they don’t want to
give up their edge,” the inventor remarked.
“But it’s so simple to use, kids pick up the lure and start catching
fish. Maybe it’s because kids
always hook bait once in the middle, and jerk/twitch the stuff around.
They always seems to outfish mom or dad, so they must be doing something
advantage of the Jersey Rigg is that fish will repeatedly hit the bait three and
four times. The imitation doesn’t
trigger alarm at all,” Faulkner added. “While
spinnerbaits crash and intimidate, the passive “plop” of the lure simply
If the “Jersey Rigg” hasn’t found its way to your local bait shop yet, Jeff Cammerino can be contacted at 75 Mountain Lake Estates, Hawley, PA 18428; phone (570) 226-6304.
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