think that it was the only bait I didn’t throw that day.
They were given to me 6 months ago when a friend of mine had told me
about a fantastic day fishing he had on Lake Mahopac in New York.
They were still sealed in the wrapper.
Months of rain then heat, then ice had wore the package, but the label
“Jersey Riggs” still was clear as day.
After a long day on the water, (and not too many bass to show for my
efforts) I decided to give this “Jersey Rigg” a try.
They were clear with gold fleck. I
remember my friend Ray Scully telling me just how nicely the bait skipped under
docks and how effective it was on hot summer dog days.
I tied on the hook that my buddy gave me. rigged it through the middle
the way the package demonstrated and the rest is history.
first dock produced three fish, the second two more and the day went on and on.
I soon found out that this bait is not only good for skipping the docks,
but it is a fantastic bait for fishing any type of cover - be it rocks, brush,
grass - you name it. What I was
most impressed with is just how weedless the bait can be.
I thought for sure that this exposed hook would catch every twig, leaf
and stick that it came across. Remarkably,
this bait has a tendency to scoot around most obstacles.
It is absolutely deadly when it comes to fishing docks like I had
mentioned earlier. Due to its
increased surface area (because it is rigged through its middle) the bait will
skip with incredible accuracy and go very long distances.
This makes the bait very effective while fishing shadow areas caused by
low-lying trees and bushes. One
thing to keep in mind is that this bait is also very effective in open water
type situations. The Jersey Rig
really shines when it comes to cruising fish, typical to a spring type
situation. Like all sight fishing
baits, the lure must be thrown ahead of your moving target.
I rarely have a bass refuse this offering if it is presented properly.
If you are thinking about using this bait for bedding fish, you are in
for a treat. As you will read later
on, it proved to be very profitable for Bassmaster Missouri Invitational
Champion Lee Bailey Jr. of Connecticut. I
personally have used it on Lake Winnipesauki in New Hampshire for bedding
Smallmouth Bass for the past few years. WOW!
After boating well over 100 fish each day, I think that my partner said
it best, this is setting Silly!
technique that you need to employ while fishing the Jersey Rigg is quite simple.
The original method involves impaling the bait in its middle.
Jeff Cammerino, inventor of the Jersey Rigg, recommends that you use a
1/0 hook. The bait then is cast out
(spinning gear with 6, 8, 10 lb. is preferred) and as it’s falling, the rod
tip is shaken slightly. This causes
the bait to quiver. The bait was
designed to imitate larvae falling from trees and bushes.
My circle of friends like to refer to its action as “Tweaking”.
As you will see, the term really does fit the action.
Now you will have to pay attention for strikes.
The strike can come in many forms. One
is a rod jerking smash. I think
this happens when the fish sees it falling and decides to grab it on the move.
The other type hit is a steady “pressure” type sensation felt from
the bass inhaling the bait and slowly moving off.
This type of hit is usually accompanied with a slow movement of the line.
Be aware of your line while fishing this bait, it can tell you a lot.
like to put my own spin on fishing the Jersey Rigg.
For one, I always put a small piece of Sluggo nail weight in one end of
the lure. This causes the bait to
fall slightly faster than it was originally designed.
I have found that by cutting the weight in half best suits my needs (not
to mention the fact that I get twice as many rigs out of a pack of nail weights)
for a slow steady fall. I have also
fished with people that use a small nail or “Brad” in one end of the lure.
Either way, the idea is to make it fall a little faster that it is
supposed to. The original technique
that Jeff Cammerino invented was to use no weight.
Jeff claims that the slower, more natural fall of a weightless bait is
more productive. I agree with Jeff
in certain situations. I have found
his method to be deadly on really hot, still days when even the birds aren’t
way to fish this bait is to fish it while Splitshotting.
I like to rig the lure in the same manner (hooked through the middle of
the bait), but weight it down with a small splitshot placed about 12” to 18”
above the lure. The bait then can
be fished in deeper water. I find
it very productive while fishing deep weedlines.
In my area of the country, deeper bass aren’t used to seeing small
finesse style baits. I think that
these bass are constantly getting exposed to crankbaits, jigs and Texas rigged
worms, but they rarely see a finesse type of presentation.
I have found bass very willing to take this bait when they wouldn’t hit
other lures. While fishing in the
weeds, I have found that by using the pencil style lead, similar to a product
call the “Mojo” system works better than the standard splitshot.
The reason is that the Mojo sinker slides up and down the line like a
Carolina Rig. The standard
splitshot also has a tendency to catch the weeds.
Due to its weedless nature, the Mojo System or other pencil style weight
makes it easier to detect strikes.
April, Lee Bailey Jr. of Amfton, CT., used the Jersey Rigg to win the Bassmaster
Missouri Invitational held on Table Rock Lake.
Lee, recovering from an auto accident that destroyed both his rig (van
and boat) and his spirit, chose only at the last minute to attend the
tournament. With a rented car and
Champion bass boat, Lee proceeded to head down to Missouri for the practice
session. Day 1 of practice proved
to be less that a success. After an
entire day of throwing at bedding bass, Lee made his way back to the dock to
meet up with his wife Carol. When
his wife asked him how he did that day, Lee responded “I didn’t catch a
fish, but I’m going to do really well in this tournament”.
You see , Lee knew what these pressured bass wanted.
After weeks of local fisherman throwing the standard baits to these fish,
Lee had the secret bait in the trunk of his car, the Jersey Rigg.
Needless to say, the next day of practice proved to be much more
successful. Lee, who rigs his
Jersey Rigg much in the same manner that I spoke about earlier (one end weighted
with 1/2 of a Sluggo insert weight) caught scores of bass that refused his
offerings the day before in practice. It
was then that he new he was on to something big.
tournament proved to be a great success for Lee.
Armed with his spinning rods and plenty of 6lb. Stren Magnathin line, Lee
set out to do what he always dreamed of, winning a Bassmaster Invitational.
Day one’s weight of 17.2 lbs. included a four and a five-pound beauty,
both of which were caught and dropped earlier in the day by another fisherman.
Day two, a magnificent finish of 18.3 lbs.
Day three just another day for Lee Bailey and the Jersey Rigg - 12.10
lbs. The real story, all but one of
the bass in his three-day creel were caught on a clear with gold fleck Jersey
Rigg. Congratulations Lee!
its weighted like Bassmaster Champion Lee Bailey, Jr., likes to do or rigged
weightless as the inventor of the method, Jeff Cammerino recommends, try this
unique and deadly style of fishing. If
you need to get some of these baits, try contacting Jeff Cammerino at:
Riggs c/o Jeff Cammerino
Mountain Lake Estates
© copyright 2003 Jersey Riggs. All rights reserved.