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Innovative Jersey Riggs

Little worms make a big splash in weed pockets

By Jill Barnes

It doesn’t look like much, just a piece of plastic about 3-1/2 inches long.  But don’t let appearance fool you.  Let it fool the fish.  This little worm, called a Jersey Rigg, is a big-time bass catcher.  Upon examination, one wonders just how it does it.  It doesn’t produce a lot of action in the water.  Actually it’s the worm’s inaction that attracts the fish.

Jeff Cammerino got the idea while watching bass fight for a gypsy moth larvae, which fell from a tree into a lake in his home state of New Jersey.  “I watched as the larvae struggled and wiggled,” Cammerino said.

“The action enticed bass to strike.  It got me to thinking - and experimenting.”

Years later, after experimenting with different sizes and shapes of plastic worms, Cammerino hit upon the right combination, and called it “Jersey Riggs,” in honor of his home state.  It’s become one of the hottest selling baits along the East Coast, and beyond.

The worm has neutral buoyancy in the water in the water, but impaled on a weighted No. 1 bait hook rigged through the middle of the worm, it sinks ever so slowly.  The technique allows it to stay in the strike zone longer.  The weight of the hook is all you need.

As the worm sinks, you reel slowly, twitching it ever so often, which makes the worm bend into a U-shape.  Unlike a spinner bait, plug or even a regular plastic worm, it doesn’t move away from the fish.

Cammerino tried his new lure at local tournaments, winning a few, and giving out his invention to other bass anglers to test.  He was even successful in getting some bass pros to try it.  And it caught fish.  “I kept getting positive feedback,” Cammerino said, “so I knew I was on the right track.”

While Jersey Riggs remind some anglers of the Whacky worm, Cammerino’s lure is a bit different in the way it sinks and moves in the water.  The key is to hook the worm right in the center of its body as you would a regular earthworm.  Cast the lure, let it sink, then twitch it while reeling slowly.  Some bass smash it, hooking themselves immediately.  Others pick it up and swim away slowly, allowing the angler ample time to set the hook.

Jersey Riggs can be worked in water from 6 inches to 10 feet or more.  Throw it around stumps, rocks, edges of weed beds and under docks.

“It’s probably not at its best when it’s windy, but no lure is for every condition,” Cammerino said.

The worm comes in a variety of colors both solid and flaked with sparkles.  Cammerino thinks he’s gotten some of his best results on the gold flake worms.  The bait also has been known to entice crappie and pickerel, and even an occasional trout.

Cammerino is preparing to market his invention nationwide.  “Right now, I have about 1,000 believers that this thing works,” he said.  “But word is spreading among the tournament fishermen.  Others are beginning to see for themselves.  Jersey Riggs catch fish.  It’s just a matter of time.

For information contact Cammerino at 75 Mountain Lake Estates, Hawley, PA  18428; phone (570) 226-6304.

Click next for another article on the Jersey Rigg from Fur-Fish-Game.


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