jewel in the shallows

jiggerjohn

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Joined
Mar 23, 2010
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487
Over the past two seasons a pleasant distraction has become white perch. They're small but tasty, and strike and fight hard on light tackle. I've caught some very nice ,meaty specimens, however, off Lake Erie piers and in brackish waters down at the Outer Banks. I understand East Coast tidal water fisherman love them, and this particular perch population seems to be spreading everywhere! And these small powerhouses LOVE jigs!! Many anglers will mention that 1/8 oz sized spin jigs are a vastly preferred offering to work the shallows where white perch usually feed. Yet even with lift of an overhead spinner, this size jig seems to sink a bit too fast for my liking in 2-5' water along rocky banks and rip rap areas. That is, until I REdiscovered a real oldtime favorite spin jig, specifically designed to work extreme shallows.....

Today's anglers may not remember bass fishing legend Billy Phillips . He began entering B.A.S.S. tournaments during the 1970s, fishing essentially as an amateur against the pros of that time. He fished out of little more than a small jon boat, using basic Johnson spincast outfits, and working only extreme shallows with his own brilliantly designed , carefully constructed tiny spin-jig. In his first tournament he deftly left Bill Dance in second place! Later he took 4th in the B.A.S.S. CLASSIC ! I recently located one of his still sturdy spinjigs in an old tackle box -sure was unique with a small sized spinner blade as the jighead (fitted more like a spoon to allow slight planing and a unique wobbling action) and a thumbnail sized spin blade above on a ball bearing swivel. I've found this can be retreived slower and shallower than any other spinnerbait, and is perfect for my recent interest in securing a jig slow moving enough to entice picky white perch!

The really neat thing was, I seached online for info on Mr. Phillips' "L'il Jewel" and discovered,to my delight, that these are still individually hand constructed by a master craftsman protege of the late Billy ,by the name of John McBride in Tennessee! (Billy Phillips lures .com). I do believe the blosoming white perch population is about to decline!!
 

jiggerjohn

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Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
487
Thought you guys would enjoy actually seeing the "l'il Jewel" along with its companion small buzz bait >>>
post-189-0-93932100-1490286268.jpg
 

hookup

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May 22, 2012
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VA
Last couple years I started chasing white perch too. Great fun on UL. I normally wake up at o'dark thirty and come home by twilight.

You're right, they are tasty. But I learned a lesson - came home with a bunch of them after a full day fishing and then had to fillet them. Worked into the night. If I lived closer to the area's to fish them I would probably keep some but for now catch and release only.

Spent last winter tying up a bunch of safety pin spinners and now have been giving them to friends since I have so many

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Here's a triple hook up we had recently
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And a bonus fish
2JHf6PN.jpg
 

jiggerjohn

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Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
487
Hookup, Those are some of the nicest white perch ,home built spinners that I have seen!! Loved that pic with the bunch of perch being pulled up on them! Do you make your own spin harnesses? As to the excess you've built -wished I was your friend! Great job!
 

hookup

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May 22, 2012
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JJ - I bought the harnesses already formed. Added a swivel and a big ( I think #3?) blade.

I fish a local stream we name "the little Jewel" because it's so productive and most wouldn't even thing there's fish in it.
 

Microbaits

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May 2, 2021
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I like those safety spinners better than the R bend type. nice job. I used to have wire bender that I could do both. i think it's lost in the clutter! I'm doing an extensive remodel of my work area. I may get lucky and find it(y) along with a few other hidden items!
 

hookup

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May 22, 2012
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VA
Couple nails and a board is what I use to use as a wire bender. Now I buy them pre bent and make modifications when I need too
 
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