Red asked me to mention that he still wants to meet many of our Jigcraft members in the tri-state area (or beyond!) and will be tying, teaching, selling jigs,wool, and supplies at the annual Pymatuning Pioneer& Arts Festival in Jamestown, PA on July 27, 28 , and then again at the following long running Pymatuning Lake Fest on Aug 3,4 in Andover,Ohio. Great weekends to come over, vacation, camp, and fish this productive big lake, and to learn from Red & gab with a true jigging legend!!
Red called last night to remind everyone in the area that he'll be teaching his tying methods & selling jigs at the Jamestown "Pioneer Days" near the Pym dam this Sat & Sun ,all day ! In between recent storms he's still taking 30-50 nice crappies per day on his wool jigs!
Red might have an heir apparent in the JJ2 family. JiggerJohn? Nope. Sean? Nope. Hint: might miss him if you're looking straight ahead and he's in close. Yup, it's grandson Dra. Word from JJ2 is that Dra's personal ties are spanking the old dogs, and even Red requested some.
Yep, L'il Dra started tying his OWN version of a woolie -he first place on a thin few strands of flash and purple satin, right on the shaft of a small sickle hooked 1/32 oz head, then a tiny fluff of orange wool for a collar OVER TOP ,at the head. Crappies have been taking at 12-14' and just barely pecking at the jig. Only something skimpy & light (taken down by a split shot 8" up the line) would be sucked in! On this light fly idea, Red showed me how his weightless bead headed fly would take carp -you simply drilled the hook point thru a piece of dry dog food, as a tipping, threw out a handful of the slowly sinking pellets as chum over a carp hole, then toss out the tipped fly. Worked like magic, and son Sean played and landed a 25#er on 4# test mono ! Of course Dra scored too, with his tiny ,sparse jig (and dog food!) !
My 31 yr old son, Sean, and I got to go out yesterday with Red again on Pymatuning. Red had mentioned that it was tough sledding recently with the last few days of summer yielding only a handful of crappies here & there. But Sean and I hit a semi warm, stable cloudy day and the bite was on -including some very nice jumbos (we brought home 8 bags of fillets!). Now savvy ole Red knew things would be tough, so we went with small hooked woolie jigs (they only wanted a special orange wool that Red gets from local Amish friends!), and tipped with small minnows. But the huge factor on one key hump was Red's outstanding knowledge of Pym's structure - he called one key spot, saying we needed to find exactly 13' 4 INCHES ! I rolled my yes in disbelief, but watched the depth finder as he actually found this tiny spot on an already small structure! He put down the marker, and soon we were vertically jigging up some dandy white crappie. I've fished with some great structure people, but NEVER saw anyone, other than Red, who could nail it down to the INCH !!
Thought some of you would enjoy this little story I did for a local fishing newspaper, to show what Red has been up to lately! Also note the use of Hawnjig's tiny no. 8 hooks on his 1/24 oz roundheads and 1/26 oz darts !
Bluegill jigging = Big Fall Crappies
by John McKean
My 32 year old son, Sean, a chef, decided he wanted to prepare a nice,big platter of fresh bluegill fillets for a Sunday feast. So,of course, we called ole buddy, Legendary Red Denmark, for an expert's tour of his best Pymatuning deepwater structures. In advance, a selection of Red's smallest wool&fabric jigs - 'gill size- was selected, which sported tiny, sharp no. 8 hooks.
Red had us on a nice weeded hump by mid-morning, peaking at 6' ,but dropping to 13' off the edges. Sean & I each had a hefty gill almost immediately by vertical jigging the 1/32 oz lures with a tiny maggot tipping. Red tipped his jig with a small minnow, always after his beloved crappies, yet he too was "bothered" by bluegills. Though an unusually calm morning, we soon drifted slightly off the hump into the deeper 13' at the edge.Then things started to go wrong. It wasn't the 'gills out there, but super slab crappies! And they took maggot tipped lures as quickly as they inhaled those with minnows. Oh, we didn't get a big bunch at any one spot, but we picked up a few jumbo crappies everywhere we searched -we couldn't get away from them ! Then came the smallmouth bass,some very nice sized, along with perch, channel cats, a small walleye or two, rock bass, and sunfish.
Funny thing was the extremely small gapped no. 8 hooks we used stung all fish better than anything normally cast (usually size 4) during recent outings. The many crappies were, for once, firmly hooked in their jaws, rather than the with large, easily thrown jigs which usually tear big holes in their paper like lips. Red even fought a big smallmouth which ran all over the immediate area, including several hard runs to bottom, and landed him easily with the miniature hook so tightly imbedded that I had to really dig hard with forceps for removal!
Interested in actual statistics for this trip, Sean had a small hand counter - it reached 77 by late afternoon! (yeah, Red still grumped about a "slow" day!!) Not every one of them was surprised by the no. 8 steel sliver, but over 90% were! Another new trick which Sean thought up was to employ a brand new, rubber meshed trout landing net ; he had always been upset by those extra large fish who escaped at boat side due to hooks dropping out at the last second. Nets have been a pain in the past with hooks tangling in the usual rope mesh, yet between the exacting hook penetration into fish, and the NON hooking into the rubber, we not only lost few,but could unpin them quickly & just dump each one into the cooler; the time saving was tremendous!
Well, the ole bluegills taught us a few tricks this day, even if we didn't fill the cooler with them alone! Hmm, what's that I smell? Guess I'll have to settle for mostly slab crappie fillets for today's dinner!!
MuskyGary, As Red pulls off the fibers from a swath of satin, he LOOKS to get 10 strands,but a few more never hurts anything!Then he folds and ties half on each side of the wool core to ensure symmetry between each side. Now, throughout this past season, we have discovered a wedding dress material (JoAnn's calls it "brocade") that is very bright white and has either gold or silver strands mixed within. This stuff has been deadly on our jigs beyond belief!So, we've been pulling off about 12-15 strands of this stuff to get both bright white &flash intermixed in one tie!
Red's wife first discovered this material, and recently Sean, Red, and I have found it is better than any satin we've used over the wool base for crappies,smallies,bluegill, and perch. Sean is insistant that he wants to buy an entire bolt(or 3 !!) of this stuff!! Fortunately, because of Sean not wanting to have trouble locating this material ,he kept the last receipt to have the stock numbers. It is a brocade fabric called "Gold metallic Paisley " no. 400016170597 . This also comes in silver which Red likes. Here's the page from JoAnn's catalog - http://www.joann.com/search?q=gold metallic paisley
OK, Just sent another order to JoAnn Fabric! Couldn't find the silver, but found a great blue color and a silver and white; all on sale!! JiggerJohn President Obama should give you a medal for helping out the economy!!