Do you love big bluegill?
I have been getting a lot of response and questions about the simple-to-tie grass shrimp hairjig patterns that Jeffrey Abney is having so much success with in North Carolina. Believe me, I never thought such a simple, easy to tie pattern would prove so deadly, but I am nonetheless delighted with our success with them. In the photo above are several olive/ green / gray patterns that have done well in the dark waters of Dixie. They are on 1/32 and 1/64th oz ball head jigs from Bass Pro White River Fly Shops and are either gold or nickel in color.
For the body of the jig, we prefer sparkle braid in either peach/orange color or the tan/pearl. Number 6 or 8 waxed tying thread is fine. Brown or tan thread works well, but color combos are endless. The tail portion of the jig can be craft hair or marabou. For most of my jigs, I prefer craft hair because I can get a lot of jigs out of one skein.
One of our top producers is this simple olive pattern. On these drab/plain patterns, I am trying to mimic the natural colors of the freshwater shrimp, which can be light brown or olive, depending on the water color you are fishing. I believe the sparkle braid attracts the fish to the jig, and when tipped with a live bait or Gulp product seals the deal for a strike. Often times, no tipping is needed for aggressive fish. Gold seems to work slightly better in tannin-stained water than the nickle, don't ask me why! It should be pointed out that primo fish biologist and Pond Boss founder Bob Lusk was instrumental in having me develope this pattern for giant, Richmond Mill bluegills.
Perhaps the top dog for Jeffrey Abney's blackwater river gilling adventures has been this pink edition of the grass shrimp on the gold head. Again, nothing special, just a more vibrant tone to the shrimp in the system, as tidal water shrimp species can have brighter hues.
Even beginner fly or jig tyers can master these deadly lures at one session at the table. I hope to post more later and wish everyone the best on bluegilling!