The Oozzie Jig
On the Water Issue: October 2012, By Billy Mitchell
603-424·8229 – http://www.oozziejig.com
An innovation that is completely fresh and unique is quite uncommon in today’s world of tackle, where it can seem like everything new has been done before. We very rarely—as anglers and as consumers—find something that is both innovative and worth our time and money. Every once in a while though, a lure that makes you stop and do a double-take—something like the Oozzie Jig—comes along.
“So let me get this straight. You put that stuff in that compartment, and it chums as you jig it?” my fishing buddy asked as we rolled in the chop on a blustery late summer morning. I nodded without looking up and finished filling the wick underneath the skirt of the Oozzie Jig with a sizeable slurp of BioEdge Menhaden Potion.
I handed him one of the Oozzie Jigs, a 1-ounce specimen with a blue-and-green skirt, which he clipped onto his leader and sent down approximately 46 feet to the bottom.
“That is probably the strangest thing…” he began, although he never actually finished that sentence, as the rod twitched once and bent nearly in half. “Wow,” he said, as I netted a healthy fluke. “Pretty cool.”
Pretty cool indeed.
The Oozzie Jig is one of those inventions that you hear about, and then kick yourself for not coming up with first. The idea of combining your chum and your offering—the attraction and the presentation—into one piece of tackle is common sense really, although there has never really been anything like it.
One spring day a few years back, while having a relatively unsuccessful day fishing for cod, Bob Sundstrom’s mind began wandering.
“It appeared to me that if we could get the chum down to where the fish are feeding, we would greatly increase our hookups,” Bob told me. “So I went home and searched the internet for something that would allow me to do this.”
But Bob couldn’t find anything even remotely similar to the idea that he had stuck in his mind.
“That’s when my tail started wagging,” said Bob.
The Oozzie Jig went from concept to reality quickly, as Bob turned his idea into a fully functioning, fish-catching jig. He began with a hollow, stainless steel tube and drilled holes in it. After numerous swim tests, he decided to bend the steel tube, which created a more erratic action when jigged. He inserted a wick made out of cotton into the hollow compartment, to hold and release bait oils as the jig moved. Holding the unsightly metal tube in his hand, Bob still felt something was missing. So, he took a plastic P-Line trolling skirt, cut off the tip, and fitted it over the metal compartment.
“I held it in my hand and I knew right then that I had something special. And more importantly, I knew it would catch fish.”
One of the most outstanding features of the Oozzie Jig is its versatility. The Oozzie Jig can go from deepwater jigging for cod and haddock to inshore bottom-fishing for fluke and sea bass. It can be trolled and jigged horizontally for bluefish, albies and bonito. The Oozzie Jig has also proven effective for throwing at blitzing striped bass and bluefish from the boat and even from the beach. The forward-weighted design makes it a good casting lure, and the curved metal body creates an irresistible swimming motion when retrieved. Many anglers have even been using the Oozzie Jig as a “stink sinker,” as Bob calls it, while chunking for stripers.
“People using the Oozzie Jig have had success just about anywhere they try it; in any conditions, for any species of fish. We’ve fished it everywhere from the West Coast up to the Great Lakes and down to Florida, and it seems like the list just keeps growing.”
The jigs come in sizes ranging from 3/8 ounce to 16 ounces. The larger sizes have a treble hook consistent with traditional bottom jigs, while the smaller sizes house single hooks accompanied by a spinner blade. The smallest of the Oozzie Jigs work great for targeting freshwater predators, while the 1- and 2-ounce versions are ideal for fluke and sea bass fishing, though a three-way rig may be needed to hold bottom.
The type of chum used is completely left up to the angler. Anglers looking to match the scent of their Oozie Jig to the predominant bait will be happy to hear that Oozzie Jigs has teamed up with the BioEdge company, which makes fish attractants in a range of scents for sweetening up artificial lures.
“The BioEdge potions are really the best bait oils on the market right now. And they’re perfect to put right into the cotton wick of the Oozzie Jig,” Bob said.
The wick inside can also be removed entirely to make room for a homemade concoction of whatever chum the angler has his sights on that day—or more importantly, what the fish have their sights on.