THE ONE THING that crossed my mind while waiting for my guide to pick me up at the exit of I-95 and Al Sharpton avenue, was just how disgusting the place looked before me. Stinky too. But everyone did say the Jigging around here was phenomenal and all. If I heard that once, I heard it a thousand times — why else would I ever think of coming to a total shit hole like this?
The surrounding landscape was a wild mixture of abandoned industrial buildings, run-down tenement houses and heaped garbage of all sorts. Just looking down at my feet I could see chicken bones, used condoms, Kool cigarette butts, empty orange soda bottles. Sure looks promising so far, I told myself.
ALL LIBERALS STOP RIGHT HERE! No use going on with some dull, sports-related, White male stuff. Go back to reading Obama’s book “Dreams of my Father,” or finish up that rad beadwork on your Levi jacket. And don’t forget the blueberry yogurt waiting for you in the fridge next to the bean sprouts!
Just then, my guide Mike Gardner pulled up in his shiny new trolling rig — red like most Jig-Rigs, long since discovered to attract tons of street game. Looking prepared for me, his outriggers were all set, ready to go. Gardner hopped out with a big cowboy smile and shaking my hand, asked me: “Ready for the hottest Deep Street Jigging action on the east coast?” “Damn right, Mike, let’s get this show on the road!” I enthusiastically replied.
Mike’s first mate, Leif Billithong, a lean and rawboned twenty-something from Down Under, motioned me to climb aboard the truck’s Jigging bed. In his heavy Aussie accent he asked: “Bring any of those Street Bitches?” Rapala Street Bitches© were a new, very hot lure, now popular for Deep Street trolling in east coast Ghetto hot spots and damned hard to come by. It’s funny how lures get fashionable for a few months and then fade away. But I did land that whopping 272 lb. Street Ho with one in Detroit just the last month (photo below).
“Of course,” I told him, beaming.
Strapping myself into the fighting chair, with Leif just behind me and now wearing his comm gear, Mike pealed out, doing a fast U-turn onto Sharpton avenue. Soon, Leif had set me up with a Street Bitch© on the right rig and a Rebel NigNog Bouncer© on the left. Both had steel leaders since some of the game in this area were well-known to file their teeth into sharp points. And I knew that Mike would have plenty of other trolling baits at my disposal, such as these sure-fire favorites:
Not long passed before I heard Leif talking rapid-fire to Mike upfront behind the wheel. Leif tapped me on the shoulder and pointed off towards the intersection of Huxtable street and Martin Luther King boulevard. Sure enough, I spotted a nice pod of Hos and Gangstas, jive-shucking away to some inner jungle beat. At first they looked too small to bother with, but then I noticed several large ones sitting on a ratty old sofa up on the sidewalk nearby, chilling with 40 oz. bottles of malt liquor. Perfect! At least one, maybe two, were in the 300 plus pound class.
Mike then slowed a bit, jinking the truck from side to side. My lures bounced in rhythm, about 50 yards back. I watched approvingly as my Street Bitch© hopped the curb and bounced along the sidewalk enticingly. Just then one of the Gangstas sprang out from the pod, heading directly for my lure. Damn! I was hoping for one of the 300 pounders. Mike — ever so on the ball — hit the accelerator and just in time pulled the bait out of Gangsta boy’s reach. No wonder I paid him the big bucks!
Our troll was messed up by all this, so I expected Mike to go down the block and come back around for another pass at those two lunkers sitting on that couch, but he didn’t. Wondering why, I looked around towards the front. Leif was smiling a big shit-eating grin and pointing excitedly down the street. A mob riot was in progress at one of the few KFC restaurants still left in the city! Nothing excites a Jiggerman as much as seeing one of those Ghetto feeding frenzies. I was sure to hook a citation Mau Mau and soon!
Drawing closer to the scene of the feeding frenzy, Leif switched out my NigNog Bouncer© with the tried and true Irresistable© — a perfect facsimile of a KFC bucket of chicken. One has to match the hatch, as they say (I always jig the extra crispy version). On the other outrigger he put on a Rebel Fatty© — that giant drumstick lure with the insanely realistic grease paint job (buy the chicken or turkey version, doesn’t matter).
No sooner did I let it out 25, maybe 30 yards, when this absolutely enormous Sheboon burst out from the front screen door of a “beauty” parlor we just passed and came charging out into the street. WHAMMO! She smashed into my lure, practically throwing herself smack dab on top of it. Man, talk about exciting strikes! That’s the biggest thrill us Big-game Ghetto Jiggermen can have. Sure wished I had it on video.
Quickly, I pulled back hard on the rod to set the hook — before the Jig had a chance to know the Jig was up. Feeling the hook drive home I eased up a bit to see if she would make a run. Boy, did she! Immediately she got to her feet and made a beeline back towards the safety of the beauty parlor (evidently her daytime lair) — my drag was screaming like a bat out of hell and my rod was bent like a pretzel!
This was some big, fat Ghetto Hawg if there ever was one — she had to go 350 lbs. at the very least, I told myself breathlessly. If I could just land her, and that was a very big “IF,” then I might break the State record. Plus, we were signed up for the Annual Ghetto Big-Nig Tournament and putting her in the truck might mean a lot of moolah for us.
But Mike knew I was in trouble even before I did. We couldn’t let her get back inside that beat-up screen door and cut my line. He floored it just in time, forcing my lunker to take a different direction. Leif, meanwhile, had my backside covered as he kept the fighting chair always pointed in the right direction — at my giant Negress lunker now running wild through the street!
Normally, most of your larger scale Mambo Jambos and Sheboons don’t jump near as much as the smaller Gangstas and Hos, but sometimes you find ones that do. This was one of those times. I could only look on in awe as she porpoised up and down off the street, all the time shaking that fat glistening Sheboon head to and fro — trying vainly to throw my hook free. As she jumped, I bowed my rod before her, allowing just enough slack in my line to keep it from snapping as her massive hulk slammed back down on the pavement. I could have sworn I felt the ground shudder all the way into the truck.
This went on and on for minutes, maybe a half hour, before my trophy brawler sounded, running far into the distance as the teflon drag on Mike’s expensive gold Penn International screamed that sing-song I loved so much. Leif took a ladle of cold water and splashed it over my reel to keep it from overheating. I, too, could have used a splash of water on my face, now dripping and glistening with sweat as I fought my titanic battle with a real-life Moby Sheboon!
Mike, realizing that things looked bad as my Sheboon whopper had run off with most of my line, threw the truck into reverse and expertly careened backwards down the street, as I furiously tried to reel in the slack. Thank goodness Mike never scrimps when it comes to the cost of Jigging tackle!
Soon, I had most of my line back and could see my Mau Mau brawler clearly. She was now rolling around in the gutter, trying to wrap my line around her giant girth to snap me off. In situations like this, the captain could do nothing as it was entirely up to the Jiggerman to handle. I kept my rod tip high and the line out of reach as I quickly followed her spastic movements out across the pavement. I knew I was succeeding when Leif patted me on the back.
When it finally sunk in that wasn’t working, she quickly sprang to her feet and took off like a runaway freight train for a rusty, green dumpster about a half-block away. Chances are, she already knew that was a safe haven to make for and must have used it many times in the past to have reached such a size. I realized my drag was set too light after that long tussle in the gutter, so I reached down to increase it a tad as she closed in on the dumpster. I almost panicked, knowing deep down that I had to stop her fast!
Right as I almost got my drag set, she made it to the curb in front of the dumpster. I roared back on the rod, hoping and praying I could turn her back from her goal. Just then I saw something that to this day I still cannot believe, even knowing full-well that I saw it with my own two eyes. That massive, 350 lb. plus Negress lunker jumped clean of the curb, hurling herself bodily towards the yawning mouth of the dumpster and freedom.
She had to have been a good 15, 20 yards away when she launched herself off into space. And that dumpster was at least another 8 feet or so off the ground. One sometimes sees this kind of thing while trolling the basketball courts for young Gangstas, but rarely do Jiggers see such a giant Sheboon make that kind of leap!
Since Mike only recently bought his new Deep Street trolling rig, the video system was not yet installed and none of this is on tape. You’ll just have to take my word for it. Of all the Jiggermen in the world, I’m the most honest. Really.
Fly rod Jiggerman Dan Rathbone plays a nice one at a secret spot in Baltimore. Walls covered with game sign are always a good place to work your favorite Ho-fly. Other hot structure to look for: Liquor stores, basketball courts, crack dens and check cashing operations.
My Sheboon landed head first into the dumpster. A huge cloud of dust and bits of trash flew high up into the air all around her piggy feet. At first, I thought I lost her for good until I saw her head pop up, shaking side-to-side furiously, just above the lip of the dumpster. I was still hooked up!
There was a good chance I might end up still landing this baby. If Mike could get the truck backed up close enough to the dumpster, Leif should be able to get the flying gaff into her. I saw that Mike had the exact same idea as he worked the steering wheel like a madman, manoeuvering expertly over the curb and in-between the burned-out hulk of a Cadillac and a bent parking meter.
Concentrating hard on my prize, I had my line way too tight — that I will freely admit. For right at the moment Mike was backing close enough to the dumpster, the totally rusted old lid of the dumpster broke free and slammed down hard, snapping my line like it was gossamer! As my rod bounced back straight with a cruel finality, my heart sank deep in my gut. Thinking back, I still kick myself to this day.
Expert fly-tyer, Homer Harder whips up a bucket load of KFC “Sidewalk Bouncers” for his pal’s morning trip to a hot spot in South Central LA. Bouncers are killers for light action, both fly rod and spinning.
Fly rodder Bill Tyler with his IGNA (International Game Negro Association) world record for the 12 pound tippet class — A 287 lb., 6 oz. whopper Ho, landed in Detroit this past summer. Just look at that happy grin!
I knew my freed lunker Sheboon had by now buried herself deep in the dumpster — likely breathing hard and fast among the dried-up crap and street garbage after her valiant struggle to continue her Ghetto lifestyle. No way was I going to get this one to strike again. At least not on this trip, anyways.
As I sat there, shaking my head and pretending to wonder what went wrong, Leif patted me on the back, vainly trying to console me. All my visions of that citation lunker mounted and gracing the steel-reinforced walls of my trophy room just went up in smoke. Mike said something on his comm gear, which I couldn’t make out from the static or the dark daze enveloping me.
That’s when Mike climbed out of the captain’s seat and came around to the side of the Jigger bed. He spread his hands out on the side gunwales of the truck and with a feigned serious look and bobbing head, said this to me in his best imitation Uncle Rastus ebonics:
“Dat’s Jiggin’ in de Get-Towww!”
— INCOG MAN
Stay tuned here for more Jiggermen articles!
Upcoming Flyrodding special will include: Sidewalk Streamer tactics for big Hos. Gangstas are Suckas for Nymphs. Roll Casting techniques in tight alley ways. Lotto Ticket and Food Stamp Dry Flies: Your key to success. Great Liquor Store hotspots. Level III Kevlar Jigging Vest Guide. Catch and Release: Is it really such a good idea?