By Jack Gurner
ENID LAKE – Crappie don’t stand a chance when you drop one of Gwin Jackson’s jigs in the water.
You hear that over and over from anglers who fish with Jackson’s hand tied jigs, sold under the name “Jiggy Wit It.”
For the non-anglers, a jig is a type of fishing lure consisting of a lead sinker with a hook molded into it. According to some of the local fishing experts, the lead head jig is unquestionably the deadliest artificial lure ever created for crappie.
Jackson became interested in tying jigs about eight years ago while fishing with local anglers Gerald Ford and Bobby Hopper. “I had seen Gerald and Bobby tying at Bobby’s house in Oakland. I told Bobby that I’d like to learn how to do that. He said there ain’t nothing to it.”
While jig tying may not be that complicated, it does require some skill. And, according to Jackson, the process is time consuming. “I start from a hook and pour my own heads.”
“The fun part is right here,” he added, pointing to his tying rig. “If I can sit down where I don’t have to do anything but watch a little television and tie, I can do eight dozen a day.”
He said he can actually tie more than that, but he has to bag them in retail packaging and that adds to the time.
Jackson likes his comforts while out in his shop tying jigs. His wife, Joy, described how his TV remote control sits in a designated area atop his tying rig.
Wife Joy said that he occasionally uses jig tying as an excuse to get out of household chores. “All I have to do is say, ‘Gwin, would you vacuum the floor,’ and he says, ‘I got to go to the shop.’”
“I’ve got some jigs I’ve got to get out today,” Jackson said, repeating his favorite excuse.
As his jigs became more popular, Jackson said he had to come up with some kind of name for the business. The name “Jiggy Wit It” came from a song by actor/singer Will Smith. Joy heard it on the radio, he said. “She called me on the phone and said, ‘I got you a name.’”
Jackson said he doesn’t make much money from his jig tying. “Maybe enough to buy some gas.”
“He’s right, he doesn’t make money from it,” his wife was quick to add. “But, he does enjoy sitting out there and tying those jigs.”
There is also a lot of pride that goes with jig tying. Being out on the lake with other anglers and catching fish with jigs he made is really exciting, Jackson added.
Jackson retired from Tri-State Termite & Pest Control in Clarksdale after an illness in 1995. He and his wife, Joy, moved to Pope in 2000 and he started working as a crappie guide on Enid Lake.
His jigs are for sale around the Enid Lake area and can be found at Gene Dunn’s Sylva Rena Grocery and Bait on Hwy. 32 west of Water Valley and in Panola County at Tri-County Marine and Ace Hardware.
Jackson’s website is at www.enidcrappie.com