According to Lee Sisson of Winter Haven, Florida, wielding his Dangle Berry Rig is a relative easy and fruitful way to inveigle a limit or more of largemouth bass. He says it is the rig that caught the bass in 2010 that put him on the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series circuit.
From 1972 through 1983, Sisson worked for Bagley Bait Company as full-time lure designer, and then from 1985 to 2008, he was the proprietor Lee Sisson Lures. After he sold his lure company, he competed on several Bassmaster circuits from 2009 through 2011.
At the age of 63, he was oldest rookie on the prestigious Elite circuit, and after his rookie-year fling on the Elite circuit, he retired and became a consultant for the reconstituted Bagley Bait Company, helping them to correctly recreate the classic Bagley crankbaits. He also works in his shop called Sisson Design, creating topwater baits, crankbaits, including a crankbait for walleye anglers that we will feature in a future blog, and other products.
His Dangle Berry Rig consists of a 4/0 offset Mustad hook with a free-sliding weight affixed to the hook's shank. Sisson has not weighed the rig, but he estimates that it weighs about three-sixteenths of an ounce. A screw-lock bait-keeper is attached to the eye of the hook.
Sisson likes to Texas-rig a Fluke-style bait or Senko-style bait to his rig. It also works well with a small soft-plastic swimbait.
When he cast it, the weight slides to the back of the hook, which facilitates casting.
Sisson says his favorite way to retrieve the Dangle Berry Rig is similar to the way most anglers retrieve a wacky jig or wacky-rigged bait. In sum, it is a slow presentation: After he executes a cast, he allows the rig to plummet horizontally to the bottom. As the rig falls, the weight slides to the middle of the hook, and according to Sisson, this allows the rig to shimmy or flutter provocatively as it falls, replicating the behavior of an injured and dying baitfish. Once it reaches the bottom, he often deadsticks it for a spell. Then he lifts the Dangle Berry Rig off the bottom a foot or two and allows it to fall to the bottom again, where he deadsticks it. He continues this lift-fall-and-deadstick routine until he entices a bass or determines that he needs to make another cast and presentation. Sisson likes to employ this presentation around submergent vegetation, brush and other objects that lie in six feet of water.
When he employs a quicker presentation, the weight slides to the back of the hook. This allows the rig to roll and dart from side to side. He can also retrieve the rig so it replicates the walking-the-dog motif. Both of these presentations are effective around concentrations of bass that are foraging on or near the surface. And at times, it is necessary to execute a pause in these quicker presentations and allow the rig fall and flutter horizontally through a concentration of bass.
A package of three retails for $5.98. For more information see: sissonsdesigns.com