December 20, 2017
Years and years ago, the late Billy Westmoreland of Celina, Tennessee, and the late Jim Rogers of Lamar, Missouri, taught some of the early practitioners of Midwest finesse fishing about the manifold merits of an aspirin-shaped jig. Recently, VMC has created a modern-day version of the aspirin-shaped jig that has caught the fancy of several Midwest finesse anglers. This state-of-the-art aspirin-shaped jig is called the NME Neon Moon Eye Jig.
Back in the good old days, we used an 1/8-ounce aspirin-shaped jig that was adorned with either a buck tail or a craft-hair skirt, and we tipped it with a short and thin pork-rind eel. Customization has been an integral part of Midwest finesse fishing since its conception, and, of course, the eel that we affixed to our aspirin-head jigs had to be customized in order to make it short and thin.
There is no skirt garnishing VMC's NME Neon Moon Eye Jig. Instead of a skirt and a pork-rind eel, Midwest finesse anglers will bedeck it with one of their favorite soft-plastic baits such as a 2 1/2- to three-inch Senko-style bait or a shad-shaped worm or a small creature bait.
We no longer use 1/8-ounce jigs. Midwest finesse anglers are wedded to lighter jigs, and the 1/32- and 1/16-ounce NME Neon Moon Eye Jigs fit that motif perfectly.
It is endowed with a premium high-carbon steel hook that possesses a black-nickel finish. It is an Aberdeen-style hook with an eye section that has a 90-degree bend.
The 1/32-ounce NME Neon Moon Eye Jig has a No. 6 hook, and from the tip of the jig's head to the apex of the bend of the hook, it is 7/8 of an inch long.
The 1/16-ounce model has a No. 4 hook, and from the tip of the jig's head to the apex of the bend of the hook, it is an inch long.
The diameter of the 1/32-ounce jig's aspirin-style head is a 1/4 of an inch. The diameter of the 1/16-ounce jig's head is 5/16 of an inch. The width of the 1/32-ounce head is an 1/8 of an inch. The width of the 1/16-ounce head is 3/16 of an inch.
A soft-plastic bait keeper radiates from the back of the aspirin-shaped head and along the shank of the hook; it is 1/4 of an inch long.
On each side of the head, there is a three-dimensional holographic eye that is affixed inside an eye socket.
Some of the heads exhibit an ultraviolet-bright finish.
They are available in the following colors: Blue Fire UV, Chartreuse, Chartreuse Lime Green, Chartreuse Orange, Fat Head, Fire Tiger, Glow, Glow Chartreuse, Green Fire UV, Orange Fire UV, Pink Fire UV, and White.
A package of two 1/32-ounce VMC NME Neon Moon Eye Jig costs $2.29. A package of two 1/16-ouncers costs $2.49.
(1) For more information about the NME Neon Moon Eye Jig, here is a link to the VMC website:https://www.rapala.com/vmc/jigs/walleye-jigs/nme-neon-moon-eye-jig/NME+Neon+Moon+Eye+Jig.html.
(2) During the fall of 2017, Travis Myers of Paw Paw, West Virginia, discovered the effectiveness of the 1/32-ounce NME Neon Moon Eye Jig. He used it with either a River Rock Custom Baits' 2 3/4-inch Fat Stick in the Bluntnose Shiner hue or the River Rock Custom Baits' three-inch Savvy Shad in the Bluntnose Shiner hue. The color of the jig is Fathead.
Myers fishes for smallmouth bass in rivers and streams in eastern West Virginia. He says that his Savvy Shad rig, which is salt-free, inveigled an impressive array of smallmouth bass and a wide variety of other species during the fall of 2017. He said that the 1/32-ounce NME Neon Moon Eye Jig is a great asset in helping him to employ his no-feel retrieve, and this delicate presentation with the Savvy Shad rig helped him to catch the riverine smallmouth bass when the water temperature of the river was 36 degrees.
(3) On Dec. 11, we talked with Dan Quinn of Hudson, Wisconsin. He is Rapala's Field Promotions Manager, which entails working with VMC's tackle. He feared that the hooks on the 1/32- and 1/16-ounce NME Neon Moon Eye Jig was too small for black bass anglers. And he thought a hefty and feisty largemouth bass or smallmouth bass would readily bend these small hooks and liberate themselves during a donnybrook with a Midwest finesse angler. We responded by telling him about the virtues of a 1/32-ounce jig with a No. 6 hook and a 1/16-ounce jig with a No. 4 hook that we have experienced as Midwest finesse anglers. We have found that the small hooks prevent the jig from becoming readily snagged in the rocks, boulders and other objects that we fish in and around, and we also found that the small hooks quickly and easily penetrate the flesh in a black bass' mouth without us having to vigorously set the hook. We proved this point on Dec. 12 by fishing for three hours at one of northeastern Kansas' community reservoirs with a chartreuse 1/32-ounce NME Neon Moon Eye Jig affixed to a Z-Man Fishing Products' green-pumpkin TRD HogZ, and this rig caught 33 largemouth bass. The biggest one weighed 5.88 pounds. We fished around and in a lot of rocks, boulders, and laydowns without becoming snagged and losing the rig. After our Dec. 12 outing, we have used it on Dec. 18,19, and 20, and across those four outings, it has caught a a total of 112 largemouth bass. This rig is so durable and snag-free we are guessing that the jig and its TRD HogZ can tangle with many more largemouth bass before they have to be replaced. To examine its conditions, please see the photograph below.