GRAHAM BELIEVES JIG TYING BUSINESS A “GOD THING”

Tying crappie jigs is something Ronny Graham never ever thought he’d be doing. Since
February 2022, however, he spends his spare time doing just that, tying colorful crappie jigs. To get a handle on Graham’s new enterprise, we need to go back to learn how it all
started and what triggered it.

“It was during the COVID pandemic when my wife, Judy, started thinking about what we
might be able to do since we were basically home-bound,” Graham began. “She and I have
fished for crappie together for years and I had been buying my jigs from Jim Hall, a Ruston
fisherman who tied his own jigs. Judy suggested that maybe I could learn how to tie them and it would give me something to do since we were pretty well sequestered at home.”

Graham had spent years working with Lincoln Builders, the company his dad started in 1962. After his dad retired, Graham was named CEO of the business, retiring in 2010. During his tenure in working with Lincoln Builders, Graham has held several positions related to the outdoors. He served on the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, was on the Habitat Committee for Ducks Unlimited and served a term on the D’Arbonne Lake Commission.

One day while visiting Clyde Barham who is married to his dad’s sister and an expert crappie fisherman himself, the subject of jig fishing came up. I asked him what type of jigs he used, rubber or hair jigs. He told me he used nothing but hair jigs that he tied himself.

“When I told him of mine and Judy’s interest in making jigs, Barham gave me a 50 year
old jig-tying apparatus so I decided to give I a try,” Graham said.

“I bought the materials needed for jig tying and I learned as I went along. Today I have
all the equipment I need to tie jigs and I have gotten pretty good at it,” he said.

Visiting Graham at his home, we sat in his jig tying room and I was impressed with all the materials he had, skirt materials in a variety of colors and jig heads he purchases, paints and places in Judy’s oven for a few minutes to let the paint set. He tied a simple jig for me and it took barely a minute before he handed me the completed jig.

“I don’t want to go into the ‘quantity’ business of tying jigs; I’m more interested in ‘quality’. I will make some special order jigs for folks who want them and I plan to have a display of jigs available at only two businesses right now, Cranford’s Grocery and Sporting Goods in Ruston and the Honey Hole Tackle Shop in W. Monroe,” Graham added.

Graham has had to overcome some health issues since his retirement; a bout with cancer
and two strokes. Fortunately he has recovered from these issues.

“When I started and got going on tying jigs, Judy made a statement that as a Christian, I
firmly believe is true. She mentioned this transition into something I can do at home, an activity that began during the pandemic,” he said. “She called it a ‘God thing’ and I totally agree. After my bouts with health problems, I don’t believe the Good Lord is through with me yet and I’m 

thankful I have been provided with something I not only have the ability to do but it’s
something I thoroughly enjoy.”

”Ronny Graham ties crappie jigs in his home and is shown with a jig he recently tied.” Glynn Harris photo

FISHING REPORT

BLACK BAYOU – A few bream have been caught around the grass on worms and crickets.
Bass have been best fishing plastic frogs around grass. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – The water is in good condition. Bass are in the cuts and hitting topwater lures early while Carolina rigs and Shaky Heads are picking up some later in the day. Crappie are around the deep tops in the river and hitting shiner or jigs. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie are on the flats off the deeper sloughs and have been fair on
shiners or jigs. Bass have been schooling some and hitting shad imitation lures. Also some are being caught around the grass on Rat-L-Traps and topwater lures. Bream are scattered and fair while catfish are biting cold worms fished off the banks. For latest information, call Anderson Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie continue be in their summer pattern and are hanging around
submerged brush with most caught in 8-10 foot water on shiners and jigs. The Bobby Garland Blue Thunder jigs along with chartreuse patterns are working best. Bass fishing has been best fishing around the boat docks and piers using soft plastics and crank baits. A few stripers have been caught along with the bass. Catfishing has been fair to good on set hooks using small bream for bait. Some are also being caught on yo-yos. For latest information, call Kel’s Cove at 927- 2264 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
CANEY LAKE – Some catches of bream are being reported on crickets or night crawlers. Bass continue to school around the lake with shad imitation topwater lures picking up some. Bigger fish to around 7 pounds have been caught on soft plastics and deep diving crank baits around brush and underwater humps around the channels. Crappie are fair fishing jigs and shiners around submerged tops in deeper water. No report on catfish this week. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323- 8707.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfish continue to be about the only thing biting with an occasional crappie being reported. No report on bass or bream. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is on a slow fall and fishing should improve. Bass have been fair on a variety of baits, a good many catfish are being reported and although crappie are rather slow, some real slabs are being caught on shiners or jigs. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.


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