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Jim Zilverberg and the case of the white jig

Sep 12, 2007

 Jim reeling in another walleye You wouldn't know that Jim Zilverberg would be turning 90 next year if you saw him jogging down your street.  The spry father brought his three boys (Larry, Greg, Patrick) up to Aikens for some quality time together.  Jim was born in 1918 and he brought up his boys out on the lakes in Minnesota.  The family has been fishing together for the last 50 years!  Jim is still sharp in body and in spirit, and relishes the opportunity to show his boys some tricks everytime they are in the boat together. Greg and his 28.5″ walleye  Larry’s trophy walleye The Zilverberg's first "Aikens Experience" has been quite a success.  Despite some very cold weather, at times even fishing in the snow, the fishing has been excellent.  However, it didn't start off that way on Day 1.  Jim seemed to the be the only one catching fish, and everybody else wondered what he was doing differently.  Jim silently watched as his sons had minimal success but they didn't try switching jig colors or sizes, and all the while he was reeling them in hand over fist himself.  Finally, after some prodding he let the cat out of the bag and told everyone that he had found that white was the hot color and gave everyone a jig identical to the one he was using.  Disbelieving that a subtlety as minor as jig color could be the trigger, the boys stubbornly accepted the jigs and put them on.  Turns out he was right!  His son Patrick told us that after switching, he must have caught 20 slot walleyes that afternoon!  I guess that even despite 50 years of fishing, there are still quite a few tricks up Jim's sleeve!  That afternoon, Jim was proud to have been able to find the key for a successful day on the lake.  In the days that followed, Larry and Greg both landed trophy walleyes.  Although the white jig pattern had passed, they were still following dad's advice and one was caught on a jig and the other on a chartreuse bottom-bouncer.  It goes to show that you are never too old to learn something new, and you are never too young-at-heart to teach your boys about fishing!