lure making

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Fishing Reports

“One last drift,” I called up. My son was casting from the bow while I piloted the boat. It was getting dark and we had New Year’s Eve dinner plans in Annapolis, so we had to go. The better fish were holding in a warm water pyconocline; a spot no bigger than a pickup truck bed, 40-feet deep. I pointed the bow of my 27 Judge CC into the swift current and idled us into a position just downstream from the rocky corner.  Daniel compensated for the strong flow and launched his hotrodded chartreuse BKD toward an imaginary spot 20-yards upstream from where he wanted his lure to touch the bottom. In water this swift, he’d be lucky if his jig bumped the rocks three times before it drifted downstream out of the strike zone.  A successful cast either caught a fish, or brought up a clump of the brown bryzoan moss that covers the bottom. The only other option was to hang up. He brought his elbows together beneath the low-profile baitcaster and followed the arc of his line with his extra-fast rod tip as he anticipated the slight bump that would tell him his lure had touched the rocks.

Bump. There it was. A quick snap of the wrist picked the jig back up before it had time to snag on the bottom. Again, he followed the line with his rod tip and waited for the bump as the lure fell. Watching the drop. Anticipating. Any moment now. Slam!  Daniel set the hook and fought another 24-inch football-shaped striper to the side of the boat.  That made seventeen in 90 minutes – a fun evening of catch & release fishing very close to home. Read More!

Fishing Reports

On a recent trip to my family farm in Eastern Tennessee I was rummaging though my dad’s old workshop and came across some lures he worked on. After dad passed in 1999, my brothers and I shared a lot of his fishing gear, but there was too much to take it all. During his busy lifetime that included fishing, managing bait shops and running boat docks, he collected a lot of stuff. For as long as I remember my father was a lure maker.  Some of my earliest memories include opening the door to his shop and being blasted by the smothering fumes of burnt worm plastic. I still have scars from when I disobeyed, got too close to the melting pot and got splattered by hot lead. Sometimes I wonder how I’ve lived to be fifty years old considering all the chemicals I was exposed to as a child.  (I also used to chew lead sinkers instead of bubble gum, but that’s another story.) Even though some of those lure making memories aren’t too pleasant, finding the old cedar blanks he started made me smile.  Read More!

Articles

p8250037-288x300I can’t remember when I first learned to make fishing lures, but it seems like I’ve always made them. Some of my earliest childhood memories include the times my brothers and I spent with our father in his garage workshop in the hills of Tennessee.  There were always lures lying around in various stages of creation.   Dad melted a lot of lead and made a lot of plastic worms.  I’ll never forget the terrible smell of that little shop.  Sometimes the smoke was so thick from burning plastic that you could barely see a foot in front of you.  I don’t know how any of us survived the noxious fumes.  My dad also poured his own jigs, tied his flies, carved cedar plugs and experimented with more fishing contraptions than you can shake a jig pole at. I still have some of his creations.  I usually don’t fish with them, but I keep them lying around my shop here in Maryland.  They fit right in with the dozens of half-made lures I hope to finish some day.
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