I don’t know who was the first person to ever catch a fish, but I’ll bet they went back to their cave or hut and tried to think of a better way to do it. Everyone tries to come up with new methods of catching fish, it’s part of the sport.
Man’s desire to catch more fish is never more evident than in lure innovations. Every year new lures appear on store shelves that are supposed to be better than ever. And in this desire to create the ultimate lure, some very unique, sometimes comical, lures have been created.
Of course, everyone has seen the beer can lures. You know, the ones that look a beer can with hooks attached. I heard the designer of these lures say that the primary purpose of these lures was stictly novelty, but ocassionaly someone catches a fish with one. I guess it’s a good example of a fish having “one too many.”
One of my favorites is on display at the Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin. It is a lure made from a stuffed striped gopher. The designer mounted the little guy in a swimming-like pose and attached some big, mean treble hooks. Too bad if the inventor put a lot of time in the creation because one hit from a muskie or northern would literally “tear the stuffin’ out of it.”
One northern fisherman I know goes to the toy store and purchases a few of those rubber baby crocidiles about 12-inches long. He rigs up a series of treble hooks and implants them all over the little croc. He claims one of these jobs worked over a weed bed drives the pike crazy.
One lure I know of would take the prize as the most chauvinistic. It was a miniature version of a seductive, topless mermaid. You’ve heard the cliche’ “some lures are designed to catch fish, others are designed to catch fishermen.” Need I say more?
I had my own moment of creativity one day when I was just a budding new fisherman. A friend and I wanted to go fishing, but we had no worms. In this case we often used pieces of raw bacon, which sunfish always seemed to like. So we grabbed some big pieces of bacon and some oranges out of the refrigerator and headed for the lake. It turned out to be a poor day. After an hour of dunking for sunnies we were still fishless. Partly out of curiosity, mostly out of boredom, I put an exceptionally large chunk of bacon on my hook and added a piece of orange peel to it. I was rather impressed with it. I didn’t know if it would tempt any fish, but I could cast it country mile, which means a lot to kid my age. I still don’t know if it was a northern or a bass, but on the third cast something grabbed it and almost took the rod out of my hands. I can still see it in my mind. The big fish wallowed around in the bulrushes for a few seconds and then threw the bacon bait up into the air. We both sat in silence. How that big fish would have impressed everyone.
But I think that is why I don’t create lures anymore. I’d just as soon leave it at that one exciting memory.