Last week, I mentioned my gullibility for yard sales. I failed to mention my main reason for such roadside stops ...
Fishing can be a short-lived passion for some folks. One reason is familiarity and repetition, which breeds decay in thought and practice. To prevent this, an angler needs to feed their passion with fresh discoveries. Doing so provides a succession of miracles and renewed interest.
My preferred method of accomplishing this is to search a proven track for the undiscovered and underdeveloped. Often times, such stops rekindle notice of a past lure or favorite bait.
My Uncle Lee was fond of Johnson gold spoons when fishing for spottail bass. He rarely changed this lure unless trout were in the vicinity, and then it was nothing else but the infamous Christmas Tree lure. For those not familiar, the name fits the description. The body was white with silver flecks, the head and tail was red and there was a hint of green on each side. It sported two sets of treble hooks connected internally to the nose eye with a continuous wire.
Never miss a local story.
When this lure came on the market they were scooped up quickly and my Uncle Lee guarded his supply closely. I inherited his tackle, and when I look over the array of past legends, I am not willing to risk losing one to a fish or a poorly tied knot. There were many others, but this was his favorite.
By today's standards, the lure lacked much. There was no odor, no natural feel, no rattle cavity or scent additive. Oddly enough, the lure looked more like an ornament -- thus, the name.
Whenever a lure becomes popular, imitations follow. The Christmas Tree was no exception. While each has a place there are few substitutes for an original.
A close run was the Mighty Mite. It may have looked similar, but its size, balance and color just didn't produce the same results.
It is a natural tendency for the market to favor a proven path. Although the Christmas Tree fell to modern times, many others -- just as popular and just as guarded by those who use them -- have been produced, only now they have new names. They are overpriced and subject to the whims of the market more than any proven standard given them by use.
Follow the trail of the disappointed and you will learn first hand that all that glitters is not gold. The big "everything under one roof" stores have saturated the market with lures of every description. It's no wonder those new to the sport are often misguided and frustrated.
Space is limited, and if you take a peek in the tackle box of a veteran angler you will see what lures make the grade. There are standards and wannabes -- it's your choice as to where you spend your hard-earned money. Ask those who fish often: the charter guides, pro shop and tackle store owners.
Buy from the big guys that saturate the market hoping to catch the whims of the unsuspecting majority, or purchase those with a pedigree. Shop around, search for the lost and forgotten, or add the new and proven. You may be surprised as to what you will find.
Sometimes you just need to write something because it's therapeutic. I wrote this as I take inventory of the far too much and too many items that support my interest. It's time for a decision -- it can either be made now or sometime in my absence.
As someone once said, "I can only hope that in my passing my wife does not sell my fishing gear for what I told her I paid."