Sunday, April 30, 2017

Every now and again a bait mold comes along that just can't quite get passed up and this Do-It 2 1/2" Thump-It rub is one of those. A full inch shorter than its larger cousin, also from Do-It as a 3 1/2" Thump-It Grub, this bait steps right up to take on closed mouthed walleye and sauger in the dregs of winter when the water is at its coldest. Seen here the bait is done in a super productive color combo commonly referred to as Pro Blue but this formula has some changes.

Pro Blue commonly is done using a pearl / smoke with blue hi lite. As seen here the Smoke side has been toned down and so its quite transparent, depending on the angle from which its viewed. The light color is done without using any color or pearling agents whatever and gets its sparkle and depth from liberal doses of both Super Sparkle mica compound and fire/opal micro glitter. Both colors have uv enhancement added.

Winter fishing the river generally has much clearer water and the current is usually a whole lot tamer. When its at its coldest, the river is at its best for a plastic bite. One day may see fish hammering a larger bait but then the next they might not touch anything unless its scaled back in size. This Thump-It is a perfect down-sizing bait that still produces a tantalizing tail wag with a minimum of movement by jigging. Quite often the hits will come when this baits is just left the drift a half foot off bottom with no other action added. The Pro Blue color is one that allows a super natural bait presentation that almost perfectly mimics a minnow in color.

When fishing the winter chill has been good but then slowed down due to a front or pending weather, try down sizing to a bait in this size range and slowing the presentation way down. Try going to a natural color and fish it on a plain or purple head. This presentation with this color combination is one that works good if simple black/white dotted eyes are on the head.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nothing will draw the simple beauty of a plastic frog out like a natural setting for a picture. This 4" frog has paddle feet and a cream colored underside. The red eyes really help set it on fire too.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

It all has to start somewhere so this is where it begins for this blog even though what I do with tackle making started long, long ago.

As a kid I loved the out of doors from the beginning. I loved the wide open spaces and the freedom to explore. I loved animals of all kinds.

We were pretty poor so the idea of fishing was more of a dream than reality until an aunt took my cousin and I fishing at a local lake in town. She'd bought me a plastic rod/reel set-up that had little more than kite string as line. A simple hook, bobber and worm managed to catch several sunfish and from that point on I was "hooked". A year later a neighbor asked if I wanted to go fishing with he and his son. He had an extra rod and I got introduced to the fine art of getting knots out of the line. And again, sunfish seemed willing to further plant in me the love for fishing. Perhaps a year later another neighbor was cleaning his garage and found a rod/reel he no longer used and asked me if I wanted it. That right there was a dream come true. These three simple acts were the seed for a love affair with fishing that has not died to this very day.

At about twelve years old the neighbor who gave me the rod asked if I wanted some Outdoor Life and Sports Afield magazines and handed me a bag full of them. Talk about seed for dreams....this bag was heaven in itself. Also in that bag was a Herter's catalog a year out of date. I think I spent more time looking at that catalog than the stories held in the magazines. In that catalog was a fly tying kit that was priced at $17.97 and the shipping was $3.25. Big bucks back then. I mowed lawns and had a paper route to earn money for spending and soon had enough saved up to order this kit. A lady at the service desk of a neighborhood grocery store, a Super Value in fact, helped me with a money order and addressing the envelope. The mail back then was slooooow. Or slower. And after three weeks I found a package at the door with my name on it. I opened the box and in front of me was a whole world of stuff I had no idea of what to do with. After reading the instruction sheet I got brave enough to put a hook in the vise and did so many times before the first thread was tied on. And so it started....

I was in eighth grade when the school began that fall and I had a phy ed teacher that I really liked. He fished with flies and we shared stories even though at that point in life I had no way to fish a fly other than on my hand me down rod and mono line. He told me of trout and I told him of sunfish. One day he asked me to bring some of my flies for him to look at. I did and we sat and talked about an idea he had for some very small flies, flies he referred to as "snow flies" because they ones he used during the winter months. The next day he brought a sample fly for me to study. Then I went to work making four or five colors of the same fly pattern for him and he bought every one from me. He soon had orders from other teachers he fished with and it wasn't long before I had quite the enterprise and it paid a lot more than mowing. Five years down the line another teacher made a block mold for jigs for me using oak. The mold made two jigs at a time, one about 1/8 ounce the other about 1/4 ounce. Soon I found myself in the jig business as well as the fly business.

Jump ahead some 49 years. I have had the blessing of working with some of the finest tackle companies on earth and friendships I have made along the way are countless and as rewarding as the work. I've staffed for several companies: Culprit, Mepps/MisterTwister, JBLures to name a few and worked thru three states doing distributor and sports shows on behalf of them. Today I have stepped away from the tackle companies with the exception of one, Do-It Molds Corp of Denver, Iowa. I work closely with the folks at Do-It and love what they allow me to pursue immensely. Do-It has been a leader in sand-cast jig and sinker mold technology for quite a while and within the last 8 years or so bought into the world of soft plastic injection to make fishing baits. This is my realm, where I can spend hours either creating baits and color combinations for myself or working with others, top-notch Do-It contemporaries, who also develop new and exciting ways to make soft plastic tackle.

So, from a plastic fishing pole to injecting my own plastic baits, I have traveled a long way. I owe thanks to so many who nudged me along and coaxed me to pursue my dreams. I've tried to teach my children to believe in their "go-for-it" and do the best you can, that that is all one can demand of themselves.

As I grow into this blog I hope all who visit here to read find something to take with them when they leave. I intend to share some of my pictures, my tricks of the trade and some stories. Enjoy.