Friday, September 30, 2011

Field Testing Homemade Lures

my lure caught a fish!

As the weather gets colder, I know my open water fishing season gets closer and closer to an end, and I'm starting to focus on other things. Yesterday on my commute, instead of spending the whole time researching fishing techniques and fall bass patterns, I created some music on my laptop. I've been thinking once it gets cold, music making and lure making will occupy my free time. Well, those things and cooking. I love me some cold weather cooking. But more on that later.

I've hit up the little retention pond a few times in the past few days, mostly to get some fishing in, but also mostly to field test out my homemade lures. I want to get an idea how slight changes in lure construction can change the open water action before I won't have a chance to test them out, except the bathtub.

this one caught a nice bass
The first lure I made caught a fish on the second cast- the smallest largemouth bass I'd ever seen. And I didn't even snag it- all 3 treble hooks were in his mouth! I managed to release the little guy unharmed- hopefully in a few years he'll grow up to be a lunker.

Some of my lures work great; others are clearly flawed. For the most part, it takes quite a bit to get the blades spinning on my inlines; I'm not sure exactly why.. I'm thinking it's a combination of weight distribution, and how freely the clevis can move around the wire shaft. There are one or two that spin, but they take the entire lure with them. My swivel is no match for this, and as a result I've had a lot of line twist issues.

I did however catch a nice sized bass on a spinner- I put a single red hook on it, and added a white twister tail as a trailer (I think that's the right terminology). Hard to tell whether the bass hit because of the tail action, the blade, the color combination, or my manipulation of the lure... But in the end, it's all the same! He ends up in a picture, and I put him back in the water.

good-sized bass caught on a homemade spinner
Overall the action at the pond has been pretty slow- the water is cold, and I haven't seen as much baitfish chasing as usual. Certainly not in he morning- I'm wondering if in the fall, it's better to fish later in the day when the water has warmed up and the fish are more active. Ken G said as much on, and he would know!

I went out this morning, my newly-constructed cork popper-style lure (or is it jitterbug-style?) on the end of my line. We had some wine yesterday, and I grabbed the cork, as I've been reading cork can be a great material for fishing lures. I ran wire through the middle, drilled a hole in a Bell's Two-Hearted Ale cap, and affixed it all together. Put a treble hook on the back, and added a bullet weight to the front. I thought it would help with casting distance and action in the water. I also cut up a bit of rope and secured it to the treble hook with some wire. Seeing it in the water, I'm wondering if the bullet weight was really necessary... We'll have to drink some more wine soon so I can keep experimenting. Also, the rope dressing doesn't look amazing- I need to learn to make my own dressings....

Rioja-cork and Bell's Two-Hearted Ale popper/jitterbug-style lure,
painted with nail polish and dressed with rope
Went to the grocery store to get some stuff; spent a few minutes in the makeup aisles looking for nail polish. I've heard it can be a great way to paint lures, especially the stuff that is supposed to resist chipping. I got some red polish that turned out to be orange, and some blue with glitter in it that turned out to be clear. This stuff is new to me. It doesn't look too bad on the lure, but I should probably invest in some more colors.

Working my Rioja-IPA lure, the action is pretty similar to the jitterbugs I have in my tacklebox- I'm guessing in the right situation, a bass would take the bait! Can't wait for that to happen.

I have a shopping cart all ready to go at Jann's Netcraft (a great website full of tackle-making stuff); just got to pull the trigger and check the mailbox in a few days. This is all pretty exciting for me! 

I'm pretty facile at taking found sounds - like fingers tapping on a table - and manipulating it until it sounds like huge epic drums; or warping samples from youtube to fit my every musical whim... But creating stuff out here in the real, physical world is a completely new thing for me. Using tools, working with my hands, this is pretty cool. I even got a flannel shirt- when I put it on, I strangely wanted to whittle some wood. I've been looking into making wooden crankbaits... Although it seems more complicated than assembling inline spinners, based on my limited success so far, it doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility.

Maybe I'll even need to set up a workspace, like with pegboard and tools and paint and the thing that holds stuff in place [EDIT: a vice] and a stool and stuff. 

I've already got a music workspace filled with musical tools- keyboards, microphones, audio interfaces, synthesizers, MIDI cables, audio connectors; I wonder if these two different kinds of man-caves can coexist.

1 comment:

  1. You would be impressed with my beer selection this weekend. Went up to northern mi to fish, but with tempmaround 40 and the wind blowing 40-65, I'm much more likely to catch a buzz.


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