As I have said in the past, I enjoy fishing. I am not talking about bobber fishing with live bait, but standing in the bow of a boat casting artificial lures for Northern Pike, Muskie or bass. Maybe it’s the control thing. I’m in “partial” control of my destiny, by lure choice and color selection as well as boat placement. While, in my mind, the bobber fishermen merely awaits the perusal of a curious fish.
I like to spend fishing time on Leech Lake, in Minnesota, searching for the elusive Muskie, the “fish of 10,000 casts”, and often times it takes 10,000 casts to find one. Unlike many fish that you can entice to strike a lure, enticing a Muskie is much like calling a cat to come and lay at your feet. Be that as it may, there are particular colors that seem more successful than others. And one of the best colors, stupidly, a lime-green, resides in my best friend’s tackle box but NOT in mine!
The most productive lure, is manufactured locally, and sold in only ONE tackle shop. I must wait to make my purchases upon my arrival to the area and yet, the desired color, for the 3rd season is not available. So, it was that I found my self sitting in front of a newly purchased lure, paint brush in hand with a bottle of lime-green hobby paint just within reach.
As I sat brushing on the paint, my mind returned to a time about fifteen years ago. After living in Minnesota for a few years, I was transferred back to Indiana by my employer. It was our third Christmas back in Indiana and we had just changed houses. We began thinking what our outside decorations should look like. While in Minnesota, my wife and I commented how this one house always stuck in our minds, all of the windows, roof lines, etc at Christmas were trimmed in red lights. We began thinking that replicating that in Indiana would be good. (Little did I realize that it would illicit comments from our pastor about the “red light” district.) We began buying a large quantity of strings of exterior lights. No one makes stings of RED ONLY lights, so we began buying up as many package of red bulbs as possible…
The hunt for red bulbs took us be many different stores, and then, we wondered, what do you do with all of those bulbs of the other colors?
I came up with this GREAT idea, I put all of the blue, green and orange bulbs in a bucket and poured paint stripper in the bucket. I took off the old paint, cleaned up the bulb and purchased a can of red spray paint. I must have painted hundreds of bulbs….yes, I was smart enough to wear gloves while holding the base of the bulbs. Just think how much money we’ve saved. I screwed the bulbs in the strings and began putting them up. When it came time to “flip the switch”, we were in awe, brilliant Red and PINK lights. The commercial lights were red, my red bulbs tended toward pink! I guess the commercial red paint has some black in its base…
Here I sit, brush in hand, hoping this idea has better results than the Christmas lights. I guess I need to confess though…that this really isn’t a new idea…if fact, it’s not even new to me… I did this last year…same green color..but, last year I modified a lure and added additional weight–it ran sort of lopsided.. This years attempt began with a properly weight lure…then painted.
UPDATE: Two weeks later—YES, I caught a fish with the “custom” painted lure. This worked SO well, I got a couple of other colors I have in mind.
REALIZATION: I’m sitting here working on the next “custom” color lure, thinking how smart I am and I turn to look at my wall. Actually, I’m in my storage shed, half of which has been turned in to “Terry’s Tackle Town”. The lures formerly of my father and mine, hang neatly, color coordinated, by manufacturer on the side and back walls. There, in the middle of the third row, are two hand-painted lures. Hummmm, obviously I’m not the first in the family to think of this……
But I bet I was the first to paint my own Christmas lights!!!!