Friday, March 23, 2012

New Products for Spring

Stopped to peer over a bridge on my way home today, and saw a carp feeding voraciously.  I find it mesmerizing - almost like staring at a fire.  It's such a different kind of fishing, carping is, from so many of the other types I do.  How could anybody not like it?

When I looked over the bridge, I saw some discolored water right away, and before long saw the clouds of "fresh" mud coming up.  In a few minutes the fish had worked its way into shallower water, and I could see it, and then the orange lips (Ohh, how I love them!!) flaring as it fed.

It's a high traffic bridge, but it would be a great vantage point for filming the stalk, cast, and slurp.

Of course, within 10 minutes, it was pouring down rain, just as predicted.  I suspect in the morning there will be no point in going back.   

Now I'm drowning my sorrows in hard liquor.

Please join me.  Grab a glass, sit back, and take a tour with me.  This is Buffalo Trace bourbon.  It's very good.

Buffalo Trace.  It's very good.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting my father and finally got around to bringing home, for purposes of Culvert posts and, maybe, musky fishing, two large boxes of old musky lures.  Some of these are about 20 years old, and I purchased them.  Others are older, purchased by my father or, in some cases, his father.  His father is, of course, The Musky Man, and if you haven't read that story, you should.  Read parts One and Two.  

Among the lures in those boxes was this wooden jointed Pikie Minnow, made by the Creek Chub Lure Company from Garrett, Indiana.  The world-record largemouth bass was caught on a Creek Chub lure. 

Jointed Pikie Minnow

1931 catalog page

How to catch muskies

I'm working my way through these as I go.  This is Bushmill's Irish Whiskey.  I don't particularly care for it, and not just because Jonny is English.  It just doesn't do it for me.  I suspected as much when I bought it, having tried some other Irish whiskey a few months before.  But it seemed necessary to round out my collection.  Does anybody have any fucking idea why the font just changed?

Irish.  Not English.
Now I can't figure out why all my text is centered.  Jonny, fix this shit later, OK?  Here we have a couple of Musky Thrillers by the Suick Company, out of Antigo, Wisconsin.  These are a classic lure, made famous back in the 1930s when Frank Suick started catching a lot of big muskies on them. The smaller one here is a bit beat up, but the larger one, with the box, appears to have never seen action.  The paint and the hooks are pristine, despite that the box appears to be fairly old.

Suick Musky Thrillers.
These large topwater spinners are Musky Haws, from the Marathon Bait Company.  This is the lure that Grandpa caught the big musky on.  When I opened the old boxes, there were these three, plus several more off-brand spinners that were virtually identical.  I asked my father why he had so many Musky Hawks.  "Somebody catches a huge musky on a lure, you go buy more of them."

Musky Hawks: Marathon Bait Company.  You should buy several.

This is a wheat whiskey from Bernheim.  It's a lot like bourbon, but by using wheat instead of rye, the distillers make a smoother whiskey.  I like this stuff, too.

Wheat makes it smooth.

The Famous Grouse Scotch Whisky.  This was the first in my collection.  Not this particular bottle, mind you.

Famous Grouse: required.
The larger lure pictured here is a Musky Ike, a larger version of the famous Lazy Ike lure.  These lures were made by hand in Fort Dodge, Iowa in the 1930s, eventually made on wood lathes, and then, in 1960, the company started making them out of plastic.  This large one is wooden.  The smaller lures are called "Fly Ikes", and so far as I can tell, they are little bitty Lazy Ikes designed to be fished with a fly rod.  They're small enough that they'd be easier to cast than a Clouser Minnow, but the hooks are so damn small that I'd be afraid you'd never get them out of a fish's gullet.

Musky Ike and babies.

 Have you noticed that my text is no longer centered?  I can't explain it.  In any event, this is Bulleit Rye Whiskey.  Rye was, of course, the whiskey that the first American distillers, such as George Washington, were making before they discovered how useful corn could be for making bourbon.  This rye has some bite to it, and it's far from my favorite, but I felt it necessary to include it.  I'm drinking it now, too, and one thing I've noticed is that this blooging software has a spellcheck feature.  But look: it can't fix my misspelling of "blogging"!  How ironic is that!?

Rye:  even blooger can spell that.

Tennessee whiskey, by Jack Daniels.  Not a big favorite of mine, but this bottle was free, courtesy of my father-in-law (who drinks Grouse).

Tennessee Whiskey: I can't remember how they make it.

Some spoons.  The Daredevil is a classic, of course, especially the red and white.  But I was always partial to the Johnson Silver Minnow, the spoon pictured at the far right.  One of these, with a pork rind and trailer hook, brought a lot of pike to hand.  I can barely write "to hand" with a straight face.

Who doesn't like spooning?

Alright.  This is real fucking funny.  Ha ha.  Why is this text centered again??!!  Jonny!!!!!!

Here are a few more lures.  The Cisco Kid plugs come from the Suick Company.
The Jitterbug, by Arbogast, that most people know is the little one designed for largemouth bass.  But these Musky Jitterbugs are huge, with three sets of treble hooks.  They go "glug...glug...glug...KA PLOW!!!!!!!!", where the kaplow part is the pike hitting it.

The Mepps spinners are classic pike and musky lures, and you should have some.  The Rapala crankbiats come from Finland, which is why I can never figure out whether it's pronounced RA-pala, with the accent on the first syllable, or ra-PA-la, with the accent on the second.

Cisco Kids

Jitterbugs.  Glug...glug...glug...KAPOW!!!!

Mepps Spinners

Rapala.  Rapala.  Let's call the whole thing off.
I noticed above that the blooger software can't spell crank bait either.  And look, not only is my font aligned left now, but it has changed yet again.  SOme say whiskey makes people mean, but this is simply not so.  If it did, this blooger software would really be pissing me off right now.  But it's not.  At all.

This is Evan Williams bourbon.  This is affordable, and very good, stuff.  I call it my "everyday whiskey", although I do not drink it everyday. Typically, I don't drink nearly as much of it as I have tonight, either.  But I call it my "everyday whiskey" because it's good, but nothing special.  When guests come, they can drink your whole bottle, and you won't even sweat it.  You just go buy another.  When I first started drinking it, my wife couldn't remember the name, and kept calling it "Bob Evans".  This is funny if you live in the midwest as I do.  

Everyday whiskey, but not for every day.

Well, it looks like we've reached the end of our little tour.  Jonny will come along later with the little trash can he carries on his wading belt and clean up this post for us.  Thanks Jonny!


  1. I enjoy your drinking posts. And you tour of lures both old and relatively new. And your font magic. I am thirsty. Good blogging. (my spell check caught that, damn, that would have been witty)

  2. This bloog post features two of my favorite things, whiskey and whisky. I really like the lures, too. I'm used to seeing it in the large, economy size, but I must say The Famous Grouse looks a bit classier in that normal size bottle.

    I have yet to catch a muskie. I need to try harder.

  3. It hasn't escaped my mind that men have been making lures that look like dildos for quiet some time.

  4. Women swooned when grandpappy tied on "the black stallion".

    1. I have a fly I tie entirely out of Jungle Cock, with the longer variegated feathers as a salmon-fly style body, and then of course the usual eyes. It's name is a bit more vulgar, but perhaps its a similar pattern...

  5. Evan Williams is my everyday whiskey too.

  6. From Zakur: "I enjoy your drinking posts."

    Hmm. Thanks? I hadn't realized I'd done enough of these to have created a genre. Maybe we need to update the list of topics to include "Drinking posts"? Or perhaps this is a sign that I should ease up a bit. I think I'll try to do some non-drinking posts. Most likely, they'll be about corn chowder, brook trout, And.

    From Dunn: "Evan Williams is my everyday whiskey too."

    Is that really true, or are you just saying that because I said in the post that you could come drink my whole bottle and I wouldn't mind? Because now that I've sobered up a bit, I'm not really so sure about that.

    1. No. It really is. And in fact, in a moment of solidarity, despite your cruel words about my musical tastes, I remembered when, just two weeks ago in fact, a rather famous fishing guide came to my house and drank the rest of my handle of Evan Williams. Then proceeded to pass the fuck out in my vestibule. But that last part is neither here nor there.

    2. Wow. I had no idea. I couldn't have known. But even so, my condolences. And, my sincerest apologies about the musical insults. Normally, I wouldn't say such things, but I had been drinking whiskey, and it makes me sort of mean.

      Also: people don't use the word "vestibule" nearly as often as they should. I think you're on to something.

  7. Fine work. I loved the jitterbug most as a wee child, and caught many bass on it. What you're missing is an old-school hula popper.

    As to hard licker, when I drink it I will sometimes drink the Evan Wilkins; funny, I used to forget the name of it, too. But not any more: Ethan Williams. But because I can't find it sold in plastic bottles, I'm unlikely to drink much of it. Availability in plastic bottles at the corner store is what primarily defines my licker tastes.

  8. Great post. Reminds me of all the hand-me-down wooden Lazy Ikes and Rapalas I broke off on lilly pads casting from various docks as a kid with my Zebco 202. Oops.

    Also, it's RA-pa-la, no question, pronounced with the R rolled and the "a"s prounounced more like "ah". RAH-pah-la. Be careful not to hang too long on the "P" because if they wanted you to there would be two of them.

    -- 3rd generation Finlander