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OUTDOOR JOURNAL

Winter means time to tinker

Winter will officially be here in just a couple weeks, but snow and cold temperatures show little respect for the dates on the calendar so we will need to deal with whatever comes our way.

As for me, I plan to spend my time in my workshop turning out ridiculous lures that I know (or at least hope) will catch fish. Thankfully for the world I am not Thomas Edison, or we would still be using candles and oil lamps for light. Well, at least I would not have that expensive electric bill that invades my mailbox each month.

I love to try to make different lures, but sometimes I run out of ideas. So I guess I’ll just fire up the woodstove in my shop and see what I can come up with. Yes I know about not ending with a preposition, so give me a break. I am not a Harvard graduate; just a poor old country boy who has made much of his income with a typewriter and computer keyboard.

Of course I glean some of my ideas for lures by reading other publications, and a recent issue in Fish and Field Report had an interesting blurb from the ODNR about making spoons from tableware. I’ve heard of this before, and in fact there is a tale that the first fishing spoons came about after an angler accidentally dropped a spoon overboard.

The tale does not identify what the angler was eating, but he was supposed to have watched the spoon wiggle down into the depths. He was probably really working up a good excuse to explain to his wife what happened to her favorite soup spoon when a northern pike inhaled the shiny piece of metal. That clumsy angler then had an eye opening moment, and the popular spoon lure was born.

Whether or not this is a true tale is beside the point. After all, we know that no angler would ever tell a fib so it must be true. We also know that spoons catch fish ranging from tiny bluegills to monster muskies.

We also know that these lures are not necessarily cheap to buy so making one’s own has lots of appeal. I often make my own lures so some might brand me a cheapskate, but I prefer to just be called frugal. But, regardless of what you call me I am not stupid enough to swipe a few of Barb’s silverware to cut up for spoons.

The good news is that there is almost an endless supply of spoon making material. Discarded spoons can be found in a variety of places such as Goodwill and garage sales, so you can accumulate a wide variety of shapes and sizes at reasonable prices.

So how do we turn these castoff spoons into fishing lures? I guess the first step will be to cut off the handle and file the cut smooth. Of course you MUST wear safety glasses and maybe even gloves. A trip to emergency will certainly negate any other savings.

The next move is to attach the spoon to your line and to hold any fish you might entice to bite. This step will require some drilling and here again safety must be observed. Once you have a hole in your spoon insert a split ring. Another split ring in the rear of the spoon is where you attach the hook. I buy small split rings online from Jann’s Netcraft. You can use any hook that will work and they can be purchased locally.

The dinner spoon you choose as the basis for your contraption will depend on you and your creativity. They can be anything from a soup spoon to a teaspoon. I’ve even considered using one of those pointed spoons used to dig grapefruit out of its skin. The action of this pointy spoon might be interesting.

But before I raid Barb’s cutlery drawer, I might see if a plastic spoon can be fashioned into a successful lure. Who knows, I might make something to rival the famous Johnson Silver Spoon. I can only hope, but either way I’ll have fun and might catch a fish on a lure I made.

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