Its that time of year. We go to our favorite fishing shows and flea markets buying the lures and tackle that we think will catch our fish this year. Maybe its the lure that your buddy had and you didn't, while he outfished you 10-1. Maybe its the lure that you think will land your first trophy. But we all go table to table looking for the lures that are beautifully painted now, but will look entirely different at the end of the season.
Yesterday a gentleman stopped by the table at the Berkeley Striper Club's Flea Market. He had bought a squid 1 oz stubby needlefish a few years ago, and needed a couple more. He then showed me the needle he needed to replace. It was trashed. It was beautiful. Beat up in a way that only tides full of bluefish and bass can do. I imagined it was screaming for the calvary, because it couldn't take another tide of abuse.
While it was beat up bad with teeth marks and hook points, the finish held up perfectly. The paint and finish didn't peel or shatter one bit. I had a brief sense of pride that I provided a plug that held up to the abuse, just like it was supposed to. We had to take a picture, because nothing has stories and memories built into them like beat up plugs.
He showed me some pictures of his catches. Just a small sampling of the fish he caught:
I think I immediately became itchy. Its March. Its been a long winter in the shop. I am sure there are some fish waiting for the mudflats to warm up and to start digging for sandworms and slurping shrimp, but all out havoc is still weeks away though. I am sure all of our patience is starting to wear thin.