Fishing Memories

February 2, 2011 by  

Our Outdoors By Nick Simonson
Paging through the pile of tackle catalogs that all seemed to arrive in my mailbox on the same day (a sure sign that spring is still coming) made me amazed, once again, at the number of lure colors available.  From plastics, to crankbaits, and even standard jigs, there are literally thousands of colors with dozens of new hues available this season.  I saw a number of them that I’d like to try out over the coming months on many of my favorite lures, but what I was really drawn to were those colors that brought me back to some of my favorite memories and with each turn of the page, I took a trip down memory lane.
fishing memoriesThe first wander wasn’t too far back, to summer of 2009.  A slight chop on Lake of the Woods set the scene for my wife and I, as we trolled around an 18-foot hump on the 24-foot flat about four miles from Warroad, Minn. in her cousin’s boat.  The three rods locked in the holders at back would snap up wildly as another walleye or sauger jarred the lines loose from the downriggers.  More often than not, the starboard rod would jerk into action as we discovered the pattern of the day.
It was a size 7 Rapala Shad Rap in a deep violet shade which the company had dubbed Purpledescent.  The pattern is a cross between a Minnesota Vikings jersey and a fathead chub.  It was so hot that day; Angie’s cousin radioed it over to one of his buddies, a local guide working the flat about a half mile away from us.  By the end of the afternoon, both boats reported full live wells and happy anglers, thanks to the color du jour.
Flipping into the plastic section of one catalog, I was taken back to a bass opener where my brother and I gave my buddy Josh his fair share of jabs for purchasing a pack of long pink Zoom Trick Worms in a shade the bait company fittingly called Bubblegum.  We both doubted that any bass would want to chew on his selection.  However, just an hour into the season we were the ones who were eating crow.
By the end of the morning, we had been outfished three-to-one by Josh and his bag of Bubblegum baits and we were begging for a chance to try them.  The three of us spent the rest of the day flinging the floating worms out over the lily pads and snaking them through the emergent weeds in the shallows, pulling lunkers out left and right. By the end of the weekend, we were trying to salvage whatever we could of the shredded plastics to make one more cast after the bass that couldn’t resist the color.  Since that time, we always have a pink version of whatever soft bait we buy, and don’t mind the quizzical looks we get from the cashiers at the tackle shop.
Finally, as I turned to the pages dedicated to a dozen different models of spoons, I was relieved to see that the Five of Diamonds still remained as a pattern choice. I recalled how often we’d hit a lull after a good initial run of smallies when we’d pull up on our favorite spot on the Sheyenne River and someone in the boat would tie on a big “FOD” and fire it as far back into the feeder creek as possible, burning the wobbling bait through the shallows and out over the dropoff into the main channel.
Without fail, something would take the uniquely colored lure.  We witnessed a twelve pound northern come to net, back-to-back four-pound smallmouths slammed the bait and even a 25-inch walleye couldn’t resist the pattern.  I always wondered why it was five diamonds that did the trick, and not three, or seven, but that pattern of red-on-yellow always brightened up a slow day on the creek delta where just about any fish seemed to take to that particular color scheme.
There are a lot of other colors that highlight the pages in my fishing logs, my photo albums and my memories.  Watermelon Senkos with chartreuse tips for rainy-day bass on my favorite backwater, a firetiger Fat A that walloped white bass one night on a particular point on my home reservoir, and sparkling silver two-inch tubes that started many evenings bagged neatly in my tacklebox, but ended up on the deck of the boat, scattered about wildly like the stars above as we sped home in the dark with a number of crappies for a late night fish fry.  Each color seems to have a story of its own and hopefully with any luck there are a number of new ones to try with tales yet to be written…in our outdoors.

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