Our Outdoors
Nick Simonson

The fishing lure market is always evolving, as is the case with The Coffee Tube

In the outdoors, it is tough to beat a hot cup of coffee in the morning. In the pre-dawn twilight of a fishing trip, a steaming hot Thermos-top-cup of java gears the senses up and gives an angler a reason to pause between casts, all the while adding a mountain-grown aroma to the wonder of the experience.

The market for caffeinated beverages - or caffeinated anything for that matter - is also a wonder, growing rapidly as our internet-based-gotta-have-it-now-rush-rush-rush society finds new ways to stay awake and do more. There are energy drinks that sound more like a truck rally, with Full Throttle, Monster and Red Bull leading the way. Hyper-caffeinated coffees and soft drinks are now sold by megabrands like Starbucks and PepsiCo, who have further amped their products to meet the demand of a twitching and sleepless society. Caffeinated candy bars, sunflower seeds, beer and lip balm round out the stranger products with added kick.

What started with Juan Valdez and his trusty pack mule venturing up the Colombian slopes to bring back the finest mountain-grown beans, has now become a complexity of caffeination. No food or drink is safe from the addition of coffee's core chemical.

Apparently, the same now holds true for fishing lures. Take another sip of your beverage while the growing insanity of "caffeinated everything" sinks in. That's right, caffeinated fishing lures have entered the market.

While fish-based scent and taste additives have been en vogue with lure makers for years, and salt- and garlic-impregnated lures all the rage, the lure market was missing that certain something to help it catch up with the speed of society. Leave it to the Strike King Lure Company to unveil a bass tube enhanced with real coffee bean granules, which allegedly give it not only a natural earthy tinge but a chemical component that "bass are eager to slurp up." In disappointingly decaf fashion, the company calls its creation "The Coffee Tube," probably only because the name "Buzz Bait" was already taken. Quick, someone get the marketing department a case of Double Shot espresso drinks.

Certainly landing a spot on the "What is the World Coming To" list, this revved-up revolution in fishing tackle will undoubtedly have major fallout on the fishing scene. Imagine those anglers who, like me, suffer from an oral fixation. From beef jerky, to sunflower seeds to, yes even at times - fishing plastics, it is not unusual for us to be chewing on something as we focus our energies on the perfect flip of a lure under some shoreline cover.

What will happen when the tainted tentacles of the Coffee Tube fill in for our Freudian fix? Shaky hands, phantom hooksets, poor boat control, and jitters that interfere with the rhythmic pulse of fishing are certainly problems that such over-caffeinated lures will cause. (Note to BASS Tournament Trail Event Managers: search for and confiscate all of these lures in Mike Iaconelli's boat prior to launch.)

What about the impact on the fish? It only takes a cup or two for humans to become dependent on coffee to start their day. Failure to follow the pattern results in headaches, depression, mood swings and general malaise. What will happen to a smallmouth after a successful catch-and-release on these tubes? Will he be hopelessly hooked on caffeine? Will he be unable to wake up each morning and perform to his very best without a tube or two?

The introduction of this chemical to the food web will require lure companies to procure even more advanced baits in the future laced with taurine, ginseng, guarana, six B-vitamins and twelve amino acids essential to maintaining energy levels just to catch fish who crave, like the society that fishes them, a better buzz.

Biology class aside, it is clear that we have reached a dizzying new peak in our percolated population; fueled by the upward trending profit line the caffeine market has created. The buzz keeps growing, the insanity has hit the water harder than an afternoon energy-drink crash and sadly, there is now more than one way to wake up and smell the coffee…in our outdoors.