A pair of big muskie plugs plus a small tackle box of ice fishing lures.

There are more tackle boxes in my basement storeroom than any sane man needs. Every one is almost overflowing with fishing lures, so why should I need more?

It’s a bit like fishing and hunting books. A man can never have too many good books, and I’m as guilty of buying more than I will probably ever need or read. Much the same is true with lures.

There are four huge tackle boxes filled just with muskie plugs, and a smaller one that holds some smaller muskie lures. I’ve got some 10-inch muskie plugs and great huge spinnerbaits in the big boxes. However, every year I see someone with a Bobbie or Eddie bait or a Suick or Brunner Runner in a hot new color.

I’m over-run with fishing lures and tackle boxes.

It doesn’t mean that the other guy’s oddly colored Suick hasn’t worked for him. It could, and there I’d be without one painted in that strange color that every muskie fishermen needs to own. Sadly, seldom do they produce fish, but against all odds, they could produce if we just believe in them and cast them often enough.

There are two more beastly huge tackle boxes filled with nothing but salmon spoons and big salmon plugs. I own most colors of J-Plugs, Dardevles, Silver Streaks and other fishing spoons, but I keep bumping into newer sizes with different paint and  tape patterns that seem to beckon to me with eyes that look deep into mine and seem to whisper “Buy me and take me home!” It’s the old siren song that we all know.

The eyes have it. I’ve been adding stick-on eyes to my lures for many years, and now more and more lures are being made with prominent and well-colored eyes. I think eyes make lures more appealing to fish but wonder if they really produce more often. One can only hope.

OK, how about Herring Dodgers? I have two smaller boxes filled with them. There are red ones, white and yellow ones, chrome plated, some home-painted a dull black color (don’t laugh because they work … sometimes), half silver-half bronze, chartreuse models, and some with dazzling tape and some without. There are small ones, large ones, those of normal size, and Hoochie Mamas. Got me some of them too.

Herring Dodgers and Hootchie Mamas. Gotta have ‘em.

If we’re going after lake trout I tote 50-60 different sizes, shapes and colors of cowbells and perhaps half that many different colors of P-nuts. Another tackle box is filled with various trolling weights for inland trout lakes, and some stainless steel needles to sew shiners onto my hook.

One tackle box is loaded with more Dardevles in a variety of colors although my best pike fishing comes with two color combinations — red with a white stripe and silver back or yellow with five red diamonds and a brass back. There are other pike spoons and plugs in the box, and although most of my largest pike come on the two colors noted above, there are another two dozen other patterns for when the pike get picky. And then there is a box of spinnerbaits in several sizes that work for muskies and pike.

Oh my, I nearly forgot. One box is filled with body baits like Rapalas, Rebels, FasTracs, Long A Bombers and other similar lures. They too are in an infinite variety of great colors, and some have never been in the water but boy, do they look pretty.

Still another box is filled with wood FlatFish and Tadpollys from my guiding days when I used the dropback method on the Manistee River below Tippy Dam or when trolling Manistee, Pentwater or Pere Marquette lakes for late-fall steelhead. The FlatFish come in two varieties: those with the tiny treble gang hooks or with two larger hooks. In that box are extra hook hangers for the small treble hooks that I prefer to use.

A hundred pounds of leadhead jigs in a dazzling display of colors.

I’m a big fan of vertical jigging on the Detroit, Kalamazoo, Saginaw and Tittabawassee rivers, and there are two heavy tackle boxes filled with jigs weighing from 1/8 to 1 ounce, depending on the depth of water and current speed at each location. Half of one box is filled with oodles of grub bodies and twister-tail bodies in a rainbow of colors.

And as nice as freshly painted jigs look in their trays, I often scrape the paint off and use just the bare lead and a lip-hooked minnow. It works!

One small box holds nothing but Mepps spinners, and another holds nothing but weight-forward spinners like Erie Dearies. Another small box is nothing special except it contains lures purchased when I was 15-17 years of age from the Wanigas Fly Shop near Saginaw, Michigan. The shop was owned by Art Neumann, a co-founder of Trout Unlimited, and it holds a bunch of small trout-size spoons that are rarely seen these days except in a lure collection.

Then there are some collectible Heddon lures that I normally leave home, and other scarce Creek Chub Pikie minnows, etc. And did I mention two small boxes of ice fishing lures?

C’mon, Honey, I just need a few more for this season.

So, do I really need several more lures? Probably not, but once one or two new lures wink at me and catch my eye, I go into a feeding frenzy until I have them. Many times, after such a cabin-fever purchase, I try the lure once and take an active dislike to its action, color or lack of fishing-catching abilities.

Someone once told me that fishing lures catch more anglers than fish, and I suspect that is quite true. However, gazing upon tray after tray of various colors and sizes of lures makes me feel good.

So, why not, honey? All I need is two or three more $20 muskie plugs. There are still a few Suick colors I don’t have. You never know when one of these odd-ball color combinations will tempt a trophy muskie. And I’ll even put up storm windows when I can find the time.

Posted via email from Dave Richey Outdoors


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