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Remembering the bucktail bait

As a young lad, I was happy to have been able to spend lots of hours fishing and learning from my father because he was an expert fisherman. Sometimes he would drop everything and say, “Let’s go fishing now; the sun is the correct color and the air smells just right.”

He would get the Martin 100 10-horse motor and put it on the back of the big, flat-bottomed wooden boat. I still have that motor, as it saved our lives several times.

In the shed where the motor was, I had an ancient, really big bucktail hanging on the wall that I had never used. A thick, stiff wire ran through the center. At the front end, the wire was looped to hook a leader onto. Behind this was a ruby red glass bead the wire ran through. Next, a big, rippled chrome spinner and then another 2-inch-long ruby red glass bead. Each bead was about 1 inch in diameter. Then came a big chunk of red, black and white hair that covered a massive triple hook set up. On this particular day, I figured I would try it out. I put it on my Trusty Lucky Pole, so to speak. It pulled really hard in the water. We came into some fast current and I could only reel it in to about 10 feet behind the back of the boat. Then about 20 yards away, we saw a big fish fin headed straight for the bucktail. The fish hit that bucktail in that fast current and kept right on going. As the line was being pulled out with my thumb on the brake, the reel smoked and sounded like an airplane motor. The line broke after all of it had been pulled out. I was glad the fish did not take the pole out of my hands. My father said, “I told you it was time to go fishing.” He also said whoever made that bucktail knew what he was doing.

That was time well spent in the good old days.

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