I have been thinking about writing this article that
I am about to do here for quite a while now and I think the time
is getting due. First
lets give you a little history about myself and where I am coming from. I have been fishing since I was 4 years old and was weaned
on panfish and the inland fresh waters. When you start out with panfish it never gets out of your blood and no matter what species you
chase over the years a person always comes back to fishing them voracious fighting panfish.
In the 50's I was primarily a bass fisherman and we
caught a ton of them to the point of where it got tiresome and I
started to do more
Musky fishing than bass fishing because it had a lot more of a challenge to it. I never did like bass to eat and threw them all back but Musky are
delicious and I kept a lot of them. I fished Mushy and Walleye from the mid 50's thru the 60's until I switched to fishing Salmon as they were
right at my back door in Lake Michigan. In 1972 I bought a 19 ft. Cruisers Inc. for the big lake and got very serious about this new introduction
of Salmon to the Great Lakes and the amazing new challenges that these newcomers brought with them, I still iced panfish though.
After a couple of years I became quite proficient at
the harvest of this type of put and take fishing with the 5 species in
the Great Lakes and it
didn't take me long to get my Guide license and a Charter Captains license. I operated a 27 ft ChrisCraft to start and upgraded to a 30 ft. Sea Ray
after 1 yr. until I quit the chartering business. To do a little bragging about this I still have the log from my last year in which we caught a whopping
1315 fish in 105 trips for and average of 12.5 fish per trips of which we had 2 skunks. That year we boated 756 King Salmon (Chinooks).
The Chartering lasted about 4 year's and the reason
I quit was it was begining to not be fun anymore and the ego part of it
was wearing out. I had a
bad knee to boot and being a baby-sitter, recreational director, life guard and an entertainer was not my cup of tea anymore. We had mostly
corporate customers whom clients really didn't care if they were there or not. I was just beginning to start of a new company manufacturing
Salmon tackle which was based around a line of Salmon flies that I had developed and were very much in demand.
I am getting ahead of myself here with some of my history
of lure making. As a kid I made my own poppers and small streamers along
small home made spoons for catching Bluegills and what ever else would hit them. I always was fascinated by and loved catching fish on artificials.
I graduated to small panfish jigs and larger streamers plus expanding to larger jigs for walleye and such. I made the small spoons out of
copper by hammering them into shape with a small ballpeen hammer, in hindsite I should have expanded this. I had a little business going which gave me
spending money and allowed me some better equipment for the pursuit of fishing. I had one of the first Lowrance green boxes which put me ahead
in the catching category and I have been high tech ever since. When the Salmon came along it didn't take me long to start tying up a full color line
of streamer fly's ("Bead Fly") that would all work for Salmon and the colors patterns were worked out for the different water conditions and
sky conditions, cloudy, foggy, sunny etc. Then I designed a successful salmon plug ("The HERMAN") that competed with the major brands plus a
Salmon flasher (design stolen and still being marketed). I was pretty busy doing lots of seminars and sports shows on pattern fishing using down
riggers and my flasher/fly combinations.
The short of is that I was too naive and not a good
enough business person to go head to head with the big boys. I am a designer
and not a
business person so I eventually sold out while I could still get a dollar for it. I don't recommend anyone going into the tackle business
unless they have experiance with some solid connections.
In the late 80's I started to get back into the panfishing
and primarily for Bluegills which pushed me into getting a 16 ft. tiller
boat for drift fishing.
I was fishing Lake Geneva in S.E. Wisconsin and alternating fishing Perch on Lake Michigan until commercial fishing wiped it out and has it
never come back. Lake Geneva in the early 90's was probably the best fishing lake in the State of Wisconsin and we never had a bad day back then.
Every trip then we would accidentally catch (4-5) 4#
plus Smallmouth while drifting for Bluegills, when I quit fishing it in
2000 it would take 4-5 trips
for just one Smallmouth. Ever since the internet came into being and everybody was bragging online about Lake Geneva the great bluegill fishing has gone south
as has the size of the bluegills. I was approached numerous times to guide on Geneva and I refused because I could see the direction it was going (downhill)
and continues to do so. Bass tournaments, fishing contests, modern electronics etc. have all taken their toll, not only in Lake Geneva but most lakes in most
Southern WI. (It is too close to large major population centers).
I use to be a guide and so I have very mixed emotions
on the subject, a guide loves what he doing for a living knows that
being too proficient
can only harm the resource he makes a living off of. I myself if I were still in the guide business I would probably be guiding for quality and limiting customer
quantities according to the bodys of waters that I was fishing and if they could handle harvesting day in and day out. That's me and others might of a differant opinion.
Personally I think that the daily limits should be reduced in the northern climate states and the DNR's should quit patronizing the lake tourist areas.
I started www.2lbgil.com in 1994 with just one
page Bluegill Fishing
which quickly grew into about 8-10 pages the first year. in total there
35 pages on the site but I have limited access to a lot of them as they became outdated. The reason I used 2lbgil with one "L" in stead of 2 was that WI
wouldn't give me 7 letters for my license plate so I shortened it to one "L"