I was guiding some anglers recently when one picked up one of my many plastic trays stuffed with plugs. “How much do you think it cost for all these lures,” he asked? Wincing, I had to confess that it must have been $600 to $800! And it was the cheapest tray, too. Wow! Now that he mentioned it, where had they all come from?
The real trigger that set off my thoughts about this was recalling my last trip to the store to get some “special” lures a buddy had excitedly told me about. It had been an illuminating, almost out of body experience as I dispassionately observed myself reacting while I shopped. Finding the special lures, my first response was to look over all the color choices, then I started culling the best ones.
A few minutes later, I had about six or seven. They are actually kind of small, so I had assumed they were in the $7 to $9 dollar range. I turned one over … $14.95! And the others went up to 18.95. Sticker shock! The little suckers were going to cost me a cool $100 plus with tax.
Painfully, I put three of the lures back on the pegs. I once again had fallen into the temptation to have it all. The worst thought you can have when lure shopping is that you might really need that one extra color or model someday. Is that an addictive behavior? Keep them, or not, is a slippery slope! “Yes, but honey, I’m resupplying some critical equipment!” is a great reply to the inquisition after she sees the online charges!
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The other trap I fall into is when I have a brainstorm and come up with some outrageously good ideas; ones I’m sure no one else has ever thought of before. These ideas tend to hit me in the middle of the night, when most of my irrational thoughts happen, too! Excited and feeling like a mad scientist, I go crazy getting all the pieces of my Rube Goldberg creation together, something that I’m sure record fish will love. The dusty remains of these many failed projects are strewn around my shop. Adrenaline and big fish do crazy things to your normally sane mind and pocketbook.
Am I a compulsive lure buyer? In my defense, I think it depends. I tend to melt down when one, I see too many online tackle choices. “I don’t have that yet!” rings in my ears. Second, when I hear they are having a special “buy eight lures but get two more free” sale of some of my favorites. You “know” you’re going to need more of these babies, plus they might stop making them! More is always better. And third, when I just read an article about some incredible new bait that’s killing ’em and they’ve just got a few left! Whoa! Count me in for at least 2 … errr make it four!
I admit it, visions of fishing grandeur, fueled by an overactive imagination and compounded by competitive zeal, are all responsible for the transfer of a lot of my personal funds into the accounts of weird marketing companies like “Fishing Idiots Inc.” Yes, I’ve met other infected anglers who quietly confess to me that they also worry about getting out of the store without maxing out their Visa.
In fact the guy who asked me about the cost of the lures picked up another tray, inquiring about it’s value, too! I knew it had to be well over $1,000 of special lures! Paranoid, I suspected it was a subtle test to see if I was really crazy enough to spend that much money just to catch, and then release, a stupid fish! Wisely, I figured that if my sanity was being questioned, I would keep my mouth shut – rather than opening it and removing all doubt. Never give up!
Passing – Marge Alcorn, 76, wife of the legendary Gary Alcorn, died last week. A great friend – and a fixture in Alcorn’s Sporting Goods for many years – Marge was a special lady who lifted the spirits of all the sportsmen who came into their shop. Our condolences to the family.
Roger George is The Bee’s fishing expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org,