NEBRASKAland

Nebraskaland May 2019

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

Issue link: http://mag.outdoornebraska.gov/i/1107649

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38 Nebraskaland • May 2019 on that net because a gust of wind caught a cast and they crashed on the rocks. However, there is one – actually all that is left is just the front end of it – that has a good story behind it. That old silver Red Fin found its way to retirement one evening on the wind- swept point of a Nebraska reservoir. The wiper bite had been very good that evening. As darkness approached, I had a hunch that a big walleye or three would show up. I switched to a minnow-imitating crankbait with good action. The old Red Fins have been a favorite of mine in shallow-water situations. It was not more than a cast or two, and I got a good "thunk" as something ate the bait. Instinctively, I set the hook and felt the weight of a good fi sh; big head shakes were indicative of a nice walleye. And then, there she was, gone. Retrieving line, it felt like there was nothing left on the end, and I suspected the bait had broken off . Then, skipping across the waves in front of me came the remains of my Red Fin – just the front few inches and the front treble hook. The rest of the bait was completely gone, cleanly chomped off . Must have been a really big walleye. Oh sure, there must have been an unseen crack in the bait, something that failed at just the wrong time. But, that lure will forever be the crankbait that was chomped in half by a walleye. That is a much better story. My Kmart Collection Jeff Kurrus There is a collection of retired fi shing lures on a piece of driftwood in my offi ce. Whether broken-lipped, failure to fl oat, or some other angling ailment, they have all been designated to memory. But there is a set of them that are a little diff erent from the rest. They are the Kmart lures. When I was a kid, Dad came home with a 3-pack of shallow- running, bass-fi shing crankbaits. They were crawfi sh, frog and bass-colored imitations, and soon after debuted on a set of farm ponds outside of Senatobia, Mississippi. After their initial trip, where their square bills ran true, bounced off underwater timber with rarely a tangle and caught bass at a rapid pace, Dad went back to Kmart and bought more than $200 worth. For the last 30 years, we have continued to search for these lures as our current supply dwindles. While Kmart only sold them for a brief time, we have tracked down others at antique shops, consignment stores and yard sales – sometimes off ering as little as 25 cents for a lure we deem priceless. And their value is not just because of the fi sh we know they'll catch, or how we've never found crankbaits that run better, but that they take us back to a time when dad and son wanted to be better fi shermen, and we had amazingly found a set of lures that convinced us that would be could be just that.

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