Fishermen who use commercial fish bait of the type made from cheese often find that it dissolves quickly in the water or becomes dislodged from the hooks because of its crumbly nature. To prevent this, one fisherman says that it is necessary only to mold the bait on the gang hook in the usual manner, then hold it in the flame of a lighted match to sear the cheese around the outside.
This cooking, he claims, gives the bait a rubbery consistency so it stays firmly on the hook, and also seems to make it more attractive to the fish.
Fishing floats with painted faces form amusing novelties for any angler's tackle box. The cork balls used by the writer are 1*4* in diameter. All holes and depressions are filled with composition wood or other filler. Apply a coat of shellac over the entire float, then finish with quick-drying enamels. It is almost as easy to make half a dozen floats as one. The floats you can't use yourself may be given to friends or placed on sale in your neighborhood sporting-goods store.
The caps of aluminum fishing-rod cases are all too easily lost or dropped overboard. This can be prevented by the simple expedient of fastening the cap to the case by one of the three methods illustrated below. Note the swivel arrangement required for rawhide or link chain; ball chain does not require this. Use soft rubber washers, as shown, to insure water-tightness at the connections.
LURES that will attract a fisherman as well as a large-mouth bass or a North-ern pike can be made-if you know how to wield a pocketknife-in hardly more time than it takes to buy a new assortment for your kit. And even if you aren't a fishing enthusiast, making plugs can become an interesting and profitable hobby, for commercial lures command a good price.
While some of the newer ones in the sporting-goods shops are of plastic, most are of cedar-a lightweight, buoyant material when properly finished. A common white-cedar post-picked with an eye to as few cracks as possible-will furnish you with material for many lures. Cut 6" lengths and split them into pieces about 11/2" thick. Whittle the body-or turn it if you prefer to use a lathe-to the size of the plug you plan to make. In whittling, keep the body as symmetrical as possible by turning the stock often as you work. But don't throw away your first crude efforts. They may prove to be the very plugs to arouse the fighting blood of the big ones when they land with an inviting "plop" beside the lily pads.
Double or triple hooks are the only parts you need to buy, and even these may be salvaged from old plugs. Hook loops and line loops are fashioned from nails. The nickel housing of an old alarm clock, or even a tin can, will furnish metal plates.
Finishing is important, but it need not be artistic. Give the plugs two coats of paint followed by two coats of spar varnish, sanding carefully after each coat has dried. If you wish to try your hand at a scale finish, dip a piece of veiling in dark paint and allow the surplus to drip off. Then, holding the veiling taut, lay it on the plug and immediately lift it off.
Perhaps the easiest plug to make is "Pete Popper," shown in an accompanying drawing. He floats on the surface when at rest, but "pops" and dives obligingly when retrieved with short, quick jerks. The hook and line loops on "Pete" are used on most of the plugs. Bore a hole of nail diameter on a slant from the top of the body to the tail and counterbore the upper part to take the nail head. Push the nail through as far as it will go, slip a hook over the point, bend the point upward with a pair of pliers until it touches the body, and then drive the nail into the wood. If the counterbore has been deep enough, the head will be per-fectly countersunk and can be filled over with plastic composition wood.
The line and the hook on the bottom of the lure are held by loops made with the same nail. Select a longer nail than the one used in the the and push it through a hole boared from then mouth. This hole need not be counterbored, and the nail head should project for about Slip the hook over the point, bend the nail over, and drive the point deep into the wood; then cut the head off the nail, bend that end over, and drive it a short distance into the wood to form the line loop. Rustproof both nails with a coat of spar varnish.
The V-mouth plug is a versatile fellow. He works equally well for trolling or casting. Two finishes are shown. It is hard to say which the fish prefer.
"Open-Mouth Wiggle Minnow" matches his name. He is streamlined and has a metal plate fastened to his head with four small nails. The two that pass through the top of the head are clinched for safety. A small hole in the horizontal projection of the plate is for fastening the leader; snap.
"Willie Wobble-Tall" "is perhaps"the most complicated of the group. His hook fasten" ers were bent from heavy wire and fastened with small screws. However, the other type of hook fastener would be equally satisfactory. The line loop is bent from heavy leader wire. It passeslunder the metal plate and is fastened with the same screw that holds the forward hook loop.
A discarded storm rubber, being noiseless and free from sharp edges, serves much better than a tin can to carry angleworm bait in a boat. It is placed flat upon the boat seat for selecting the worms, but at other times it hangs from a nail or hook where it is out of the way.