February 19, 2009
Cermele: Fish Eat Weird Stuff
By Joe Cermele
Pop quiz. Guide Lonnie Osterholm has during his career caught a lake trout on which of the following: a socket wrench, Batman action figure, or Kit-Kat bar? Give up? The answer is a Batman action figure. As the story goes, Osterholm told a client he could catch a laker on anything, so he was handed the Batman and asked to produce. They even put some cash on it. "I rigged it on a hook, dropped it to the bottom and a fish slammed it," said Osterholm. "I got it to the boat and won $1,000. Then I dropped Batman down again and the second strike was so hard it broke the line."
I know all this because Osterholm is one of a ton of guides I interviewed for story on lures in the March issue of F&S. I asked most of these guys what the most bizarre thing they ever caught their target species on happened to be. The answers were great. Jeff Sundin once used a strip of black garbage bag to imitate a leech. A walleye nailed it. Striper guide Gene Quigley hooked into a bass on a cigarette filter, which won him a $20 bet. During a cold New Year's Day trout outing, Ernie Calandrelli tossed out a leftover cocktail shrimp from the prior night's party and bagged a fat steelhead. Though it wasn't his personal catch, guide Bobby Liedberg told me about seeing muskies caught on certain, well, uhh, "adult" toys.
While my old G.I. Joe collection will not soon become part of my tackle collection, I have successfully used orange Play-Doh to catch some big flounder. I've also tied scud flies with pink heating insulation and shag carpet fibers. The trout gulped them up with delight. So what's the weirdest, wildest, or wackiest bait or lure you've ever hooked up on?