600, let that number sit in your head while you take in what is below.
There’s a Yozuri Minnow on a branch about 20’ in the air tucked back in creek located in Melbourne, Fl. There is no way you would know it’s there unless you put it up there yourself. That’s exactly what I did. As an angler for conservation, I do my very best to retrieve all of my lures from trees or obstacles when I get one stuck. In this case, there was no way possible to get this lure back unless I cut the tree down. Instead of making firewood from this tree, I put a glove on, wrapped the line around my hand as high as I could reach and broke the line off at the leader. It irks me to know that because of one bad cast I have left a lure in our environment that will stay there for years.
When I was a child I would go golfing with my parents and usually by the 2nd nine I was bored and would start looking for golf balls. I highly enjoyed this part of “golfing”. It was like a game to me. I would find different colors, different brands and some would have personal markings on them. Most golf balls would be found in the bushes closer to the tee box because of shanks and slices that would cause the ball to derail the fairway and enter the hazards close by. Now that I’m a grown child, this game of finding golf balls still applies but the balls are replaced by lures.
Prior to 2013, any fishing line, lures or trash I would find would be discarded in the proper receptacle. My personal rule every time I go fishing is to collect at least one piece of litter and always leave the water with more than I came with. On February 10th, 2013 while fishing in the Sebastian Inlet, one piece of litter was a heavy green nautical net. This was pretty cool looking and I decided to keep it. Little did I know it was going to become the backdrop of my crazy collections.
I'm always intrigued at the different ways people rig their tackle.
It started with one lure. I figured if I kept that lure it would make up for the one that hangs high in a tree back in the creek. I wasn’t about to reuse this lure as I believe these discarded treasures are jinxed. I decided to hang this jinxed lure on my nice pre-owned green net but there was only one thing wrong with this, the lure looked funny by itself. I knew this wouldn’t last long because I’d be out fishing again soon and I would find more to accompany this lone soldier. Like a kid with pockets of found golf balls, I wanted more lures.
Every now and then I'll find a rare one
and some are brand new.
The game of finding lures has become just as fun as fishing. Most people say that I’ve got a great eye for spotting lures in the bush and while I do have excellent vision, it’s the fishing line I usually see first. I would say about 40% of the time you see fishing line you will find a hook or lure at the end. As with golf balls, these lures come in different colors, different brands and some are personalized. Most are found close to docks or bridges due to bad casts and not having proper access to get them back and my kayak provides me with the unfair advantage.
This lure has grown shells and barnacles and the hooks were rusted out.
Lures, hooks and line don’t only cause a threat to our environment; they cause a threat to the reputation of anglers. When one sees a lure hanging from a bird their inner rage builds and automatically blames the angler. In most cases it is the anglers fault but the bird might not have even been there to begin with if he hadn’t been fed by the general public. Wildlife will typically fear humans but when we introduce these other elements, an entire chain reaction happens. There is nobody to blame but ourselves when we see wildlife in danger because of fishing line or the many other hazards we continue to introduce to them.
An Ibis hangs from fishing line.
It’s with pride that I collect these lures because I know that I’m leaving an impact in many ways. The only thing that concerns me is how many more people like me are out there? For every lure I find how many are lost? These questions will remain unknown but I will continue to do my part and build my collection.
These were found within 10' of each other and tied with the same knots.
This rusted spoon is one of my favorites.
The Yozuri Minnow in the creek was lost in mid 2012 and still hangs there today. It will always haunt me.
600 is the amount of years it takes for monofilament fishing line to decompose. Preserve what we have today so future generations can enjoy it as much as we do.
Check out http://www.anglersforconservation.org/ to get more involved and "Like" us on FB .