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Bites Back Fishing

Hello, my name is Jim Finley. I retired in 2007 after a very satisfying career in the home furnishings industry where I have many friends. That is when I created my “Bucket List”. It was not an original idea because I knew about the movie, but my personal list was original for me. When I was a young man and my children were young, I had a dream I often shared with my family. My dream was to come up with a fishing lure that was so unique that I could get a patent for it. I wanted to make a lure that actually helped fisherman catch more fish and have more fun fishing. I spent hours working on the idea, but the family budget left no extra money to spend on fishing lure research. I finally was forced to abandon my dream. When I retired I realized the opportunity was before me to chase my dream once again, and making the lure went to the top of my “Bucket List”.

The knowledge, skill, and techniques that make me a good hunter, trapper, and fisherman were mostly taught to me by two mountain men. I grew up and still live in the mountains of North Carolina. My grandfather, Bill McCoy better known as Pap, and my uncle Grady McCoy, better known as Pete, spent many patient hours teaching me the ways of the woods and the rivers. (My dad loved me and taught me many things, but he was not a woodsman.) My mother’s dad knew every tree and bush and on every walk through the woods he shared with me how to use them to my advantage or to avoid them because of the harm they might do. Pap showed me how to find ginseng, ramps, dig sassafras roots and clip the branches for tea, avoid poison oak, and how to cut a maple fork and bake it to make my slingshot. He helped me select the saplings and shape my first long bow and feather the arrows. He helped me hang weights to straighten the cane we cut to become next season’s fishing pole. He showed me the nourishing nuts and fruits of the forest and he pointed out the poisonous ones.

Writing these words for you takes me back to the woods and the smell of a smoked up wild beehive, the taste of the honey we borrowed, and the portion we left behind for the colony to use during the cold winter that was approaching. I was taught to honor and respect my quarry, both game and fish. In return, now I know that Pap was allowing the game and fish to help teach me to be a better woodsman, hunter, trapper, and fisherman. I learned to build and set snares and steel traps as well as to make foolproof rabbit boxes with sensitive yet secure triggers. The best bait for rabbit boxes is an apple from a Limber Twig apple tree because they are tart, crisp, and they last a long time in the rabbit box. On the porch of a well kept old house in Wilkes County located far off any paved road hangs a shingle proudly identifying the old home place as “The Limber Twig” and in the yard is the old apple tree. I always think of “Pap” when I see that old place and imagine it is just like the house he grew up in.

I was taught how to scout for game, how to read the tracks of many creatures, and how to select the best place to ambush the game I was pursuing. I was taught how to call game and to use decoys and visuals to bring game close enough to be taken. I learned how to set bank hooks and trot lines. I was taught where to find and how to net or capture natural baits for fishing and how to best present them when trying to tempt a fish to bite. I was taught how to work an artificial lure to trick a fish into striking. Through the years the lessons I learned brought me much pleasure, many successes in the woods, and on the river as well as many fine meals prepared from the game, fish, and the bountiful harvest of the fields and the forest.

It was from these distant teachings that I began to wonder why I could not incorporate the principle of a spring-loaded steel trap, rabbit box, or snare to create a fishing lure that would stay disguised and hidden until the perfect moment to be triggered to catch the fish. Like every fisherman I have experienced the frustrations of my fishing hook getting hung up in the brush my quarry chose to hide in. Making a lure that would not get hung up in the brush and weeds yet would hook the fish when he struck became an obsession for me. My success did not come as a bolt of lightening out of the sky. Hundreds of hours were spent in the conception, design, engineering, development, and naming of each lure.

I want to wish you good luck with your hunting and fishing. Be safe. My hope is that the lures I have developed help you enjoy every fishing experience and my wish is that you share and pass along your love of the outdoors at every opportunity, just as Pap and Pete did for me. Pass it on.

” One Cast And You’ll Be Hooked “



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