catatonic

LI.fish.in.Vt (Vermont John)

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57 mins ago, ANGCorsair said:

I couldn’t agree more. His plugs were simple and effective. 

 

Later, on the way back to the canal where we were staying, my buddy commented on the plain paint job on the darters and how he didn’t like them. 
 

That night I started catching on the CCC and my bud wanted to know what I was using. I told him the crappy darters I had just bought and that he couldn’t use one. He was pissed all night. 
 

We then had a discussion about his collection of GRS and Mike’s he wouldn’t fish and the enjoyment I had using John’s crappy 2 oz darters, trollers and needles. 

Pretty much says it all. 

 

I'm of the opinion that the mojo of a plug comes from how well it was crafted-- not how well it was painted. 

 

I don't know s*** about the finer mechanics of turning or any of that, but in my experience it's how the plug rides through the water, its balance, its profile, and the underwater -signal- it gives off to a bass's lateral line at night that matters.

 

Fine paint jobs matter little to a nearsighted fish with no nighttime color vision, charging through tubulent greenwater filled with suspended silt and bubbles and weed.. at 2am.. on a new moon. Other than perhaps recognizing a few different shades or silhouettes or patterns a second before impact--much of the time they can't see crap. And they certainly can't see detailed airbrushing at 2am.

That stuff's for catching fishermen. 

Not fish

 

Hell, try it out for yourself. Next time out in pitch black.. click off your nightsun headlamp and look at the plug. How much detail do you see? And your eyes are far, far better than a bass's... while looking through clear air not turbid water, with the added benefit of scattered secondary light reflecting from nearby cities or dwellings. 

Edited by rst3

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John was good friends with Bassmaster and they often fished together. Both known to be a bit crusty, salty and just plain old never quit kind of dudes the both of them would have discussions on plug building and what makes a fish catcher.  I was lucky to have been able to share a beach with them while John was still around and they shared some pretty incredible knowledge those nights   The banter and ball busting was priceless. John was a good man for sure. Still missed by many. 

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On 2/26/2022 at 7:36 AM, Kones1 said:

John was good friends with Bassmaster and they often fished together. Both known to be a bit crusty, salty and just plain old never quit kind of dudes the both of them would have discussions on plug building and what makes a fish catcher.  I was lucky to have been able to share a beach with them while John was still around and they shared some pretty incredible knowledge those nights   The banter and ball busting was priceless. John was a good man for sure. Still missed by many. 

20 years of pounding sand with that guy. It was so much different this year without him. Dude was an outer Cape sharpie for sure. Bassmaster is no slouch either. I guess I'm stuck fishing with him now!

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On 10/6/2021 at 10:57 AM, AKotoun said:

Got a chance to go fishing a few nights ago, as I’m packing the plug bag I reached up and grabbed the LI.Fish.VT darter as a bit of a tribute to the great man that had passed. The darter had always done very well for me so I knew it was a good choice. 
As I arrive to the spot, it looks really good and I clip on the darter. Not my usual starting plug but a case of WTF, might as well try it. First cast was a high 30-low 40” fish. For my standards a dam nice fish and slightly above what had been the norm the previous few trips. Next cast a much smaller fish so I switch to a big GRS wood to see if I can get another big before the school moves on. The plan quasi worked as it landed a nice fish but no where near that first solid fish. 
So from there over the next hour I switch bw the GRS, big Dee Darter and a rigged eel trying to find the big girls in the group. It’s going well and getting a high/just above slot fish every 5-6th cast. But still nothing as large as the first fish on the LI.FISH.VT little 2.5oz darter. Just awesome fishing by my standards. 
It’s getting late so I feel the last few casts will be the last ones. I start to think though that I owe John and the darter a last chance to double down on its success and prove its MVP status. So I grab it and hook it on. However I notice the aft hook is quite bent. Guess the early fish had done a number to it. But I say whatever and cast away.  There was a slight cross wind and the fish had only been hitting in the first 10-15 cranks. The plug went really far for being so light which really added to the anticipation as to what might happen. Where the bigger fish slightly further out? Get the line on the roller and a few quick cranks to get tight and I can feel the darter start digging. Instantly it gets totally crushed, a far cry from the short, half hearted hits that plagued most of the hits that night. Rod dubbles over and the VS150 starts singing. The drag was as tight as I could get it. Finally land the fish and it’s a nice one, 45.5” which ties for the PB of the season. 
So…was it just first and last cast luck? Or is it the magic of John’s Darters? All I know is that plug catches, and it will have a permanent spot in the bag from now on. 
 

I never met him but we did converse over PM. He had a great no BS attitude and his plugs were pretty cheap too! I also made sure to read his posts if he posted something. I enjoyed his grumpy, Alpha Male persona. 
Anyway, this is probably one of thousands of fish stories that involve his plugs but I enjoyed this thread and hope to keep it going. 
If anyone is in contact with his family tell them I say thanks for helping me catch an awesome fish.   
 

 

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Great story!  That’s what it’s all about.  I’ve got my John stories.  I think most of us here do.  Time to go through my gear, find his plugs, another season will be here before you know it.

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After almost 2 years of closed borders I’m finally back in the surf. Crossing paths with John on a windswept beach or sharing a tide was something I looked forward to every trip, and knowing that won’t happen this time sure stings. It was around this time last year we lost him so tossing one of his needles bag just felt right, and somehow I wasn’t surprised by the result. I clipped it on, made one cast, let John’s plug do what he built it to do, then put it back in the bag. I wanted to  find a way to remember him and pay my respects and this is what felt right. 46B73F57-EC93-4397-AEC9-9A17C47074FC.jpeg.321b209a4bfd3604bd32f87b5dea78cc.jpegB5AC73F8-BBC2-4D8C-8773-DF3FB08B11F7.jpeg.0ebc37bac01062b852332f69d89b2b40.jpeg

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2 hours ago, strats'n'stripers said:

After almost 2 years of closed borders I’m finally back in the surf. Crossing paths with John on a windswept beach or sharing a tide was something I looked forward to every trip, and knowing that won’t happen this time sure stings. It was around this time last year we lost him so tossing one of his needles bag just felt right, and somehow I wasn’t surprised by the result. I clipped it on, made one cast, let John’s plug do what he built it to do, then put it back in the bag. I wanted to  find a way to remember him and pay my respects and this is what felt right. 46B73F57-EC93-4397-AEC9-9A17C47074FC.jpeg.321b209a4bfd3604bd32f87b5dea78cc.jpegB5AC73F8-BBC2-4D8C-8773-DF3FB08B11F7.jpeg.0ebc37bac01062b852332f69d89b2b40.jpeg

Exactly one year  today since he’s been gone.

 

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3 hours ago, strats'n'stripers said:

After almost 2 years of closed borders I’m finally back in the surf. Crossing paths with John on a windswept beach or sharing a tide was something I looked forward to every trip, and knowing that won’t happen this time sure stings. It was around this time last year we lost him so tossing one of his needles bag just felt right, and somehow I wasn’t surprised by the result. I clipped it on, made one cast, let John’s plug do what he built it to do, then put it back in the bag. I wanted to  find a way to remember him and pay my respects and this is what felt right. 46B73F57-EC93-4397-AEC9-9A17C47074FC.jpeg.321b209a4bfd3604bd32f87b5dea78cc.jpegB5AC73F8-BBC2-4D8C-8773-DF3FB08B11F7.jpeg.0ebc37bac01062b852332f69d89b2b40.jpeg

Nice tribute 

Thank you 

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1 hour ago, catatonic said:

Exactly one year  today since he’s been gone.

 

I knew the anniversary of his passing was either today or tomorrow. I think I’ll carry that needle tonight as well. 

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