Now's time to fine-tune your lures

OUTDOORS

January 03, 1993|By LONNY WEAVER

It's cold, wet, muddy, windy and just plain nasty. Yep, we are entering the dreaded cabin fever season.

Maybe a project or two will help combat the blues, so how about fine-tuning your fishing lures?

Let's start by filling the bathtub and then pulling the plugs through the water to see if any tilt when retrieved.

This can ruin the action of the lure and cost you a bragging bluefish or record bass. A slight bend of the line-tie eye in the direction you want the lure to go will cure the problem.

To tune a plug with the line-tie on the bill of a diving lure, bend the tail hook eye toward the left side of the lure if you want the plug to go right, and toward the right if you want it to run to the left.

Go over each of your lures and make sure all of your hook hangers are straight and tight. You can straighten metal lips with pliers.

If the treble hooks on your lures can reach each other, they will tangle. Try placing a small ball of solder on the front section of the rear hook hanger or screw-eye.

This will prevent the rear hook from moving forward far enough to tangle with the front hook. The same operation can be performed on the rear hanger section of the front hook if you want the extra weight slightly forward. Experiment to see what you like best.

Propellers on topwater plugs sometimes hang up because the screw eyes holding them are too tight. Loosening them usually corrects the problem. Clean any beads or swivels on both sides of the propeller with metal polish.

Sometimes vegetation is so thick that you cannot get a weedless lure to sink through it.

Take a spoon such as the popular Johnson Silver Minnow and clamp on a quarter-ounce ear-type lead sinker where the weedguard joins the spoon body. You also can add solder or melted lead where the hooks join the spoon.

This will slow down the spoon's famous side-to-side wobble, but it also will help crash the spoon through the vegetation to where the fish are laying. Add a pork rind or plastic grub to counteract the lost lure action.

Events at wildlife sanctuary

Lots of activities are scheduled this month for the Department of Natural Resources' Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary in Upper Marlboro.

Beginning Jan. 8 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. is the Junior Rangers Program. Youngsters 7 to 10 learn about the environment and Maryland's natural resources. The program runs for five Wednesdays, and the fee is $5 per child.

A second Junior Rangers program will begin Saturday and continue for five Saturdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Call (301) 888-1410 for details.

On Sunday, the sanctuary will present a slide show, accompanied by music and poetry beginning at 1 p.m. This unique show, featuring soprano Julie Smith, will present an overview of the sanctuary, featuring wildlife and flowers.

From 8 to 9 a.m. Jan. 12, the sanctuary will conduct a bird count. Teens and adults will tour the grounds and look for birds of the season. Reservations are required not later than next Sunday, and you are encouraged to bring binoculars and field guides.

Other events scheduled include a Naturalist's Van Tour on Jan. 17, and a Nature Video is set for Jan. 24. On Jan. 30, the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary will play host to a photography workshop.

Reservations are required for some events. Call (301) 888-1410 for information.

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