- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 5, 2009

Do you own a tackle box, or the recently more popular soft tackle bags that so many of us prefer? Each of my four Cordura fabric bags contains a half dozen or more slender, see-through, plastic containers that keep the contents in good order.

One of the bags is filled with every type of bass fishing lure imaginable; another bag is filled with crappie and perch jigs, spinners and minitubes; a third and really large tackle container is brimful with saltwater lures, particularly striper attractors; and one big bag holds a dozen or more snap-lid boxes that are full of fresh- and saltwater flies and streamers, plus there’s an assortment of thick, knitted socks into which I stuff my fly-fishing reels.

With that out of the way, let me say that few new artificial lures increase my pulse rate. However, that changed somewhat when, weeks ago, a friend showed me several truly innovative salt- and freshwater hard baits produced by the Sebile Company of Monument, Colo.

The brand name was vaguely familiar, having been on the market only since 2006, but some of my fishing acquaintances knew about the man behind the new lures through ESPN cable fishing shows or the Internet. He is Frenchman Patrick Sebile, founder of Sebile USA Ltd.

Sebile, it turns out, has fished all over the world, casting and retrieving his lures in the waters of 61 countries. It is said that he has caught 564 species of fish, along the way establishing more than 50 International Game Fish Association records, not to mention 100 European fishing records and 150 French national fishing records. And his see-through creations received kudos at the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show in Las Vegas.

Sebile lures are filled with a glittery fluid that moves and flows, creating low-frequency waves and, as Ed Zieralski of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote not long ago: “[They give] the illusion of muscular contractions of bait fish, along with the effect of loss of scales. The lures are clear so fish see the swishing liquid even when the lures are at rest in the water, producing a lifelike effect.”

These pulsating Sebile artificials come with or without shallow or deep-running lips, some are jointed jerk baits, others topwater-action walking and splasher models, or giant saltwater trolling lures, all of them outfitted with strong, sharp Owner hooks. A borrowed, lipless Sebile rattle bait produced a bass for me on my second cast in the Chicamuxen Creek last week.

Some American tournament anglers of the Bassmaster Elite series, the FLW Tour, and the saltwater Redfish Cup, along with certain European and Asian fishermen, won’t be seen on the water without an assortment of Sebile lures that don’t come cheap. Typical prices run from $15 to $25 a lure, some even more depending on size.

If you want to see the complete rundown, go to www.sebile.com or check out Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops and Dick’s Sporting Goods outlets.

Elsewhere in the fishing world, we’ve used various “swimbaits” for decades, but no one ever thought to call them that until smart tackle marketing expert thought to call anything that appears to be swimming along when the angler reels in the fishing line a swim bait. A new name was born, and it stuck.

The Strike King Lure Company, of Collierville, Tenn., (www.strikeking.com) will set the bass and rockfish fanatics afire with its soft-plastic Shadalicious swimbaits that are sold in lifelike colors to simulate gizzard shad, herring and other baitfish that come with vertically designed flap tails to give the soft plastic lure incredible lifelike action.

These swimmers can be rigged with weighted hooks that contain a molded piece of lead ahead of the hook belly or with exposed, roundheaded jig hooks for unobstructed waters. However, in the sometimes weed-infested tidal bass and striper waters of the Potomac, Patuxent, Rappahannock and James rivers or the dense grass mats of the Susquehanna Flats, I’ll be using a weedless keel-weighted hook.

• Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected] Mueller’s Inside Outside blog can be found at www.washingtontimes.com/ sports.

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