The Million Dollar Lure
By: Jim Mckeral, Jr
Hi, My name is Jim Mckeral, Jr. and this is the story of my "Million Dollar Lure."
I have always been fascinated by fishing. My earliest memories involve fish and fishing with my parents. As I grew up so did my interest in fishing. Soon, it wasn't enough to just catch the fish, I was captivated by making my own lures. I tried many different materials and designs but one day, when I was 11 years old, I hit the jackpot.
I had been carving wood into various shapes when I suddenly had the inspiration to create a top water popper, but for some reason it didn't seem to be turning out exactly as I had hoped. Still, I pressed on until I had one that sort of looked ok in my childish eyes. I hunted around and found a set of hooks, an eyelet and a spinner from an old commercial plug and fastened them to the body I had carved. I really wanted to paint it up like those on the store shelves that I stared at for hours just wishing and imagining all the fish I could catch on them. But, I didn't have any suitable paint.
I eventually ended up fishing with my father one day in a family farm pond. I tied on the home made lure and asked my dad if he thought this lure would catch a fish. He responded that, it was a sound design and if I would fish that lure with confidence, he guaranteed it would catch a fish. I was a questioning child so I began to argue about it, I said, "Yeah, but Dad, it doesn't have any of the fancy paint jobs and it has no eyes etc.." He just smiled and said, "That's right, but all that stuff is mostly to catch fishermen, the fish could care less. Go fish with confidence."
My father was a terrific fishermen and fortified by his words, I set off around that pond using my homemade lure. I made it about half way around the pond and began working it vigorously over a submerged brush pile. I will never forget my excitement when "she" showed up. "She" was the biggest bass I had ever seen. Suddenly she rushed up and inhaled the plug as I was about to lift it from the water near the waters edge. I can still see her in my mind to this day what a monster of a bass. She took my lure and put on a huge show, jumping splashing and tearing up the surface. I soon had her at the waters edge grabbed her lip and ran screaming towards our old farm house.
Naturally, the whole family ran outside to meet me with this huge bass and that home-made plug in her mouth. I was so excited, my father was beaming with pride. He said, "Well now, what are you going to do with her?" I said, "I am letting her go." Then we both ran back to the pond, placed her back in the water and off she swam."
If you think it is fun to catch fish, I have to tell you that it is even more fun to catch them on your own lures. That day I caught a bug, the lure-making bug. From then on I would fish with all kinds of home-made lures. I made them from pop-tops, cigarette butts, etc. You name it and I have caught fish on it. I also learned something from my father that day. If you fish with a lure with confidence, it will work. I didn't know on that magical day long ago that it would launch a successful commercial venture. But, it did. That is why I call it my million dollar lure.
Many years and millions of lures sold later, I can look back and say in all honesty it all started with that homemade lure, my million dollar lure. The world would not have given me a penny for it, but to me it is priceless. Oh and Thanks Dad. Thanks for teaching me what really mattered in life and for teaching me that day everything I would ever need to know to sell over a million dollars worth of lures.
So, that is my story. It is why I started a lure company. It seems I have a God given gift for designing great fishing lures. I am still hooked on fooling fish with new products. That is why there is always a myriad of new products in the works around here. I hope this story blessed you. It is entirely true. May you always fish our lures with confidence.