The Clearance Lure

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Article contributed by Field Staff Writer H. Dulaney.

Deer season has come to end, and lately all I can think about is fishing. Now don’t get me wrong, I am beyond ready for spring turkey season. I can’t shake the feeling of a blanket of sunshine warming my back and my dog by my side, spending an afternoon ripping lips! With that being said, I guess I have to tell you one of my favorite fishing stories.

Meet Cummins! He loves to fish
Meet Cummins! He loves to fish

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It was April 27th 2014, the weather here in Kentucky was still pretty chilly, but this day had been the warmest yet! We decided we would take advantage of the day since my first catch of the year had been rather unsuccessful during our previous fishing trip. We packed up the poles, tackle, and the dog. Yes, the dog. Who doesn’t bring their along to fish?

We drove out to our destination and unpacked the truck, selected our lures, and began tying them on the line. I suppose this the part where I should introduce the other half of the “we” Meet Austin! He has brown hair, green eyes, and loves long walks on the beach! Okay, so I may be fibbing a little here, but he does think that he is a professional lip ripper, until that day anyway! I’m teasing! I mean this all in good fun!

Austin and I love to build up our tackle boxes. Every time we hit the outdoor stores we always visit the fishing section, no matter the time of year. You can find some pretty good deals during the winter time! During one of these trips, I came across a clearance bin. If anyone else is like me then you tend to get overly excited about a clearance bin. You can imagine my excitement as I dug through this giant cardboard box, hanging halfway inside of it by the waist. Finally, after the lower region of my body began to tingle from lack of blood flow, I had found my purchase! Austin couldn’t believe that I was buying this fishing lure. He laughed saying, “You won’t catch anything on that!” Oh boy was he wrong!

I put my clearance lure to good work, casting across the clear blue sky. It felt good to have the pole in my hand and even better to be enjoying some quality time with Austin. He was still convinced that I wouldn’t catch a thing that day with my clearance lure. After he had tied on his second lure of the afternoon, I had snagged my first catch of the day!


I was quite smitten with myself after that! Cummins and I ventured towards the other side of the pond. We could tell that Austin wasn’t very approving of our gloating. Shortly after my first catch, I then snagged another! I was beginning to think I was the professional fisherman here! So I decided to take a break and quit hogging all of the fish. We decided to watch Austin fish for a while.

Austin began snagging several fish as well. After I took a break that is! We decided to fish beside each other and make a competition out of the fishing. Basically, the idea was to cast at the same time and see who snagged a fish first. Then we would compare the size to determine the winner. This was very entertaining for a while and time began to get away from us.


After a couple more hours of snagging fish, left and right, we ended up filling two stringers, with the help of two of our friends. I almost filled up an entire stringer on my own. Turns out my clearance lure was indeed successful and well worth diving into the clearance bin to retrieve.


As the sky turned pink, we packed up our fish and headed out. We took all the fish off of the stringers and prepared them to be cleaned. We began counting the fish, but ended up losing count half way through. Normally, we wouldn’t take this many fish but we were asked to take what we could by the owners as there was an overpopulation of fish for that sized pond.

With a long night of cleaning fish ahead of us, we decided it was best to go ahead and get them on ice and grab something to eat. So we loaded up and headed towards town. Before I knew it, we were pulling into the same store where I had purchased my clearance lure. I watched as 3 grown individuals struggled to find this 99 cent fishing lure. I couldn’t help myself but to laugh. Something about the whole experience was just so satisfying. That was a day of fishing I will never forget! All thanks to my clearance lure!



A.J. Fick

Born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania, I’ve lived in southern California, central Texas, and currently reside in western Idaho. I consider myself a western hunter at heart, enjoying being part of vast landscapes and the thrill of the stalk. One of my hunting mottos is “stretch the stalk, not the shot”. My motivations as an outdoorsman are rooted in the sustenance, independence, and challenging physical aspects. In fact, my largest driving factor for physical fitness is preparing for upcoming hunts and ensuring I’m well-prepared to climb mountains and cover ground with a heavy pack. I also recognize and respect the importance of conservation efforts for our wild animals and wild places and the close connection to hunting and fishing. If we want future generations to experience the wonder and adventure of the outdoors, and gain the countless benefits, we must continue to make wildlife conservation today’s priority to ensure continued opportunity.

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