Introduction: Biodegradable Fishing Lures
So the big question is, why even do this?
Well it is rather simple: we all snag gear, tie a bad knot or simply put lose our lures at one point or another. While we can't always retrieve our broken gear it only makes sense to try to limit the impact of the lost equipment. Whether its a bird or a fish, the plastic most lures are made of cannot be digested and can kill or harm the animal that consumes them.
So here is my solution, make a recipe for a lure that anyone can make at home with ingredients anyone can pick up at a local store.
Step 1: Ingredients
So its a simple recipe:
-4 packets of gelatin
-3/4 cup of water
optional (but highly suggested)
-3 fish oil pills
Step 2: Making the Mix
Start by pouring 3/4 cup water into a small pot.
If you choose to use fish oil pills take a pin and insert it into one end. Remove it and squeeze the oil out of the capsule into the pot.
Mix in the 4 packets of gelatin.
Step 3: Mixing It All Together
Now put the pot on the burner and turn the heat to low. Mix the ingredients together while it is heated until it reaches a a consistency similar to water. At this point add in the dye.
The gelatin should only need to be on the burner for 2 minutes to get to this point.
Step 4: Pouring the Lures
Now it is time to pour the molds. There really isn't much to say here. Simply spoon the mixture into your mold, chill in the freezer for roughly 15 minutes and then taken out of the mold and repeat the process.
Step 5: Need a Mold? Make One
Don't have a mold? No problem. We can make you one really easy! Simply take a handful of straws and cut them in half. Rubber band them together and insert them vertically into a container. Pour in the solution and let them chill in the freezer.
The gelatin will take significantly longer to set since there is a higher volume.
Step 6: The Final Solution
After the gelatin has set the lures can be taken out of the molds. I like to wrap the lures in paper towel and chill in the fridge until I use them.
The final solutions can be as complicated or as simple as you want.
The 'straw mold' can make worms and grubs, while bought or made molds can make anything imagined.
Step 7: Final Assessment
I'm not going to claim that this is a perfect substitute for conventional rubber lures.
-Scented so it can work as a bait or a lure
-Makes a large quantity per batch
-Bluegill seem to like it in my test lake
-Realistically only good for one cast per lure
-Hard to hook with out splitting the gelatin (though this can be fixed by setting the hooks in the mold when the solution is initially poured)
-The lure must be chilled until it is used or it will become too soft to be useful
-Require delicate handling
-If a fish hits the end of the lure it can rip off the back of the lure (this can be minimized by rigging the worms with a hook in the front and hook in the back)
While this recipe does have its issues, it is a good start to eco-friendly lures being a possibility for anyone. I will be the first to admit that this recipe does have plenty of room for improvement in durability. But the concept still stands, a lure that is made from biodegradable ingredients that can be made by anybody with access to a kitchen and has the capability to catch fish.