Don’t Throw Old Lures in the Water – Pitch It
By FLW Pro Angler Cody Kelley
I think that most people would agree that the only thing better than catching a big ole bass, is catching a few more! The sport of bass fishing continues to grow extremely quickly both on the competitive and recreational side of the aisle. You have probably noticed how many different YouTube videos, Facebook posts, and Instagram pictures there are of folks with some BIG bags of fish these days. The technology behind the equipment we use is absolutely top notch, the fisheries are very healthy, new techniques are emerging every year, and fishing is really, really good right now. That being said, we definitely want to do everything in our power to keep it that way.
I have been involved in the Pledge to Pitch It program for some time now and have been committed to making sure that NONE of my used plastic ends up in the water. However, I recently competed in the FLW Tour event on Kentucky Lake and saw something that compelled me to take an extra step to reach out to fellow anglers.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” is a commonly used phrase. Unfortunately, I believe that this reflects the mentality of some anglers. You see, when we throw our plastics out into the water, they don’t just go to the bottom and decay as quickly as we may think. While they are decomposing, there is the potential for fish to actually eat them. I know several people that would probably disagree with this and say that there is no chance that a bass will eat a lifeless bait just sitting on the bottom, but it’s true. In the picture to the right, you can see fishing line hanging out of the mouth of a rather small bass. (Yes, we catch small fish too!) What you can’t see, is the eye of a worm hook in its throat. This line and hook were not mine. Because of the size of the fish and the heavy line (I would say about 20lb test), I feel fairly confident in guessing that this fish did not break the line of the angler. Rather, I would say that someone broke off and the fish later ate the lifeless bait that was laying on the bottom of the lake. This is the same thing that can happen when we don’t discard our plastics properly (minus the hook of course).
The Keep America Fishing program “Pledge to Pitch it” is bringing even more awareness to the seriousness of keeping plastics out of our water ways. The best part is that it is completely free and EASY! Take the time to take the pledge and be sure to remind your fishing buddies to PITCH IT next time you finish up a day on the lake! The next generation of fishermen will undoubtedly appreciate our efforts in protecting our sport and awesome resource.