Aptravelnews-Throw-back and forward- Goose Holler’ Farm-Several decades ago, I proudly owned a Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel with “fat” (compared to today’s diameters) 6-pound test monofilament, attached to a clear fiberglass spinning rod from the long gone, Davega, Brooklyn sporting goods store, and a small metal tackle box, (I still have today) whose little compartments contained the few lures I could buy, after begging my Grandfather David and Uncle Sid for a buck or two! In that steel, brown painted box was a shiny, golden metal lure called Al’s Goldfish. It shared compartment spaces with a Jitterbug, Hula Popper, a Mepp’s spinner or two, and 3-sizes of red and white, and black and white Daredevils spoons.
I lived in Brooklyn, New York in a tenement building with my mom, Mary, Dad, Nat and Brother Mike. My dad was an amputee (his toes) from being in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium, during the Nazi War. He was an excellent musician, and never had the patience or interest to take me fishing. The only fishing I could reach at my early age, was when I cut school to head over to the nearby Brooklyn Navy Yard docks, and I let none of these lures ever touch the diesel coated waters, I used grizzle and fat I collected from my grandmothers garbage pail, impaled on a size 8-hook, under several pinch-on lead split shot, the kind a kid used his teeth to clamp them on the line with, and hoped for the tug of an eel, so I could yell triumphantly when I felt the bend and throb of the rod.
Only during the summer, when my grandfather rented a bungalow in the Catskill Mountains, did I choose to use my prized lures. Before I was 10-years old, I caught trout, bass and sunfish always referred to as “Bluegills” in the lake regions of upstate New York. My favorite lure then was Al’s Goldfish! All my lures worked, but the action this little shiny, gold-plated, brass spoon always offered, seemed to guide my hand at decision time, to tie one on, as I opened my treasure chest, tackle-box; like a Ouija -board pointer, my fingers selected the “gold.” Many years, and trillions of gallons of rushing waters later, I heard that Al’s Goldfish had been languishing in the hands of folks that finally sold the business and patents to someone new, a young entrepreneur named Mike Lee from Maine. From all indications he is dedicated to resurrecting Al’s Goldfish to the “top-of-the-mind” of freshwater anglers once again and genuinely wishes to offer jobs to Americans as well.
I’m here to tell you, even though I’ve drifted over to the fly fishing genre of fishing, I still love and use spin, conventional and if I have to, in far-away places like the Congo, for one of the many places I’ve fished; hand-lines too! Look for more on Al’s Goldfish story and heritage in upcoming posts. www.alsgoldfish.com
As you will see, from Al’s new Living Lures, to Field and Stream naming Al’s as one of the “Top Ten Lures” and still being made only in the USA, together with Al’s treble hook covers, as Arnold said: “Al’s be back!!!!