To some anglers, they’re “gut piles.” To others, they’re “dead soldiers.”
But to 13-year-old Caleb Meyer from Madisonville, La., they’re tomorrow’s fishing lures.
Every fisherman can look at the floor of his boat after a day’s fishing and see scattered soft-plastic lures that were unceremoniously ripped off the hook and discarded to be replaced by a fresher one, a different brand or a new color.
Most sweep those baits into a pile with their hands, scoop them up and put them on top of the overflowing garbage cans at their local marina.
But not Meyer.
He collects them, stores them and eventually recycles them into brand-new baits.
With the help of his parents, Meyer ordered a Golden Grub brand open mold in a design he liked, and ever since has been creating his own plastic worms from his and other anglers’ discards.
“I just like making my own baits,” he said. “It’s fun catching fish on something you made yourself.”
Meyer melts store-bought plastic when he wants specific colors, and he’ll also sort used baits into like colors. Mixing random colors usually results in baits that are grayish-brown — not very appealing to anglers, but the fish still like them.
He uses the lures in neighborhood ponds as well as in the marshes around Cocodrie, where he fishes with his maternal grandfather.
A vast assortment of soft-plastic molds is available at do-itmolds.com.
Most retail for around $50.