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Minnesota Fishing Reports
Articles : Goofy is Good with Brad & Bob
Posted by LSF on Sep 19, 2011 (1691 reads) News by the same author

If you listen close enough you'll hear fisherman from Coast to Coast huddled in the smoky backrooms of lakeside “ma and pa” bait shops, whispering longingly about their favorite old crankbait which, for whatever reason, found its way out of production and is now relegated to the realm of obscurity in lure collector forums, garage sales, and the world of EBay. Crankbaits, like great artists it seems, only ever truly find appreciation after they leave us.

Lindy River Rocker There is a saying a friend of mine always pulled out when coming under scrutiny for wearing truck stop wolf tee shirts, cut off acid washed jeans or monochrome Velcro walking shoes, "If you're never too far in style, you're never too far out of style". His sentiment was right on. Like the only kid in high school with an Afro, everyone knew who he was just because of his lagging fashion sense, but his assessment of his location on the in style/out of style continuum was off by a few degrees. Like Zubas, mullets, and classic Ray Ban's, the nostalgic comeback factor never really sets in until a trend is so far out of the mainstream, and past being old news, that it finds new life in subculture.

Fishermen find themselves in a similar quandary. Choose to abide by the unforgiving world of high fish fashion, with the grinning faces on television and magazine stands dictating the flavor of the week as fast as you can pick up the next issue, or embrace the fishing subculture - the seedy underworld of online tackle discussion, bargain bin diving and bait modification. With the fishing world light years behind the remainder of the cell phone toting, email using 21st century, often times those of us hip to the Internet and wise to "that Facebook crap" find themselves feeling like black sheep amongst the long standing old guard.

Enter Brad Hawthorne and Bob Carlson, Mille Lacs Lake fishing guides by day, and fishing underworld dwellers by night. Like any heroic duo, the irony in their pairing is their strength. Bob, a 55 year old, brings the even keeled “been their done that” disco era Yin to Brad's detail scrutinizing, belly laughing 33-year-old Yang.

"For me", Brad explained, "Websites like Lake State Fishing are like online cleaning shacks. Guys come in and share stories and pictures, talk shop, and give each other a hard time. It's just a good group". Forums, the World Wide Web’s versions of the bait shop bragging board, are the birth place of a lot of trends. "It's a great place to get real honest fishing information, Carlson explained. "You get to hear from other guys what is working for them and what isn't". A chance to pick the brain of full time guides, and get some of the best fishing info online is what has so many fisherman clicking on the page, but its the camaraderie and friendships that are formed that keep guys around.

Lindy River Rocker"I knew about the bait, but it wasn't until I saw Jonny P smacking 'em on Red that I really started to believe that it would catch fish on Mille Lacs". -Brad Hawthorne

"I don't know what it is, but the walleyes up there just like goofy crankbaits", Bob Carlson said in a phone interview, freshly off a second place finish in the MTT walleye championship on Lake of the Woods. Goofy is hardly a complement to anyone other than the Disney character. With a quick glance over the colors of the River Rocker and you could figure out pretty quickly that the crankbait shuns fishing’s high fashion world and lives to be loved within those niche subcultures and smoky back rooms where the obscure and goofy is welcomed with open arms in the fishing world.

You just know that those fish have never seen anything like it before, and I think that's a big part of why its catching fish," Bob Carlson of Mille Lacs Lake Guide Service, explained. The color schemes are in fact just that. Like a Van Gogh throw away, the combinations of shockingly vibrant colors layered over a holographic base sets the appearance of the River Rocker apart from the drudgery of the standard copy-and-paste colors.

Lindy River Rocker"The first time I saw those things I think there were only about five colors that I thought would catch fish, and the rest looked like a some kind of science experiment". - Bob Carlson

Like the fouxhawk rocking, skinny jean wearing LA hipsters of the fishing world, the Mille Lacs duo are just fine with being different. The two would undoubtedly be all the happier if their style remained unacceptable to the masses, but as with all truly unique trends, they eventually find their way to the mainstream.

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