Tackle Monkey aka Bait Monkey

Tackle Monkey Addiction

I have an addiction problem. Many others do too.

I really have two "addictions" — dark chocolate and buying tackle (and rods and reels), but I'm focusing on one here. When I see a good deal on anything tackle related, I have to buy it. I can't help it.

In the fishing world, we call it the tackle monkey. Some call it the bait monkey.

(Be sure to go to the bottom of this page to find a historical history of the term tackle monkey.

So the other day, a friend came to me with some old baits he has had in his closet for a number of years. I could tell by the packaging that these were old. But they are still in the original packaging so they are unused.

Here is a sampling of what I picked out.

Norman DD 22 crankbaits pictured
Recent purchase:
DD22s won't fit in my storage box.

These are Norman DD22s, which I already have. But, these are Suspending DDs. I had only a couple of these — I was immediately interested. Plus, there were some very good colors in there. You can't pass that up.

Crank bait tackle boxes
Boxes of crank baits I carry in the boat.
But here is the problem. I have hundreds of other crank baits. (See some of my boat boxes pictured.)

When I got them home I was going to add them to my back up box of cranks that I pull from when I need to replace ones I lose.

Back up storage of crank baits.
Simple storage box of back up crank baits.

Extra baits that I needed to add
to my storage box too.
(My favorite lipless crank bait.)

With these additional cranks and others on my work bench, I realized the box was too full to add any more.

I then moved all of these cranks to a bigger box. And that box is almost full too.

Just get a bigger box.

Transfer of cranks from
one box to a bigger one.
Size difference in the boxes I changed to.

And the refilling begins.

Now that the smaller box is empty, I might as well begin to refill it.

As I said, I have a problem. I may need to attend an addiction program. (I have heard of some programs that specialize in all addictions not just smoking or alcohol.) I don't smoke or drink, by the way.

Who is or what is the Tackle Monkey?

All this made me wonder where the term Tackle Monkey came from.

I researched the term monkey on your back and similar searches. I recall seeing a business video many years ago (probably shot in the '60s?) where the a monkey was literally carried by the manager who would give an assignment to his secretary and then hand her the live monkey. Now the monkey is on her back to complete. Literally and figuratively.

In another scene someone carried the monkey into the boss's office. The subordinate tried to give the monkey to the boss but the boss refused to take the monkey. The subordinate walks back out of the office, still carrying the monkey.

And, there was a book written by a researcher/professor from I believe Harvard (I don't recall exactly) where some of the same business concepts are explained.

Then I found that monkeys were both revered and despised in ancient cultures. In some societies, monkeys were heroes and in others evil. And some talk about some elicit practices with monkeys.

Around the 1920s-30s, monkey on his back became a popular narcotic reference. But it's even deeper than that. A person with a monkey on his back was also obsessive, addicted and maybe even paranoid. It is definitely a modern metaphor for a bad habit.

There you have it.

We're addicted to bass fishing and acquiring bass tackle. (And, I just ordered a new Lew's reel to try out. If I like it, I need two more to match the new Kistler Rods I just got.)

Crank Out Traffic-Pumping Videos On-Demand!

Top water frog secrets; and what do you do when one of your favorite lures is being discontinued?

It's hot, right? This time of year we fish frogs—a lot. The hotter the weather, the better. When there is no wind, the water is dead calm and it's above 100 degrees, fish frogs. Most of the time we hit the water from about 10:00 a.m till dark.

Hot weather and frogs. YES. 

Yes, it's hot. Very hot. Did I mention the middle of the day is some of the best time to throw frogs?

Now you know.

Tackle box full of frogs
What's in your frog box?
But don't fish any frog, however. My favorite is the Paycheck Baits Transporter.

PayCheck Transporter frog-style top water bait
Paycheck Transporter frog-style top water bait.
It is a popping frog, but it flat out catches bass. This bait can look like a frog, bird or even a dragon fly, which were very active on the lake the last few weeks. The purple skirt is a great match to dragon-fly colors.

I lost one of these baits the other day when a giant bass inhaled it. The bass went down in the grass and I could feel its head shaking and it was fighting like crazy. Suddenly my 65 lb.-test braid line gave way. I had line draped all over me and the boat. My best guest is the big bass' teeth rubbed on the line enough that it cut the line.

Alas, the big one got away, again.

And, it was the only bait I had left in that color. Fittingly it's called Bruised Ribs. (The Rod Breaker color is shown in the top photo.)

The plan was to throw frogs all day in that tournament. We did that. (Between two of us, we had 11 frogs rigged.) I had seven blow ups, lost the big one and landed four others—good for fourth place in the tournament.

Also, it was 104 degrees that day.

Author with four pound bass
One of the smaller bass of the day.
Now for the purpose of the post.

When I got home I went online to order a few more of the Bruised Ribs color frogs. I had a hard time finding them at my normal outlets, so I went to the Paycheck website where I learned the Transporter is being discontinued.

I began to tremble. Now what? I ordered what I could from the Paycheck website in the colors I wanted (I bought them all). Then the frantic search for other online options began.

Recent shipments of tackle orders pictured
A lifetime supply of Transporters? I hope so.

In all, I ordered from five sources. I pretty much wiped them out. Good luck finding some. I paid full retail for all these, which I hardly do. I usually wait for sales.

The bottom line? I now have a lifetime supply of Transporters. (Maybe I'll sell them on EBay next summer for $25 each. Ha. (Actually, they are worth more to me to keep them.)

Oh, one more thing:
We don't fish the frogs as they come out of the box. Shown below is a little modification that will get you more strikes. (Not ideal for heavy slime, but still is recommended.)

PayCheck Transporter with modification
Add a spinner blade to the back of your frogs.
Finally, you can't fish this bait too slow. Most of the best strikes come when the bait is not being moved by you. There is enough wave action and movement for the legs to quiver and the small blade to flash. Cast it to your target, twitch it once or twice, and then wait.

Follow this tip and you'll get some "biguns." Send me your success pictures.

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