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For years I watched Yellowfin Tuna feed on the surface and yet still refuse every kind of natural and artificial bait. These tuna had become wary, boat-shy fish that completely shunned the typical presentation methods. Particularly frustrating was the fact that they would chase and eat real flying fish with wild abandon!
That's when it hit me! What if I could design a soft plastic flying fish lure that we could put under a kite and troll? If so, we could let the kite run far off our beam to not scare the wary surface-feeding Tuna. I also knew we could then keep the line and leader out of the water and help fool these Tuna with their incredibly keen eyesight. As an already successful and award winning lure designer (see www.carolinalures.com) I knew this would be a massive undertaking as nothing like this had ever been successfully designed.
The tipping point came one day while offshore. We-along with the entire fleet-were completely skunked on Tuna. At this point, we all had gone to ridiculously light fluorocarbon leaders and were even pulling baits far behind the boat and still nothing worked. When the world famous Carolina Fleet can't catch tuna that are surface feeding everywhere, you know something new is needed. I like to catch fish and there are few things more unbearable offshore than surface feeding Tuna that won't eat your bait and so I was very motivated to find a way to catch them. I'll never forget that day offshore behind the wheel of my boat, I'd had enough and asked God to help. I was not a very spiritual man back then and it was not an elaborate prayer but, He must have heard me and agreed.
The next day I was walking through a dollar store and saw a huge plastic bug with wings and it caught my eye. I bought this big ugly bug and began to experiment with it. It was so ugly and ridiculous looking I would only let family and a few close friends even see it. After much tinkering, a real lure design started taking shape. I figured out how to make it right itself when it landed upside down and how to make it skim and fly properly but, the problem was the plastic was wrong and so it wasn't a very good lure. It also was really ugly, and even if it caught fish no one would ever buy it.
There we a lot of technical challenges but, we never gave up, we were determined to catch those finicky tuna!
Finally we made our first cad cam prototype mold. This mold was so primitive it took all day to produce a few hand made prototypes but, unlike the ugly bug model these were things of beauty and we could hardly wait to take them fishing.
We decided we would take them on our friend Capt Pete Zook's Energizer out of Morehead City N.C. I asked Pete to stay away from the crowd and we put up a kite and began to experiment with our new lure. We were not to far from the beach and BAM! A huge dolphin (rare that close to shore) nailed IT! Instantly we regretted not putting a hook in our then prototype lure.
It was immediately apparent this Flying Fish Lure was HOT! And it looked so Yummy! "Hey that's what we should call it-Yummy-YUMMEE!" Anyway, our attempts at secrecy failed miserably (whoever heard of a fisherman keeping a secret?) and soon all our friends were on the radio teasing us. Let the jokes begin. It was hilarious at times. "What do you think you're gonna catch with a rubber fish and kite?" Or "Maybe they think its Palm Beach and sailfish season?" Jokes aside, all of us on the Energizer that day realized the YUMMEE design was "just right". So right that while we have made other designs and sizes to meet other fishing needs we have never made a single change from that first prototype and it is the NUMBER ONE Lure in a class of lures it invented!
Think about how profound it is that we made the perfect lure from the first prototype. We’ve got a lot of lure industry friends and no one can believe we nailed the perfect design the first time-so it had to be Gods help. Also amazingly 16 years later(2016) and it's not only still in production without modification, but it is NUMBER ONE world wide! Top fisherman all know to ask for the Yummee by name.
Well I am a lot closer to God nowadays; I know "He" helped me design this lure. I’m glad he let us be the ones to do it and help so many others have successful fishing trips. Maybe you don't believe God had anything to do with it? Its OK, I was there step by step and I believe!
We also want you to know we love putting 'Made in The USA' on each package. With your help we're proving that it can be done IN AMERICA. Yes, it is difficult. But with your support we'll keep inventing and producing great products here. Did you know each one is made to order so you get the freshest and best product?
Yes, we take pride in our lures, we still believe in God and we always pray a blessing over our lures before we ship them. We also pray that you will have a safe and prosperous trip with many memorable moments. Why do we pray? Because we care and we believe prayer works. We also love hearing the great fishing reports and pictures you all send us from around the world so keep them coming.
Thank you to all who have bought and continue to buy our products; we are happy to call you friends. Until we meet again, be blessed, be safe, and Good Fishing!