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By Bob Hodge

New product sticks insects where fish can't miss them
By Bob Hodge
Scripps Howard News Service

Everyone from backyard whittlers to high-tech engineers has
tried his hand at making fishing lures. The key is to take something that's not alive -- wood, cloth, plastic, etc. -- and make it look like something that is alive -- crickets, caddis flies, grasshoppers, etc. - and hope the fish are fooled. Jearald Dudley decided to go the engineers and whittlers one better. Instead of coming up with improved artificial baits, he wanted to find a way to make the real things better. "I was trying to  find a way to attach insects to a hook without killing them," said Dudley a Michigander . "The small insects would die almost instantly, and others would fall apart after you made a couple of casts. I thought there had to be a good way to do this."The obvious answer to Dudley's problem was glue.it also turned out to be the wrong answer.Dudley used just about every type of glue imaginable and found they did one of two things: They either didn't remain adhesive when the bait was immersed in water, a key part of fishing,
or the glues were so toxic they killed the bait quicker than the hook did.A few years ago he began trying to invent his own type of glue. Three years ago he hit upon a formula that he and his friends found worked better than he had hoped. Six months ago he began selling his invention.That invention, Baitstick,
is available at a few bait shops across the country or by mail. A 1-ounce bottle sells for $7.50 or a 2-ounce size sells for $13. Baitstick is a combination of non-toxic resins and natural flavorings. It is soft, sticky and effective. Baitstick can be ordered by calling (734) 544-4599 or at the company Web site www.baitstick.com."Since the insect isn't harmed by the hook, it kicks
and flutters and squirms, and that attracts a lot more fish," Dudley said. "I know people who fly fish with real dry flies can actually fly fish with a live fly now." Dudley says one of the attractions of Baitstick is that all of the creepy-crawly things
found around most people's homes easily can be turned into fish bait. Baitstick is a thick,taffy-like -- gel that you ooze directly onto the hook. Large bait such as crickets and
grasshoppers is then stuck to the hook and ready to be fished. Smaller critters such as ants and (yeech!) maggots can be kept in a container and the Baitstick-covered hook just  dipped into them. The bugs/larvae then do their wiggling and squirming to try to free themselves from the hook. That in turn draws in fish that might have passed on a piece of bait hanging limply in front of them. "The feedback I've been getting has been tremendous," Dudley said. Dudley gives away no details of how he makes
Baitstick because his hard-sought formula  doesn't take a chemist to mix. And with one major fishing tackle manufacturer already seeking  the rights and several large retailers considering stocking Baitstick nationwide, Dudley is in the bait glue business
full-time.He left the security of being a marketing executive with a large insurance company to peddle Baitstick."I have had a tremendous response since we went on the market " Dudley said. "This is a product that anybody can use, and it helps them catch fish."

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