Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Problem With Plastic

There are many types of plastic: polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are two common examples. Plastic serves a useful role in many aspects of modern life. However, plastic is not ideally suited for recreational fishing lures. Why not?

  • Plastic Smells Bad. Predator gamefish -- including largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, trout, walleye, crappie, salmon and other species -- have an excellent sense of smell, much more sensitive than that of a human. That's why many soft plastic lure manufacturers sell so-called "scented" plastics. The problem with that is that soft plastic lures are oil-based so they cannot contain the water-based scents that are most effective at attracting fish. Oil and water don't mix. And, spray-on scents can have only limited effectiveness because they quickly wash off in the water.
  • Plastic Tastes Bad. As the Associated Press asked in an article about FoodSource Lures, "which would you rather eat, real food or plastic?" When you buy a steak, do you prefer prime rib or plastic? What if someone offered you a plastic steak with salt on it, or sprayed-on scent? Even if a fish bites a soft plastic lure it will spit out the lure the instant it realizes the lure is not a natural food source. As In-Fisherman noted, "what has not received much attention by biomechanics researchers is the mechanics of rejection of an object that is not deemed edible by a bass. Most worm fishermen have sometimes found that it's difficult, almost impossible, to strike back quickly enough to set the hook when a bass rejects a bait." In-Fisherman, "New Research On How Bass Strike," April-May, 2004.
  • Plastic Pollutes. Soft plastic lures have been around since the 1950s. So where have 50 years of plastics ended up? Fishermen know that a lot of soft plastic lures are lost or discarded in water or weeds. However, plastic lures are not biodegradable so they'll be on the bottom of lakes and rivers pretty much forever. Some salt-impregnated soft plastic lures actually will expand to many times their original size if left in the water too long. Discarding plastic lures in the water even could be a violation of federal and state anti-pollution laws. FoodSource Lures, on the other hand, do not pollute the environment because they are all food and completely biodegradable. They will dissolve in about three weeks in the water ... unless a fish or other critter grabs them for a meal first.
  • Plastic Lures Hurt Fish And Other Wildlife. "People think plastic six-pack rings are the leading cause of wildlife entanglements. Discarded fishing lure is a far greater threat." The Freshwater Society, 2001. "Would a fish survive after ingesting a soft-plastic bait? It didn't always seem likely." Field & Stream, "Better Than Bait?," March 2004. According to Dr. Russell Wright, Fisheries Extension Specialist and Auburn University Assistant Professor of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, "a lot of times when a largemouth bass swallows a plastic lure, it jams between the stomach and the small intestine. When that happens, it's over -- the bait can't go either direction and the fish will ultimately starve to death." Unlike soft plastic fishing lures or similar products, fish and other animals can eat, digest and metabolize FoodSource Lures. Tests by Auburn University showed that fish actually grew in size when fed FoodSource Lures.
  • Soft Plastic Lures Can Contain Carninogens. Soft plastic lures often contain phthalates (pronounced "THAL-ates"), a plastic softener that is a potentially harmful chemical. (Have your ever wondered why your soft plastic lures melt the plastic in your tackle box?) Harvard University researchers conducted a study that found links between exposure to phthalates and reproductive problems in men. Epidemiology, May 2003. Phthalates also have been linked to cancer, including breast cancer, and asthma in children. As Field & Stream reported, "some scientists are concerned that the carcinogens in plastic can harm a fish if the lure is not passed quickly." Field & Stream, "Better Than Bait?," March 2004
  • Great Scent and Great Taste Make For Great Fishing. Scents are important because the more senses you can stimulate, the better your chances. FoodSource Lures, being made completely out of fish food, have all the right scents. Bassmaster magazine says FoodSource Lures "create a natural scent trail in the water." Field & Stream says FoodSource Lures have "the irresistible scent of natural bait." Southern Sporting Journal calls it a "built-in chum trail."
"We at Dream Lake have been commercial bass fishing for seven years with a strict catch-and-release program along with a careful way of handling fish. We do an autopsy on all dead fish over 5 pounds and have found that our #1 killer of bass is soft plastic worms and lizards. We have been waiting for a product like FoodSource Lures for years and it is incredible that these lures are actually digestible and have a protein content that will help fish grow. We hope everyone will start using FoodSource Lures to ensure a better fishing tomorrow." Chad Bracknell, Dream Lake Lodge, Livingston, AL,

"The bottom of Lake Okeechobee is said to be coated with enough soft plastic lures to make a pile large enough to cushion a tank dropped from a plane. In addition to trashing the lake bottom, the discarded plastic is a hazard to fish and wildlife. Avoid turning your home waters into a dumping ground for nonbiodegradable soft plastic lures." Pro tip submitted to

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