Title: Fishing Plugs Catch Men Not Fish

In November 1963 (just before Kennedy was shot), Sam took a hunting and fishing lease in South Texas abutting then Governor’ Briscoes’ ranch with another of the County Commissioners that sat on the Commissioners Court with him, A.J. Ploch, … arguably one of the cleverest, most conniving men I’ve ever met …

but he was a fabulous hunter/fisherman and Sam, liked cutting up with him whenever they were on the same political side … which was “sometimes” … and Ploch taught Dad a lot about hunting and fishing.

So Sam sent me to Bowman’s Tackle Shop to outfit his tackle box with the “right” freshwater fishing tackle and artificial baits.

So I asked the clerk “What are the bass ‘hitting on’ these days?”

and the clerk went into a long sales pitch about how the fish had switched “hitting” on the old familiar-to-me baits … and were NOW hitting on a particular bait design called a “Sonic”… painted, in the then, “Very Best Color” … ie., Black – with a White Lightning Bolt painted on the side of it.

So, in case we got into a mess of actively feeding fish, and then lost a bait to an underwater log or the like, I bought 4 baits … 2 for Sams tackle box and 2 for my tackle box (I still have one of mine).

So on November 22nd, 1963, on the drive down to the hunting lease, I was driving … with Sam in the passenger seat … and we were driving along, idly chatting … and he asked me what I had bought for his tackle box … and I repeated the “Black Sonic” sales pitch the salesman had put on me.

And I asked Sam …

“Dad, How come all the Black Bass, in all the fishing tanks across South Texas simultaneously know that they are supposed to stop hitting on one particular bait … and suddenly start hitting on Black Sonics with a White Lightning Bolt on the side?

Without missing a lick, Sam said

“Why, Son, You just don’t understand … fishing baits are not supposed to catch fish … they are supposed to catch fishermen.”

I’ll never forget this lesson in my whole life … and the next day, John Kennedy was shot.

Robert Jorrie