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This is a tribute to all the granddads who got us fishing.
I was recently given my Granddad’s tackle box by my dad. Andy Skinner, my granddad, passed away in August of 2018 at the age of 86. Granddad enjoyed fishing immensely. He was an avid outdoorsman and multi-species angler. My fondest memories with him are all fishing related – whether it be for crappie, crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay, or going to Chincoteague, an island off the east coast of Virginia, to fish for flounder. Heck, we’d even compete on his 1997 Radica Lunker Bass Fishin’ handheld game when my family would drive down from north Michigan to visit him and Grandma in Virginia.
Needless to say, Granddad was in large part responsible for instilling a love for fishing and the outdoors in me. I’m pretty sure most anglers can look to up their dads and granddads for the same source of their hobbies and enjoyment. Every time I go out fishing, I know he’s smiling down on me when I catch a bass. So, when my dad offered me Andy’s fishing equipment, I jumped on it.
A Little Background
As a kid, I grew up on the northern shores of Lake Michigan in Ludington, MI. Both my parents were from Virginia, so they would load up the Chevy Astro van with all 5 of us kids twice a year, and we'd all drive south to visit both sets of grandparents. Visiting Granddad and Grandma Skinner, at the time living on the outskirts of Richmond, inevitably meant some sort of fishing. Maybe cane pole and cricket fishing for panfish, a long drive out to see the wild horses and catch some crabs, surf fishing in The Bay - it was all good. That was the stuff of core memories.
Virginia, like Georgia, is home to a large variety of fresh and saltwater species, and a variety of places and environments to catch them. From bluegill and trout, to croaker and flounder, Granddad could catch them all. He was once awarded a VA state certificate for a trophy chain pickerel (4+ lb. threshold) he caught. Andy’s old tackle box reflected that variety – salty lead weights for surf and pier fishing were intermingled with old hair jigs with bits of ancient mystery attractant on the hook, big pike lures, and bass soft plastics from the 80’s.
I was floored going through the tackle box, seeing what hidden gems or pearls of wisdom it held. It was a treasure chest; not of rare lures or maps with honey holes marked, but old school tackle and age-old wisdom. It was filled to the brim with lures, a lot of which I had not seen in ages, and some I haven’t even heard of before. However, I noticed a pattern pretty quick; a handful of specific lures Granddad relied on to catch fish.
As a way to pay homage to Granddad Skinner, and share some interesting history on fishing lures and techniques, I am going to write a series of articles on some of the lures in his tackle box that really caught my eye. They will be focusing on each lure’s background, use, and current status. Stay in touch with the Fish North Georgia blog as I continue exploring the lures in Granddad’s Tackle Box.
Part 2 will be an article on The Flatfish lure, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading along!
In loving memory of Andrew Robert Skinner Jr.
- Nathan Skinner
Nathan Skinner is an avid kayak angler, designer, and FNG contributor. He lives in Canton, GA with his wife, Katie. You can usually find Nathan in his Bonafide SS127 fishing kayak on Hickory Log, Hollis Q. Lathem, Lanier, or Allatoona. You can find him on Instagram at @nachonathan.