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Three Things Outboard Motor Manufacturers Don’t Want You to Know

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-CourseI searched for several years to buy an outboard motor. The kinds of motors you see all the time here in the United States, the Johnsons, Mercuries, Yamahas and Suzukis of the world. Don’t get me wrong these are all nice motors, well built, but being a poor, country man like myself, these motors were out of my reach. The cost of acquisition was too high, maintenance and repair too complicated, and the closed architecture of these units meant I could not work on them myself without a diploma in marine outboard repair or mechanical engineering. Let’s look at these concepts:

Overly Complicated Motors

Have you ever noticed how cars have become as complicated as airplanes? Computer controlled this, that and the other. Well, outboard manufacturers have followed the same path. I love technology, and advances in such have brought better fuel economy to outboard motors that electronic fuel injection and computer controlled ignition brought to automobiles.

The cost? Well, good luck working on it yourself. If something goes wrong, unless you have the tools and training to work on a modern fighter jet, you’ll have to rely on technicians at the shop. Than means money. Not only that but get ready to have your boat in the shop for up to two weeks even for an oil change or tune up with $100 per hour shop rate.

That sets up the next point.

Cost Effectiveness

I went to Academy Sports to see what outboards they had. I needed something for less than $1,000, as that was all I could afford. Well, they had a 2.5 horsepower Mercury short shaft motor for $864. Do the math. That’s $345.60 per horsepower.

2.5 hp motor would have made a great trolling motor, but I needed speed, enough power to get up on a plane and get to my spots quicker so I could spend more time gunning and less time running. Eight to 10 horsepower would have been more like it.

As far as cost, hey, buy it online and save right? If you looks at some of the online outboard discount places, a 2.5 hp four stroke Tohatsu runs $869.99, more that the local Mercury. (Mercury power heads are made by Tohatsu, by the way.) The cheapest motor I could buy was almost out of my budget range with nowhere near enough power for my needs. An 8 hp Tohatsu? $1,599.99 or $199.99 per horsepower. A 9.8 hp Tohatsu? $1,799.99 or $183.67 per horsepower.

Notice how the cost per horsepower decreases as you buy more motor.

Build & Modify Yourself

Over Thanksgiving 2014 I built my own mud motor using a kit from SPS North America at $464.92, the power head a simple 6.5 hp go-kart motor from Harbor Freight at $106.82, and I bought a few hot rod go-kart upgrade parts for $48.99 from OMB Warehouse. That totals $620.73 or $95.49 per horsepower. That’s stock horsepower.

I don’t have access to a small engine dyno, but according to go-kart engine builders to do test these things, they have measured just shy of 9 hp with similar upgrades: intake, exhaust and carburetor mods. Let’s say 8.5 hp with the upgrades. The price per horsepower drops to $73.02.

These were mild upgrades, only removing the restrictive external components replacing them high-flow, high-performance parts. Just imagine if you went inside the motor and upgraded cam shafts, value trains, fly wheels and such. Would the costs continue to drop? That a post for another day!

Longtail mud motors are a great value-per-dollar option for anyone needing an outboard motor.

Good times, tight lines


P.S., If you have want to learn how to upgrade your SPS Longtail to get the kind of horsepower mentioned above without breaking the bank or ruining your motor, check out my new Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course. It’s free.

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From the “Catfisher’s Prayer Book:” Big Henry

I sat in my dinky old rowboat, the one with the green paint peeling off, the lettering “Pine Crest Day Camp” barely visible. My fishing pole was propped against the side of the boat as I reached in my pocket and plucked out a peppermint my grandfather had given me earlier that day. The glare of the sun on the candy wrapper made me squint and as I shut my eyes I thought back to the story Granddad had told all us kids just that morning.

“Story! Story! Story!” Suzie screamed impatiently as her tiny fists pummeled Grandad’s knee. At two, my little sister was a constant annoyance because she had to have everything immediately. At ten, I was a man and knew the value in being still and waiting. ‘Course I probably learned that ‘cause Grandad taught me that the first time he took me fishing. But, the screeching didn’t seem to upset Grandad. He just leaned back in his rocker and scratched his whiskered chin and appeared to think. “A story? Well, now, I don’t know if I know of a story.” The gleam in his eye gave him away and my brothers and sisters and cousins all stopped their playing and squabbling and studied him for a moment before running across the yard and settling onto the porch at the foot of Grandad’s rocking chair. “I suppose I could tell you about Big Henry, but, nah, you’d never believe it.” A chorus of “I’d believe it!” rang out and that was enough to get Grandad started.

“Well, let’s see, the first time I encountered Big Henry I was about your size,” Grandad poked me in the chest. “I was out on Lake Wheeler with the Nicholsons. We lived next door to the Nicholsons. Nice folks. Mr. Nicholson was some kind of salesman and traveled a lot and Mrs. Nicholson always had fresh baked cookies. They didn’t have any kids of their own, but they always welcomed the neighborhood kids and loved ‘em just like we were their own.” Some of us started shuffling our feet, getting restless; we already knew all about the Nicholsons. “Anyway,” Grandad continued, “this one Saturday Mr. and Mrs. Nicholson decided to take their boat out and asked me if I wanted to come along. I sure did love being on the water, and I sure did love the Nicholsons, and I especially loved Mrs. Nicholson’s homemade cookies.” Grandad closed his eyes and a slow smile spread across his face as he remembered the taste of those cookies. A few seconds later his eyelids fluttered open and he resumed his story. “An hour later we were out on Lake Wheeler and Mr. Nicholson was showing me how to bait my line and instructing me on when and how to toss it in the water to get a fish to bite. He even joked that if I was really good I might snag me Big Henry.” All us kids took a collective breath and leaned closer. “’Big Henry?’ I asked. ‘Who’s Big Henry?’ ‘Who’s Big Henry?!’ Mr. Nicholson repeated like he’d never heard such a dumb question. But, he went right on and answered me without even pausing for breath. ‘Why, Big Henry’s the biggest catfish in these here waters. Folks say he’s a good sixty pounds.’ I laughed, knowing Mr. Nicholson was just telling me a fish story. I sure hadn’t seen or heard about anybody catching a sixty pound catfish. But, Mr. Nicholson just smiled. A few hours later, we were hot and tired and about ready to head in when I begged to throw the line just one more time. It hit the water with a satisfying plop and almost immediately I hooked a fish. A big one. One so big I couldn’t get it in by myself. Mr. Nicholson came over and helped me reel it in. After a few minutes of struggling I stood there, gaping, while I stared at the fish in the bottom of the boat. A catfish. A catfish as big as I was. Mr. Nicholson clapped me on the back and said, ‘Well, son, you done caught Big Henry!’ I nodded, still too stunned to speak. Mr. Nicholson unhooked him and said, ‘Let’s throw him back now.’ I quickly found my voice. ‘Throw him back? Throw him back? Gee whiz, I’m not throwing him back!’ Mr. Nicholson bent down on one knee and said, ‘Do you know that feeling of pride and joy you have right now from catching Big Henry?’ I bobbed my head slowly. ‘Well, you see, if we throw him back, not only will he continue to grow, but you’ll be giving someone else a chance to have that same feeling.’ As much as I still longed to keep Big Henry, a part of me wanted to have a chance to catch him again so I slid him into the water and promised him I’d be back.”

Grandad paused and the screen door creaked open as Granny came out with a tray of lemonade and a stack of glasses. After we all got a glassful and Granny had bustled off into the house we settled back down. “Well, Grandad,” one of my cousins asked, “did you ever see him again?” “Yeah, did you get a chance to catch Big Henry after that?” another one piped up. “Did I? Did I ever! Let me tell you…” Grandad answered.

“I went fishing on Lake Wheeler, Holt Reservoir, and down by the dam every chance I got. But, I didn’t see Big Henry again. I was beginning to think I had imagined the whole afternoon when one day, while in my twenties, I saw a large, dark shadow glide by and I knew – I just knew – it was Big Henry. I stuck a piece of Skipjack on my circle hook and tossed my line overboard. In less than a minute I had a bite and I could tell by the way he was pulling, I’d snagged Big Henry. He put up a hard fight, and although he’s powerful, catfish that size don’t have much endurance, so I had him in the boat in ten minutes. And sure enough, just as Mr. Nicholson had promised, Big Henry had grown. He was now almost 100 pounds. As I stood there exulting in my prize catch I remembered a little boy over a decade earlier, chest puffed out in pride, joy filling his heart over landing Big Henry; and I knew what I had to do. I reached down and hauled Big Henry up. I looked him in the eye and told him once more that I’d be back.”

We were sitting in shock that Grandad would have released Big Henry again. Grandad nodded and said, “Yep. In fact, I’ve caught Big Henry now so many times I’ve lost count. But, I always let him go because there’s a little boy out there who needs to catch him a lot more than I do. Although it won’t do him much good, since Big Henry probably weighs close to 200 pounds by now.” The slamming of the screen door made us all jump. Granny came stomping out on the porch, shaking her finger at Grandad. “Damon Toney, you ought to be ashamed of yourself, telling these kids about Big Henry. You know they’re gonna’ believe you and you’re just telling them fish stories again.” Granny shook her head and clumped back in the house. Grandad just smiled.

My peppermint was nearly gone and I opened my eyes and breathed out feeling the fresh, minty tingle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark shadow. I turned and watched as a very large, very slow something swam right past my boat. It couldn’t have been Big Henry, because Big Henry was just a story. Right?

~ from a lady friend named Misty

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SPS Longtail Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course

Hot Rod Your Mud Motor e-Course

Hey, guys. I just finished putting together a new video e-course teaching how to hot rod you mud motors. If you’ve been wondering how to get more horsepower and torque out of your mud motor without ruining the engine or breaking your bank account, this e-course might be for you. It’s free.

Good times, tight lines

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From “The Catfisher’s Prayer Book” | The LORD is my Lord

The LORD is my Lord. He stretched the heavens and brought forth the many lights. He named them and taught them to shine. He girded Orion’s loins, and gave him his strength. He placed His dipper the Big Dipper on His table the sky. With His Little Dipper He scoops a bowl of soup for a meal.

He gave Pegasus wings; to Aquila He gave a beak. The great Crab He gave pincers. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah he placed in the sky with a great mane as Leo. The Twins He placed in the heavens, Gemini.

He gave all the stars their place, and gave them their light according to their distance form the earth. He filled the universe with their light, with His glory He filled them.

The Lord is the light of the sky. The LORD is my Lord.

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From the Catfisher’s Prayer Book | “Biggie”

A lady friend of mine wrote this poem about man-sized catfish below the dam:

Every town has a legend or myth
That locals are familiar with.
Ours is more truth than myth,
‘Bout a man-sized fish named Biggie.

That in the waters around here
Is a creature that strikes fear
When the story reaches the ear
Of a man-sized fish named Biggie.

A puppy wandered too close to the lake—
I’ll spare the details for your sake—
But a tail was all that remained in the wake
Of a man-sized fish named Biggie.

One day, to the lake a stranger came.
No one even knew his name.
He made clear his single aim:
The man-sized fish name Biggie.

I heard this from a trusted source:
A battle raged, force against force.
No one knows what happened, of course,
‘Cept the man-sized fish named Biggie.

The folks still yearned throughout the years
For a hero who’d be met with cheers,
For someone to set aside his fears
Of a man-sized fish named Biggie.

At last Damon had his say
And boldly stepped into the fray.
He said I’ll use my secret way
On a man-sized fish named Biggie.

And when the struggle was complete
The giant lay crushed at Damon’s feet.
And so it seemed it was defeat
For a man-sized fish named Biggie.

But the foe was thrown into the water
So that some other son or daughter
Could once again pull from the water
A man-sized fish named Biggie.

~a lady friend named Misty.

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24 Most Valuable Items in a Boating Emergency

Emergency GearI’ve had several emergencies on the water. While I won’t share those stories in detail here, it seemed proper to put together a list of safety items you would need and be ready to use if you got in trouble out there. (These are not in any order of priority.)

1. Life Jacket

  • Wear it. Okay? The second time I had my jonboat out on the water, I capsized it. If I hadn’t worn my life jacket I would be dead. Don’t try to be cool like the guys on TV, just wear the dang thing.

 2. Throwable Flotation Device

  • Back up or supplement to the main life jacket. These are not meant to be worn, nor are they required for small boats under 16 feet, but you never know when someone else will need your help. If you can throw them a flotation device it might save their lives. Always help other boaters in trouble.

3. Float Plan

  • Tell people where you’re going and approximately when you’ll be back. When you do get back, be sure to tell them you arrived safely. I’ve had several church ladies worried to death because I had not check in after a day’s fishing.

4. Whistle

  • Basic audio signaling device. It makes lots of noise. This is great for getting people’s attention.

5. Air Horn

  • Advanced audio signaling device. It also makes lots more noise. In emergency situations it’s always good to have backups for the backup to backup the backup.

6. Flares

  • Visual signaling device. These can be used in day or night operations. Again think the backup analogy.

7. Marine Distress Flag

  • Get a marine distress flag. You can find them at the Wally World. This is yet another visual distress signal. Boat motors are loud. Sound devices may not be heard over a 200 h.p. motor raging down the river at 70 m.p.h. A visual distress signal may be your saving grace.

8. Your Brain

  • Don’t be stupid. Don’t do anything stupid. If you think it might be stupid, don’t do it. If you think you’re a little too close to the dam, then you’re way too close to the dam. Get wisdom, and above all get understanding. Use the brain that God gave you to judge the situation. If the wind is too strong, then don’t go out. Too much current? Stay ashore.
  • Also keep aware of your state of mind. If you’ve have a rough week at work, and your tired, don’t go out. You’ll need all your facilities out there. Better to get a little rest and save your life than to get out there too tired, angry or too flustered to make good decisions and end your life.

9. Other Boaters/Fishermen

  • I love fishing when no one else is around. You get your favorite spots that no one knows about. That’s great, and I think you should fish that way. However, consider how many boaters are out on the water. If not many, you may need to stay a bit closer to the dock or consider radios and personal locator beacons and such.
  • When I capsized it was another boater who helped me recover my boat and gear.

10. Healthy Sense of Fear (A.K.A Common Sense)

  • Keep a healthy sense of fear out there. Fishing is dangerous.

11. Flotation Tackle Bags/Boxes

  • Fishing gear costs money. You know how it is to lose a piece of gear you love. I lost two Abu Garcia 4600 C3 reels the day I capsized. You might say, “Well you could have lost your life!” Yes, I could have. However, to this day I haven’t been able to replace those reels. I was able to save my tackle box, boat registration and such because they were contained in buoyant boxes. Keep that in mind. If it floats you will likely recover it.

12. Fire Extinguisher

  • Always carry a fire extinguisher. My dad was burned severely on his boat. He was frying fish while fishing. As he caught them, he would clean them and fry them right there on the boat. That was foolish and illegal. In Alabama you have to come back ashore with the full fish carcass so the game warden can check and see if your catch is within regs. At any rate something went wrong, and dad was severely burned from his calves down. He had to go to the hospital. He never tried that again.
  • Even if you never make a mistake like that, gasoline, electric batteries and internal combustion make for a dangerous combination. Get a fire extinguisher from the boating section of your local sporting goods store.

13. Three Methods of Propulsion (Reinwald Tripartite System of Safety)

  • An ex-Army rifle commander told me how strict he was with his men concerning safety. Commanding young men they’d always be hanging off trucks, tanks and armored personnel carriers. Someone would always lose balance, fall off, and break a collar bone or something. What good is a soldier in combat with a broken collar bone, twisted ankle or broken neck? He required his men to keep three points of contact on the vehicle at all times.
  • This story inspired me so much that I implemented a similar system regarding propulsion. The biggest threat is that your motor dies or you get hurt and can’t get back to the dock. My mud motor serves as primary power. The backup is a set of seven foot oars. The third system is a five foot paddle. When I used my 30 lbs thrust trolling motor as primary power, I can’t tell you the number of times I ran out of battery power, fishing line tangled around the propeller, and I had to jump on the oars to get back to the boat dock. Make sure you have something like this on your boat.

14. Weather Report

  • Check the weather before you go out, or keep a VHF radio to listen to the weather forecasts while you’re out. Amid summer cumulonimbus clouds form fast making for dangerous thunderstorms. Keep watch and apprised of what the weather is doing because, you’ll have to anticipate, or you’ll get caught out there in a terrible electric storm and get killed.

15. Current, Generator Outflow Times & Lake Levels

  • Along with the weather, check the current and flow rates of the hydroelectric dam at your lake or river. Alabama Power’s Shorelines is a nice service app and Web site that shows lake levels, generator operating schedules and generation outflow on their Web site. This helps you determine the “safer” times to fish below the dam.

16. GPS/Personal Locator Beacon/Satellite Messenger

  • Technology applied to personal rescue. If you get in trouble, you hit a button, and the cavalry is on its way. These are based on satellite systems: some military, some privately owned satellite networks. Some of these require paid subscriptions, some do not.
  • Personal locator beacons send an SOS signal to satellites with your GPS coordinates. You’re way more likely to get rescued with a PLB. These don’t require a paid subscription.
  • Satellite messengers do require paid subscriptions, often monthly or annual. Don’t forget to pay up your subscription or else you’re dead. It isn’t like 911: Whether you pay the bill or not you’ll get emergency service. Here, they don’t give a rip. You don’t pay? You die. Get a PLB or VHF marine radio instead.

17. VHF Marine Radio

  • Best all around technological device for emergencies. Here’s why: Even the smaller handheld VHF marine radios have Digital Selective Calling. This is a part of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System. If you get in a jam, the unit can transmit a predefined digital message straight to the Coast Guard/Marine Police at the push of a button.
  • Many of these small units have a GPS receiver, so that when you hit the DSC button it will transmit your GPS coordinates and the name of your boat to the Coat Guard. There is some paper work you’ll have to do to get set up, but that’s real peace-of-mind.
  • Because it’s a radio you also have audio communications with other boaters and the channel 16 emergency frequency. This also allows you to listen out for boater in need of help. Take the time to learn proper VHF communications.
  • A cell phone is worthless. Chunk it.

18. First Aid Kit

  • Don’t buy a first aid kit not knowing what’s in it or how to use it. You can’t read the instructions in the middle of an emergency and hope to have the presence of mind to sort everything out like it’s a minor cut or bump. Make your own first aid kit and put in in a Pelican box so that is can float. The last thing you need is a soaking wet, contaminated first aid when you have a gaping hole in your side.

19. Waterproof Blanket

  • Remember the old U.S. Army rifle commander mentioned above? He mentioned these next few things, as well as the first aid kit. It gets cold at night even in the summer. Hypothermia threatens life.

20. Water

  • If the emergency won’t kill you, dehydration can. Keep a fresh supply of water out there or some kind of water pump to filter, or Aquamira treatments to purify the water. I still have Aquamira treatment from my hiking days. It’s a very light weight solution: a two part treatment system that will purify the water chemically. It makes the water like tap water, but it will keep you hydrated until help arrives.

21. Waterproof Matches/Magnesium Fire Starter

  • I never would have thought of this one, and I think it’s great, but I would recommend magnesium fire steel/starter. This stuff works. It spark easily even when wet. Starting a fire gives comfort to a stressed mind.

22. Change of Clothes

  • Nice dry clothes while awaiting rescue can keep you warm and minimize threats of hypothermia. Again you’ll need some kind of water proof bag. Canoeists and kayakers have many options.

23. Hand, Foot and Body Warmers

  • Hunters often use these. They are a source of chemical heat. I’ve used them to stay warm since my house only has electrical heat. If the electricity goes out these, little guys come in handy. They hold heat for up to 14 to 18 hours depending on size. Once exposed to the air, they start a chemical reaction. Heat is the main byproduct of this reaction.

24. A Good Knife

  •  I heard sailors say for years that you need a good knife out there. You never know when you’ll capsize and get entangled in the anchor rope below water. A good, sharp knife might mean you stay alive or go meet the Maker.

Good times, tight lines! Stay safe.


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How to Rig Your Black Warrior Lures Channel Catfish Float

Black Warrior Lures Stop Knot Rig

These floats are all about sensitivity. They are not bait barges. (In fact I probably should make a float called a Bait Barge.) It’s designed to use a bare minimum amount of weight and very light gear so that it can detect even the slightest movement. If you use too much weight with these, you’ll greatly decrease the sensitivity. I mean a channel cat can brush past these, and you’ll know it.

I think catfishermen are used to using heavy gear for everything, even for medium-small, eating-sized channel catfish, and it’s a shame. There’s no need for a broomstick rod, line heavy enough to anchor the USS Freedom, hooks big enough for a 1,000 lb. hammerhead shark, and a float capable of raising the USS Tecumseh out from under the 10 feet of sand that Hurricane Ivan dumbed onto it.

Eating-sized channel catfish angling requires finesse fishing. When trying to figure how much weight to use with these floats, ask yourself one question: “What is the bare minimum amount of weight needed to make the float slowly cock up and stand on end without the bait?” Anything more is too much weight. If want to float more weight than that, then you have the wrong float. What you need is a Bait Barge. (Again, once I get my lathe in, I’ll start working on a heavier float.)

Good times, tight lines!

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Why We Catfish

Catfish Pudding | Homemade Punch BaitWe love catfish angling. In a world full of bass fishermen and trout fishermen and carp anglers and big, saltwater guys, we stick to our beloved catfish. Channels, blues, flatheads or big ones overseas, it boils down to three reasons we all fish for catfish:

  • Nostalgia
  • Food
  • Gear


This is the biggest category. It includes everything from childhood memories to God and creation to wanting to live a slower life to resting your nerves. It’s a catch-all phrase that captures the need to escape the daily grind of life. The water birds and fish, they seem to have a calming effect on the soul. I can’t explain it. I wager it has something to do with God/Jesus trying to tell us he loves us.

It is a beautiful thing. You get out there with friends and family and sometimes you don’t care if you catch a cooler full or get skunked. After a hard day’s work, fishing is a lot healthier than getting drunk on liquor.

My dad used to fish to calm his nerves. He loved sitting out on the water. He’d catch plenty, but he really loved the peacefulness of it all. You get out there, anchor in your favorite spot, and there comes a moment where you know this is who you are and why you were put on this planet.

Such is the meaning of nostalgia in catfish angling.


As great as all the warm fuzzies above sound, at the end of the day food is the practical aspect of fishing. Stock the freezer with meat. Feed the family. I don’t know what it’s like in your state, but in Alabama there is no limit on catfish other than you cannot have more than one catfish in your possession of 34 inches or longer. Basically they preserve the trophy-class fish. When fishing for eater-sized cats this doesn’t even register as most of the fish are less than 20 inches.

At any rate be sure to check your regs. Some states have creel limits other don’t. It depends on what your state can sustain via population and available water sources and such. There are smart people who figure into these things. In other words don’t be greedy. Harvest what you and your family will eat over the next few days or over winter or whatever metric you set up. There are plenty of fish for all of us. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Gear! Stuff! Tools! Weapons! Face it: We love buying gear and putting to the test. You start dusting off your rods, thinking about spooling up new line, then you remember that one new reel you’d been wanting to try or that new bait or that new sonar. It happens to all of us. In fact I’m sitting here thinking of the next rod building project made from wooden strips.

Testing your gear is fun. One of the first rods I built was a long, limber catfish rod made from a 5/6 weight fiberglass fly rod blank. I hooked into a 5 pound channel catfish who was camped under a log. Goodness! He maxed out that fly rod, a fun fight. The rod was put to the test, and the drag had to do much of the work. Check out the video below to see what I’m talking about:

Good times, tight lines!


P.S., Why do you catfish?

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From the “Catfisher’s Prayer Book”

Dear LORD,

You made the river, gave it its bends.
You filled it with water and taught it to flow,
Then you filled it with fish, our favorite the catfish:
The channel, the blue and the great flathead.

You gave them to us to catch, to eat, and to enjoy
in sport.
You gave us rods and reels, bait and much talk.
You gave us boats and sonar and fishing floats.

All these belong to you, and we pray that we would
use them honestly to glorify you.

In Christ forever

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Why Black Warrior Lures?

BlackWarriorLuresLogoSmallblkSo, why the name Black Warrior Lures? Where does it come from? What does it mean?

The name Black Warrior goes back to the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. It includes history, geography, battles, explorers, natives and geopolitics, the classic stuff of legend.

First the Black Warrior River flows through west-central Alabama in the southeastern United States.  The Black Warrior is also the main tributary to the Tombigbee River which makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico. The primary cities along that grew up along the Black Warrior River include Tuscaloosa and Northport, Alabama. Tuscaloosa served as the capital of the state of Alabama from 1826 to 1846.

Now both the city of Tuscaloosa and The Black Warrior River are named after the same person: Chief Tuskaloosa. He was a chieftan over a large area which eventually became the Chotcaw Indians. Also city of Tuscaloosa is a derived word from Chief Tuskaloosa’s native language, i.e., tuska meaning black, loosa meaning warrior: Chief Black Warrior, Chief Tuskaloosa.

Black Warrior Lures, the Black Warrior River and Chief Tuskaloosa’s name meaning black warrior means that these lures fish the same waters that Chief Tuskaloosa’s people and descendants would have fished.

Chief Tuskaloosa died in 1540 at the Battle of Mabila. Hernandes de Soto started his North American expedition in 1539. Tuskaloosa’s and de Soto’s forces fought there.

Consider that Christopher Columbus died in 1506. Even Martin Luther’s 95 Theses was posted in 1517. 1547 is when Miguel Cervantes was born. Cervantes was the guy who wrote Don Quixote de la Mancha, arguably the world’s first novel. It’s amazing that in that world of exploration that we have a local connection to the world’s greatest explorers both real and fictional. Consider the Day of the Armada in 1588: That’s the day the British Navy defeated the Spanish Armada, lots of things going on in the world at that time. The world Chief Tuskaloosa died in was the same world Miguel de Cervantes was born into, and you have a connection to these people and to this history by fishing lures that were designed, tested and fished in these same waters as these great people. All things connected. That’s an awesome thought.

Catch’em all!


Chief Pencil Pusher and Lure Designer at Black Warrior Lures