Fish approved, sort of.
I rediscovered a jar of Lick-Em Lures' Pro Roe in my basement fishing stash earlier this week. And like the day I purchased it nearly one year ago at a Michigan outdoor show, I thought these things were amazing.
They look, feel and smell precisely like a genuine trout egg. At least they do to me, as well as other humans.
The real test would be if the fish treated them like the real deal.
First drift on the second hole at a Porter County tributary and a two-pound, skipper steelhead pounced on the imitation eggs and was in the air before I ever set the hook. A couple more jumps and a few quick dashes around the pool table-sized hole and the fish was mine.
Minutes later, something bigger bit. After a few head shakes and rushes near bottom, the crimsom-striped brute corkscrewed its way out the end of the run. Last I saw was a very wide tail splashing away as the line popped.
So it went with the fake eggs. I didn't fish that long, nor hard, but the steelies and the small brown trout I'd fished across gulped them with gusto.
On the other hand, some days you can't do anything wrong, especially with fresh-run, unpressured fish. Seems like you could drift a raisin at times and get bit.
Whoa, just thought of something when I typed that — those golden (white grape) raisins are the same color as trout spawn. Might have to try a raisin some day.
The other drawback to the Pro Roe was it didn't stay on the hook as well as I'd hoped. Although the eggs feel quite rubbery, they held up more like the "soft-boiled" salmon eggs anglers use for whitefish, which is what I thought of when I first saw this product.
To fish with them, I threaded a single egg up the line about two inches above a No. 8 hook in the way steelhead anglers drift plastic beads. Whether it worked better than a hard plastic egg is debatable. You wouldn't have to re-bait as much with plastic, but the Pro Roe has the look and smell going for it.
And thinking of smell, the Pro Roe lingers on fingers just like you'd spent the day fishing fresh skein on sacks.
To check out Pro Roe, visit www.lickemlures.com. They will be back displaying their wares again at The Ultimate Sports Show (www.showspan.com) in Grand Rapids, Mich., from March 15 to 19.
• State record: Andrew Ciesielski is the new owner of the Indiana whitefish record. Ciesielski caught a 5-pound, 13-ounce white at Portage Lakefront Park and registered it on Feb. 28. His fish edged out a 5-pound, 9-ounce whitefish caught by Josh Piscowicz on Feb. 20.
Prior to the recent catches, the state record was a 5-pound, 8-ouncer caught by Dan Rostecki in March 2015.
• Fishing friendly: To borrow a soccer term, there is a "friendly" fishing contest set for Saturday, which is open to the public and features no entry fee and no pre-registration, and features few rules.
Organized by the Northwest Indiana Steelheaders with weigh-in set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Chief's Bait Shop (1114 W. 4th St., Michigan City; (219) 874-4086). Medals will be awarded in Steelhead, Coho and Brown Trout categories.
Whether or not you catch one worthy of a weigh, stop by for some angling banter. More information is at nwisteelheaders.org.
• Friends of Fishing: A contest awarding cash prizes is set for March 25 at the Michigan City harbor. Entry is $20 per adult and no charge for youths 15 and under. Registration starts at 5 a.m. near the Coast Guard station and weigh-in ends at noon. Boundaries are Franklin Street to the Lighthouse. For more information, see www.friendsoffishing.webs.com
• Trolling, trolling, trolling: The Buffalo Bill Memorial Contest kicks off the Michigan City boat fishing, or trolling, tournament season on April 22. For more information, see www.michianasteelheaders.com.
Hoosier Coho Club events include the April 29 Pro/Am, the Hartman Memorial on May 5 and the Classic on May 6 and 7. For more information, see www.hoosiercohoclub.org.
The Coho Capital Derby is May 13 through June 18. For more information, see www.michigancitylaporte.com.