From tool and die maker, to fishing guide, to boat upholstery, to lure maker, to computer guru, to fishing magazine editor. That’s Chris Erwin.
“I came from bass fishing. I started club fishing in 1971 and I didn’t think I’d ever get tired of bass fishing, but if you catch a fish 40 inches long in 6 inches of water and that doesn’t thrill you, then you’re dead,” explained Erwin, as we enjoyed a beautiful fall morning fishing Cave Run Lake.
That’s how Erwin, the editor of Kentucky Angling magazine, explains his deep love for muskie fishing. He certainly hasn’t put his bass gear in storage, nor has he lost the joy of crappie fishing, but the thrill of catching big muskie gave him a new focus.
A resident of Ashland, Erwin considers Cave Run Lake his home lake since it was built in the mid-70s.
Over the years, he has found himself spending so much time on the water at Cave Run that he now is building a unique home at the lake. It will rely on solar energy and thermal for much of its power, heating and cooling. His new home is more than a mile from the nearest electrical line.
As Erwin showed me the beauty of Cave Run at a recent meeting of the Kentucky Outdoor Press Association, he assured me he isn’t “just a muskie fisherman.
“If I don’t raise a muskie, I’ll tie on a bass lure. I want to catch something on the end of the line.”
For many years, Erwin concentrated on bass and fished and helped develop competitive tournaments in their early stages. Later, for eight years, he guided for bass and muskie.
Now he concentrates on his Kentucky Angling website, Kentucky Angling News on-line magazine, and his family’s upholstery and custom trim business. That is, when he isn’t fishing or building his new home at Cave Run. Then, in his winter weather spare time, he makes lures and sells all he can make.
Erwin’s training is tool and die making. However, he began other pursuits after the company he worked for a number of years ago closed its doors in the U.S.
“I like making stuff. That’s what a tool and die maker does,” he said as he cast another muskie lure to a weed line at Cave Run.
The lures he makes are sold on his website and are mostly for muskie fishing; however, several also are good baits for bass, including one he calls the Little Bear Ripper.
Erwin agrees that muskie strike big lures (baits larger than most fish I catch), however he says muskie often hit bass lures, especially at Cave Run. Some dedicated bass anglers don’t like the big toothy fish, but most fishermen love the thrill of hooking a monster fish on a bass bait.
More about Erwin and his lures, along with current fishing information can be found at his Kentucky Angling website (Kentuckyangling.com). At the site, there are links to Kentucky Angling Magazine, his lures at The Tackle Hut, and a fishing message board.
REASON REIGNS — Reason has reigned. In a ruling issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it denied a petition calling for a ban on the manufacture and use of lead-based fishing tackle. The denial is in response to a petition filed Aug. 3 by several groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, seeking to ban the use of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle.
Eliminating the use of lead in fishing lures would have dramatically driven up the cost of fishing lures and weights used by most anglers. It also could have impacted the effectiveness of the products.
Back on Aug. 27, the EPA denied the portion of the petition relating to lead in ammunition.