CALEDONIA — Fishermen want lures to look and act like edible creatures to the salmon, trout or other species they hope to hook.
A local man has just patented two fishing lures that add sense of smell, in a brand new way, to the art of attracting fish. His lures could give anglers other advantages as well.
Bill Madala of Caledonia, who is retired from a career at SC Johnson’s entomology center, received U.S. patents on a single-tail fishing lure and a double-tail lure. What sets them apart is his innovation: bait-cavity technology.
A lure featuring Madala’s bait-cavity technology has a hollow tail, easily detachable from the lure-head and designed to hold a wide variety of baits. They are laid or dropped into the detached tail which is then snapped back into the lure head, with no hooking of bait.
Openings in the tail spread the scent and sound of the bait to fish while keeping the bait fresher than it would stay on a hook.
Madala, who is so adept at building things that he single-handedly built a two-story log cabin on his property by using a front-end loader, described how he conceived his lure idea about three years ago.
Growing up, he said, he and his father made spawn sacks for bait from fish eggs and small pieces of nylon stockings. With that in his background, Madala said, “Well, I always look at things sometimes, and it’s like, how can this be made better? And thinking about in the past, with the spawn sacks. And all the different food-type baits (available).
“I just thought about opening one (lure) up one time, cutting it open, making a prototype and putting everything inside of it so it leaves out a scent trail.”
He carefully sliced a wooden lure down the middle on a band saw, and that was the start of the tinkering that led to his current prototypes. The two-tail lure’s shape, Madala said, is designed to mimic frog legs.
Madala took his inventions to Peter Jansson at local intellectual property law firm Jansson, Munger, McKinley & Kirby. He said they forewarned him that getting patents could be up to a three-year process.
“Obviously, they’ve got to do a patent search, see if there’s anything out there like it, which they didn’t find,” Madala said. “So they said I could move forward if I wanted to.”
According to Jansson, Madala’s patents cover any lure that includes his bait-cavity technology regardless of lure size or shape, for any type of fishing in any waters.
“The world of fishing lure patents has been a tight space for quite some time already, so typically new patents are narrow and cover a discrete product,” the firm stated. “Madala’s patents go farther by covering a whole lure concept which is easy to use and has many imaginable uses, benefits and embodiments.”
The advantage of not having to hook bait, Madala said, opens up fishing to people who, for whatever reason, lack the motor skills or inclination to hook live bait, or who have hand injuries or conditions that make hooking difficult.
“And (bait) lasts a lot longer because, fishing ponds or lakes, you put a worm on, and (fish) start nibbling, and it’s gone,” Madala said. “And you’ve got to put another one on. And another one on. Same with minnows.”
Besides live bait, he said the cavity could be filled with scented baits made for specific fish species. Madala also thinks tuna fish in oil could work.
“I haven’t experimented with it a lot because the prototypes that I had made up are not real rigid,” he said. “… It’s all something to try to find out what works best.”
In May, Madala said, he’ll be able to announce a third patent — not for a lure but for a complementary product.
He is now actively seeking a licensing arrangement or investors to take his line of patented lures into production and sales. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Madala said, “I’m wide open to anything that moves it forward.”