What exactly is it that the lure says?

The latest winner of bass fishing’s most prestigious event, the Bassmaster Classic, was Randy Howell of Springville, Ala.

OK, you don’t follow bass fishing enough to care much about this, but did you see what lure he was using?

Howell actually used several different lures but he singled out a Livingston Lure as a difference-maker at the Bassmaster. That got my attention. You see, I’ve actually fished with a few Livingston lures. Livingston Lures is a relative newcomer in the major lure making business. Their lineup features “circuit board” technology and lures that actually light up when they hit the water.

Oh boy, it does sound a bit gimmicky, doesn’t it?

Wait a minute now. Livingston Lures named a new lure the Howeller in honor of Howell’s Bassmaster Classic victory. No doubt fishermen everywhere, and not just bass fishermen, are now wondering about Livingston Lures and how to get a few of them. Fishermen, you see, can’t stand it if a particular lure is catching fish and they don’t have one or two or 17 dozen.

I contacted Livingston Lures prior to a fishing trip to the Florida flats this past January. I was quite curious about their claims and wanted to put their lures to the test. A few days after my inquiry I received a list of lures that were recommended for the type of saltwater fishing I described. Naturally, I obtained a few of these newcomer lures and took them to Florida in the hopes of wowing my fishing companions.

Well, I didn’t “wow” them, but I did catch fish. OK, one fish on a Livingston top-water Pro Sizzle Junior. The lure was said to “offer a hydrodynamic body shape and counterweight system that allows for long casts and great surface action. Combine with EBS technology and you are guaranteed to catch more fish.”

Guaranteed! How could I go wrong?

As it turned out, I didn’t go wrong. I caught a nice barracuda that exploded on a Livingston Lure, silver belly and blue back. Was it the EBS technology that is said to emulate natural baitfish sounds that fooled that fish? I can’t say, particularly since the color pattern had been a proven fish-getter in that water. It did cast well though.

Later, in much darker water, I threw a Livingston Lure Pro Sizzle. Not only does the Pro Sizzle boast EBS technology, but its tail illuminates on the water – according to Livingston’s promotional material, “making it irresistible to fish foraging on the surface.”

Whether that was true or not I cannot say. What I can say is that the lure didn’t light up more than about 30 percent of the time and that I didn’t catch any fish while using it. The reality is, I didn’t give any of the Livingston Lures a real serious try. Other lures were working just fine.

Anyway, when Howell revealed that he used Livingston Lures at the Bassmaster and won the darned thing, the fisherman in me was listening. My intent has always been to put Livingston Lures to the test in North Dakota water. I’ll do that with two different top-water presentations and one lipless crank bait. All contain EBS, but there’s no way to tell if it is working in the water. At least I don’t know how.

The good thing is that they seem to be quality lures and they come in colors that catch both fishermen and, hopefully, fish. The top-water lures are well-designed and work great for “walking the dog.” There’s no reason they shouldn’t catch fish, gimmick or not.