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Old 09-25-2007, 07:44 AM   #12
Edge Sportfish
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Jupiter,Florida
Posts: 84
Originally Posted by Fish_Eye View Post
The sport fishing world has lost a champion, someone who really made an impact.

I was stunned to hear of Johnís passing this morningÖI canít really believe heís gone.

Iíve had the great pleasure of knowing John for over a dozen years and Iíve watched him grow from a small wooden lure maker to the premiere custom plug crafter of our time. His ambition was simple, he wanted to make the best quality plugs humanly possibleÖhe attained that goal quite a few years ago and countless trophy stripers have been taken on his lures.

John was a true outdoorsman who loved hunting, training bird dogs and of course surf fishing. He raised his son to love and respect the outdoors as well. John was very much a family man and my deepest sympathy and prayers go out to Jessie, his son and all his family.

John and I fished together many times and we traveled to places like Menemsha in the spring where we joined forces with Buddy and Chip Vanderhoop to fish the legendary herring creek. Together we had quite an adventure with Captain George LaBonte in Jupiter, Florida and our trip to Cuttyhunk was a real corker. However the trip that will stay with me forever was Johnís first trip to Menemsha. I had been telling him for years how great the fishing was in late May and how wonderful Gay Head (Aquinnah) and all of Marthaís Vineyard was before tourist season. In fact it was over a cup of coffee on the porch of the general store at Beetlebung Corner where John turned to me and said, ďI canít believe how relaxed I am. I canít believe how relaxed I am!Ē Well that morning the fishing was epic with more fish being caught on his poppers than on live herring. Ron Arra was there and everyone was landing nice fish on Johnís top water lures. At one point (itís on my Stripers in Paradise video) John turns to the camera and says, ďI think Iím in heaven.Ē John, it was a pleasure sharing a little heaven-on-earth with you, rest in peace old friend.

I have a hundred funny stories I can tell, but Iíll post those some other time, right now Iím heading to Coddington Brewing Co to have a tall blueberry ale and to toast the memory of a great man. Anyone care to join me I might be there for a spell?

Hereís a collage of John enjoying life to the fullest and showing off his latest creations.

I remember that trip well Mike. The one thing that stands out in my recollection of Hab was his enthusiasm about getting his new business going. Also how confident and determined he was that stepping into such a risky and competetive business would work out if he kept at it.

It was a great leap of faith for him to chase his dream and after several years lapsing, the next time I heard about him was on a surf trip to the outer Cape. All anyone I fished with could talk about is his plugs and how effective they were. I even recall an incident where somebody reported a "Hab sighting" and scrambled to the local tackle shop in search of some of his tough to come by plugs during the height of the fall run.

I was impressed and very happy to see he had reached his goal and in such a big way no less. How many of us are that fortunate?

Thoughts and prayers sent to his family and the fishing community that have lost another good man among our ranks.

Capt. George LaBonte

" want to catch more fish?
more days.
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