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Old 09-24-2007, 03:14 PM   #1
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What's your best experience with a Hab's plug?

Hi Everyone,

I’m convinced Hab is reading all these posts...there weren't too many that mentioned his lures that missed his attention while he was with us and even though he's gone I’m sure he appreciates all the kind words being said about him down here at

I know Hab would love to hear about your outstanding “Hab’s” moments. One of his biggest thrills as a plug builder came from reading stories and seeing pictures of trophy fish caught on his handiwork. I can’t think of a better on-line tribute then creating the longest thread about a plug maker in history. There must be hundreds of stories out there about, first fish caught on a Hab’s, fish of a lifetime on a Hab’s, most fish, biggest fish, ugliest fish, most memorable experience, etc.

I’ll bet his wife Jessie and their son John would love to see how his work impacted others. Let’s hand them a print out of this thread and fill a three ring binder with how the most important man in their lives touched yours.
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Last edited by Fish_Eye; 09-24-2007 at 03:22 PM..

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Old 09-24-2007, 03:31 PM   #2
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This is just one of many but Clogston and I were fishing on an outer cape beach one night maybe 4 years ago when we were really new to the sport of striped bass fishing. I don't think we had ever experienced a blitz at the point nevermind caught a fish on wooden plug. Anyway we were fishing eel and black 2 oz. Hab's needles because that what we knew you were supposed to do. I think we both hooked up on our first cast and it continued cast after cast for maybe 45 minutes. I don't think we broke 30 inches but for a couple guys new to catching it was great.

I went to the same spot the next night and hooked up with a cow that nearly spooled me and I ultimately lost it due to a sticky drag and poor angling skills. I think loosing that fish was it for me. There was no turning back after that. Since then there have been alot of good fish on those needles.

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Old 09-24-2007, 04:12 PM   #3
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All I'll say is RISAA won't be the same without him.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:55 PM   #4
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I was fishing Buzzards Bay with my father mid July this year. It was a very slow day, it was mostly blues and believe it or not, they were being incredibly selective! They weren't hitting tins or anything! I tied on a pink night n' gale, and cast it out and wham on the first cast i have an 8 pound blue! Took the skunk off the trip.

Prior to that though, I had spent part of the ride out telling my father that I had met my favorite plug builder the day before. That was John, and I had been calling Mike at M&D's all week waiting for a shipment of tally's to arrive. Finally I called and he said that they had just come in. I rushed to the shop to get one! As I walked in, John was still there. I introduced myself and selected a tally and as I was walking out, he said " Once you get tallywhacked you never go back". I thought that was a riot, and man is it true. I guess what I am trying to say is to me he was a man that's product was second to none, as was his character. His work could always help you catch fish, and the way he was as a person even though i only met him a few times, could always put a smile on your face.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:42 PM   #5
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Many many fish caught on Habs here... but most memorable right now to me was one encounter last late Nov...

There were some fish at M., but few & they were picky-- the bait population was in a lull pre- Herring arrival... Most weren't catching anything bigger than 3 lbs.-- I'd have 8- 15 per session none bigger than that! Was "it" over we wondered?

Strong wind- in- face this Dawn, I went with the 2.5 Night- N- Gale in pink. Took two teen fish that drew a crowd... then had a strong surface smash that set a record for the highest any plug of mine was ever knocked into the air by a Bass! This fish hit so savagely, that he missed the (single) hook & launched the heavy- ish plug at least 12 feet high out of the water-- to the delight of two nearby onlookers... & my frustration!

True I missed that fish... but she didn't just want to eat that sexy pink N n G... she wanted to destroy it to pieces!
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:34 PM   #6
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this was very sad news when i woke up the other morning and read that he had passed away. but my personal best memory with a habs plug was when i was fishing a blurple 2.5oz needlefish at a UDL and i caught my first keeper of the season.
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:58 PM   #7
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the last bass I caught was this weekend on an all black habs mullet ..I threw everything in my bag and couldnt buy a hit ....then came the habernator ...
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:44 AM   #8
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And a quick story.

My best experience with a Hab's plug is something that might be considered sacrilegious to many...

I was driving over the Newport Bridge when a friend called me and said that there was one of the biggest flocks of birds working off Third Beach he had ever seen. I drove down to see that he was not kidding... mullet, peanuts, butterfish and silversides were all being pushed to the beach... when I looked around there was not a bent rod in sight! The fish were chowing out of range, so I put on a Habs 3 oz Pencil and heaved it for all I was worth. After about 10 fruitless casts, my plug was assaulted by a very large bluefish... all of 15 pounds. And then the beach exploded... huge blues everywhere. I rummaged in my bag but found that it was set up for nighttime with a single pencil for first light... I muttered "Sorry Habs" and kept casting. The results of the day were special I had a 19-pound bluefish as my largest official, but I caught another that was noticeably larger. But that wasn't what made it special. As the blitz wore on, crowds of people from the neighborhood down the street began to gather at the edge of the dune, they were watching in astonishment as young kids began to filter into the line of casters to see what we were doing. I began shoveling bent rods into the hands of little boys and girls and watching them strain to crank in these double-digit blues. The best one was a 6-year old boy from Vermont, he beached (with a lot of help from me) a 16-pound bluefish on that Habs Pencil. By the end of the melee it looked like I dragged it behind the car on a trip to the Grand Canyon, but I felt like Habs wouldn't have wanted in any other way. Hope to see you all on Sunday at Coddington's to remember our old friend.

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Old 10-14-2015, 09:55 AM   #9
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I have 2 stories.......the first was when I first started building plugs. As many of us do when we start out I knocked off my favorite builders plug to get started! I knocked off a few of Habs 2 oz. needlefish to exact specs! The first night I ever took one of my own hand built lures out to fish I went to Ballston Beach with my buddy Slingah (he had one too I think) anyway we got there and Slingah made a test cast checking for "Mung"...(remember Mung?) and he hooked up right away so I started casting and hooked up right off the bat! We caught bass from 15-25 pounds from 10pm to the time the sun came up!!! We were alone on the beach until we were joined by Slipknot and Bassmaster!!! We had a great night and I owed it all to Johnny Habs needlefish! My second story was a great night I had on a blurple Habs 2 oz. needle......arrived at a local spot and my buddies were already crushing bass! I started casting and catching and by the time the fish moved on I had about 8 bass to 25 of my buddies had beached a 35 pounder! Habs made some killer plugs......and John gave me some great plug building advice over the few years I was fortunate enough to have known him! He was never selfish and never resented anyone else building plugs as many do! So glad I got to know John!

Almost time to get our fish on!!!
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Old 10-14-2015, 02:32 PM   #10
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my best fish on a metal lip, 38 lbs, came on a black hab's stix. caught it only a few days before he passed. corresponded with John about it via e-mail and he was excited about it. haven't fished it again. I have a lot of hab's plugs and fish or will fish all of them, but that one probably will not see the water again.

Posted a pic here:

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker" - Van Helsing
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:54 PM   #11
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A few years ago on a trip with my fishing buds and my dad we decided to fish a spot on the Island we had never fished before. I didn't quite know what to expect at this spot as it didn't fit our usual profile and the fishing the prior few nights had been slow. When we got down to the water there were fish breaking and dusk was quickly fading into darkness. A few casts in I landed my PB bass on a white Hab's 2oz needle.

That night saw all four of us catch throughout the whole tide, including my Dad's personal best from the surf. It was a night that none of us will forget. One of the best memories I have with my dad. A truly special night.
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