|Dimensions||4 × 4 × 28 mm|
10 year anniversary collaboration with artist Brian Hebets of HebetsArts, San Diego CA.
StrategicAngler® was founded on January 1, 2011 (1/11)
*there will be 100 Proteus series lures and 11 special ABALONE Proteus lures with numbers that signify special dates in the StrategicAngler® timeline. If you obtain one of these and are curious about the significance of the number, simply reach out to me and I’d be more than happy to share! As mentioned above, these special numbers will be shuffled so everyone has an equal chance at these very special pieces.
The special abalone lure numbers are as follows:
001, 002, 006, 008, 010, 011, 050, 054, 075, 088, 111
This painting by San Diego artist Brian Hebets was inspired by one of the craziest catches of my life. In 2015, I was out on a testing trip witha friend visiting from Denmark and Capt Glyn Austin of Going Coastal charters out of Sebastian, Florida. It was a beautiful clear day so Capt Glyn decided to go further offshore in his 23 foot shoalwater cat, normally a flats boat! Reaching our destination over an hour later, we started throwing some threadfin herring (greenies) over a reef to see if there were any worthy targets.
I always look at live bait fish every chance I get to gain a better understanding of what makes them swim a certain way, their visual presence in the water and what makes them “tick.” All my lures are created from personal experiences and this day was no different, I was infatuated with the greenies during this excursion.
Soon after arriving, Nikolaj caught a cobia over the reef and found that there were more fish further away. Sporadic splashes just outside of “live bait range” teased us into switching gears so casting long range lures became a priority. I wanted to match the hatch, so I tied on a 5″ Mikros as it was close in size to the greenies that we were throwing out. The 60g weight of the sinking Mikros was just enough but I really wanted the ability to go another 20-30 feet. We all fished until the bite slowed, it was slack tide.
I decided to take a quick bite of my Wawa hoagie (sub, hero or sandwich to most of you folk) to get ready for the tide switch. I stuffed my face with my left hand as I looked over the stern (portside) where Nikolaj was fishing. My fishing rod, lure and trigger finger were locked in place on my right knee, anticipating any surface action if anything were to happen. Hoagies are pretty good eats when you’re having a good time especially having already caught a few fish. I looked over to Capt Glyn who was on the raised platform intently working on some sunflower seeds when all of a sudden he yells out “Merv!!! 11 o’clock now!!!” Without hesitation, I jammed the hoagie in my mouth, mumbled “hwwwfrrrr??” and before I knew it, I’ve wailed my 7 foot rod as hard as I possibly could over my left shoulder, not even looking towards the bow.
I watched the Mikros ascend in slow motion from the blind cast. . . . towards the blue horizon and into the teal waters beyond, hoagie in mouth. I saw a splash on the water close to 10 o’clock, then saw a commotion of bright fluorescent yellow 35 feet away to the right. I misplaced my cast. That was when I realized Capt Glyn had spotted some mahi and that’s what I had blind casted to.
I witnessed a 10,000 kilowatt bolt of yellow lightning quickly turn to an insane blue then hurtled at warp speed across the horizon. “Something” had just entered Lightning’s territory. Time stood still as the bolt streaked across the horizon, terminating with an enormous eruption of color, lure in mouth. The euphoric event turned the whole horizon into an exploding color palette of bright yellows, blues, greens, orange, silver and teal as I watched my slack line tighten up from the massive hit. An intensely electric Golden Mahi finally broke the surface in full splendor, tail walking across our peripherals as it tried to shake off whatever it just smashed at 186 mph.
I lifted my rod tip up with three heavy pumps to make sure “El Rey Dorado,” the Golden King, was hooked. I wasn’t about to lose this fish, at the very least I’d like to meet and thank him. I horsed the fish to the boat due to the massive shots of epinephrine my body was producing, breathing heavily with much gusto. This mahi was a tough bull, he took me around the boat and into the motor several times commanding me to give up. A few laps around and out of breath, I eventually got the Mahi boatside and into Captain Glyn’s net. Still short of breath, I realized the hoagie was still in my mouth. I grabbed the sandwich and plopped my butt on the deck, my hands still shaking from the excitement and gave each other high fives all around.
This was a day to remember, and now I want to share that with you.
Later on that week and into the next few years, I decided to work on a much heavier 5″ lure loosely based off the 5″ Mikros series to cast further. After many variations and morphs, the Proteus series is born, commemorating 10 years of StrategicAngler® history.
This original artwork is called “El Torero” or “The Bull Fighter” by Brian Hebets while the matching Proteus series lure to this painting is called “El Rey Dorado”, The Golden King.
*24×18 print will be shipped in a 4″ diameter tube, please open the package and let rest on a flat surface as soon as it arrives, matching lure and certificate is included.
*Stand not included, available here: StrategicAngler® laser etched/cut stand
27 in stock
27 in stock