While all plug builders value feedback from other anglers and luremakers, ultimately, it’s the fish whose feedback matters most. Derek Ashcroft of Taunton, Massachusetts got that all-important feedback while fishing his first batch of hand-turned plugs, catching stripers to 47 inches on them.
Since then, Ashcroft has refined his plugs and created the Lights Out Lure Company. His pencil poppers quickly landed on the short list of go-to pencils among Cape Cod Canal regulars, and surfcasters throughout the Northeast are continuing to learn of their effectiveness.
Ashcroft’s goal in designing a pencil was to make a plug that could reach the far-out fish in the Cape Cod Canal. His early designs had a wider profile that he’s since slimmed down to its current design. “When I first made the shape that I use to this day, I showed it to another plug-builder friend and he said, ‘Kid you nailed it!’”
These days, Light Out Lures offers a full line of plugs. “Since 2014 I’ve been testing and creating metal lip swimmers in various sizes and profiles, Polaris-style poppers, sinking and floating pencil poppers–the list keeps growing,” Ashcroft said. “My favorite by far is a three-ounce pikie. Such a versitile and effective plug!”
Ashcroft credits his success as a plug builder to the people who helped him along the way, from the plug-building community on StripersOnline.com to fellow lure makers and fishermen.
Fishermen can find Lights Out Lures at some of the winter fishing shows and flea markets, as well as: Buzzards Bait and Tackle, Bourne, MA
Cape Cod Charlie’s, Bourne, MA
Tomo’s Tackle, Salem, MA
Main Bait and Tackle, Fall River, MA
Ocean State Tackle, Providence, RI
Quonny Bait and Tackle, Charlestown, RI
Bobby J’s Bait and Tackle, Milford, CT
Fisherman Supply, Point Pleasant, NJ