Recreational fishing is one of those great sports that even amateur anglers pursue with a passion. Unfortunately, only those who work in the industry get to go fishing as much as they’d like. So when Captain Mark Nichols creates his Deadly On Anything – DOA Lures, he keeps the average angler’s quest for fishing success in mind. These soft plastic baits are made in the USA and branded Deadly On Anything.
Growing up in Texas, Nichols’ uncle and father ran shrimp boats in Galveston Bay, Matagorda and the Gulf of Mexico. In 1989, he took the observations from his youth into account when he set out to create his own line of lures. His goal was to duplicate the slow-sinking action of a live shrimp in the water, always gliding and never sinking. The result was one of the most successful and often copied artificial shrimp on the market.
“My inspirations for lure designs come from time on the water,” he said. “I define real wealth by how happy I am, and I hire Americans to work for my company to bolster my peace of mind.”
Believe it or not the first DOA shrimp was carved out of wood. “Today DOA shrimp are made out of poly-vinyl that is injected into molds in Jacksonville,” said Nichols. “The DOA shrimp sinks slower than evolution by design, but it can be modified by experienced anglers to include a rattle or to be fished with a CAL jighead.”
And it’s no longer just shrimp that the DOA Lures brand is selling. “New for 2013 is the DOA Airhead lure, which is a soft plastic bait with a large air cavity and a tail that will flap like crazy.”
“Nature and fishing have always been my therapy in life,” said Nichols. “Teaching anglers how to catch and handle fish so that they may be released is one of DOA’s mission statements. We may have to expand that mission statement to educate others about the delicate saltwater ecology of the Indian River Lagoon system too.”
Residing in Stuart, Florida, near the St. Lucie Inlet, Nichols is fortunate to be able to test his lures against large trout and snook, as well as the seasonal species that migrate through. Unfortunately, the summer of 2013 has been a quiet one for fishing success stories in the area. Many locals think that tainted runoff from nearby Lake Okeechobee is filtering down the St. Lucie River and harming the grass beds that attract and hold bait and fish. While it’s too early to draw conclusions about any damage done to the fishery, the rains that are triggering the runoff are forecast to continue.
When asked for some pro tips, Nichols first talked about his new DOA Airhead. He suggested making a slice in the tail of the Airhead for even more flapping action, and then to pitch it in front of a largemouth bass.
Fishing out of the River Palm Cottages in Jensen Beach, Nichols also shared his technique for finding flounder along the abundant number of docks. “I like to drift in to a fishing spot and cast a 3-inch DOA shrimp in chartreuse,” said Nichols. “If I catch one, I think about anchoring up to concentrate on that area since experience has taught me that where there is one flounder, there are often more flat fish. Remember that flounder will be facing into the tide, looking for their next meal.”
Whenever he’s not spending time with his wife, Jenny, and their dog, Morris, Nichols can be found fishing. “My inspirations for lure designs come from time on the water,” he said. “I define real wealth by how happy I am, and I hire Americans to work for my company to bolster my peace of mind.”
For more details about Mark Nichols’ lures, visit www.DoaLures.com.