Bo Cessna Creates Own Lures-J. Martino

Cessna creates his own brand of lures By: John Martino Fishermen are notorious for tinkering with baits. By that I mean altering new lures, right out of the box, to suit what they think is best. Many will change hooks, action or even add additional color to new artificial baits. Then there’s some that take it a lot farther, like one Kokomo angler. Bo Cessna has always loved plying area waters. Then he began fishing bass tournaments only a couple years back. From the beginning he thought he could improve on lures that were mass produced. As a child he has always possessed a creative side to his personality and loved to draw, a trait that has never left. So he decided to take his creative nature and apply it to his fishing endeavors. “Since I started fishing tournaments and seeing all the soft plastic lures that were made, I thought I could come up with one that was better,” said Cessna. “In my mind I pictured a lure that would contain tentacles that would move erratically under water increasing the action and appeal.” It wasn’t long after when he took the next step and purchased a small, single mold and an inexpensive plastic injector. A shop was set up in his garage and he went to work learning, then honing that type of manufacturing process. People like this embrace the human spirit of imaginative design. Their products are made with a distinct purpose and an attention to fine detail. Try finding that in mass production. After testing several prototypes the Kokomo resident came upon a pattern that he felt met everything he was looking for, after considerable testing the “Ned tickler” was born. The bait is unique, crowned at both ends with a clump of small, plastic appendages that move tantalizingly when dropped under water. “I carefully look at every lure in a tank of water and when I tested this one it met everything I was trying to achieve,” explained Cessna. “It took me a while to perfect it the way I wanted,” said the 47 year old Chrysler employee. Now on almost any evening, after work, he can be found in his shop manufacturing his line of soft plastics. His shop now holds numerous molds of various shapes and sizes and a host of other equipment. Bo’s Baits has recently expanded offering jig heads and a growing list of other plastic baits. So if you are wondering if his product can stand up to the discerning eyes of finicky fishermen, it was validated at last weekend’s Wild Indiana Outdoor Expo where he set up a booth showcasing his creations. “This is my first show and I wanted to use it as a test. I had no idea what to expect,” he said, in between all the people that stopped by his booth. His greatest reward came during the final afternoon. “Well what do we have here?” said fishing legend Hank Parker who headlined this year’s show. “Boy let me say one thing, you have definitely got something here,” Parker added while looking closely at the soft plastic lures. Throughout the show Cessna had a steady stream of visitors stopping by his booth, where he would demonstrate its action by dropping it into a small tank of water. Local fisherman and friend Pete Schmitt stopped by to purchase several bags of the baits. “I love the action plus they’re soft plastics and easy to use,” he said in his always pleasing demeanor. Ideas that flow from the human mind and the ambition to follow those ideas are responsible for some of our greatest inventions, especially when it comes to artificial lures. Cessna, as well as other private lure makers, embrace that philosophy and many fish have ended up in a live well or frying pan because of their labor. If you are interested in checking out some of Bo’s Baits, he can be reached on his Facebook page or by calling (765) 398-4853. Time to apply for reserved turkey hunt opportunities Hunters can now apply online for a reserved turkey hunts on many state properties. All you have to do is visit and click the "Reserved Hunt Info" link. The application period is Jan. 6 through Feb. 19. The online method is the only way to apply. Applicants must possess a valid hunting license. The process is now consolidated into the online services website along with licenses, Check-In Game and HIP registration. An online account is not required to apply, so there is no need to log in.  Please note that in this new system, hunts without a registration fee will follow the same process as those with a fee. For hunts with no fee required to register, you will be asked to “Add to Cart,” “Proceed to Check out,” and “Place Order.” If the transaction total is $0, you will not be asked to enter credit card information. Hunters will be selected through a random, computerized drawing. Results will be posted online within two weeks after application deadlines.