Maybe there's something unique about the exact cup shape of its chugging mouth. Maybe the rattle or the shape of the rattle chamber emits a slightly different frequency than other similar models. I don't think it's the color, because as the years have rolled on, most of the paint has been sanded off by countless bass and their abrasive lips. I think the most likely explanation is that I'm comfortable and confident when I throw that lure. Money and I have made a lot of great memories together, starting with that first fish.
Now it's 2013. The sun is rising on a brisk September tournament morning as I race down the river with my 11-year-old daughter, Megan, in the passenger seat. It's her first tournament. I flash back to the shore of that little pond where I stood with her mother 22 years ago. Back then, I doubt I could have pictured my life in 2013 but now that I'm here I wouldn't change a thing. I can't adequately describe the rush of nostalgia, excitement and pride I feel as I hop to the front deck, deploy the trolling motor and grab my trusty topwater rod. Everything about this moment seems so right – just me, my girl and of course, my Money Chug.
I quickly survey the conditions, the current, the eddies and the shadows, then pick the spot for my first cast. But I remember I will need to coach my rookie partner. I'm eager to give her my attention and delighted that I have hers. I describe the shape of the wing dam and explain where and how a predator will use this spot to their advantage. For the next several minutes, I'm casting but most of my attention is on Megan's presentation. Luckily, the kid's a natural and soon she's casting like an old pro.
Confident that she's found her stride, I turn my attention back to my trusty topwater bait. But something isn't right. I flick my wrist like I've done a thousand times over the years but, instead of the sharp gurgle and spray I know so well, Money responds with a flat sounding splash. Have I picked up a weed? I snap it again to clear anything that may be clinging to her hooks but there's that sound again. That's weird. I reel in quickly, and after a visual inspection I fire out to the edge of the current break once again. I twitch, and Money just slushes ahead. I twitch harder. Slush. What in the world?