Two years ago, Larry Davidson didn’t know exactly what ICAST was all about. Now he champions it, especially after his brainchild won Best of Show there. Davidson’s square-bottom hooks took the Terminal Tackle title in 2016, and Trapper Tackle has been full steam ahead since.
“Oh my goodness, I think it was probably one of the best things that could have happened to us,” Davidson said of the award. “It seems like everything since has been almost overnight.
“A year ago we introduced it, and it’s now in hundreds of stores across the U.S., three in Hawaii, and there are people in the UK who are now wanting to buy the product. It’s crazy. It’s hard to fathom that we went that fast.”
Davidson came up with the idea for the two 90-degree angles, or trap, at the bottom of the hook about 10 years ago. The concept simmered for years before heating up around four years ago. He mentioned the oldest known fishing hook to man was recently discovered in a cave, and it dated back to 42,000 years ago.
“I thought to myself, I have just created something that took 43,000 years to get here, and I’ve now got something that no other hook in the world is capable of doing,” he said. “I said, ‘I’ve got to let the world know.’ ”
SEEING THE PROBLEM AND SOLVING IT
Necessity is the mother of invention, and Davidson, 71, clearly saw there was a problem to fix when he watched a bass attack his bait just 10 feet from the boat.
Davidson hails from Indian Orchard, Mass., and was an avid tournament angler. His accolades include 21 Mr. Bass titles, 13 consecutive club championships and 16 angler of the year titles. His modesty blows them off as “local stuff, nothing regional.”
That lost fish more than a decade ago put his mind into action. In clear water, about 3 to 4 feet deep, a bass came out from under a log and grabbed his lure. He tried to set the hook but witnessed his Texas-rigged worm just pull out of the fish’s mouth.
“I lost it. I saw it all happen,” he said. “When you hide the point of the hook in the worm, I realized the hook would lay flat in the fish’s mouth and it was too easy to pull it out. You’re not exerting the right pressure to get that hook to pop through.