Inventor hopes to hook Bass with bottle-cap lure

Advertising agencies would have you believe beer goes with just about everything.

But when it comes to fishing, a Quebec-based inventor and entrepreneur said there's absolutely no question the two go hand-in-hand.

"A lot of fishermen drink beer and a lot of beer drinkers fish," said Norm Price, president and chief executive officer of the Bottle Cap Lure Company.

Mr. Price hopes to soon enter into a promotional arrangement with Saint John-based Moosehead Breweries Ltd. to distribute Bottle Cap Lures in its cases. The product uses discarded beer bottle caps to catch fish.

"The product works and catches anything. Walleye, steelhead, pike, salmon, you name it," said Mr. Price, who developed the product a few years ago. "It's a good opportunity for Moosehead.

"We take the lure and increase sales for them."

Made from ordinary bottle caps, the patent-pending lures are custom-shaped and weighted to catch several species of fish. The reflective nature of the cap attracts schools of fish, and inserted ball-bearings add noise and weight.

"They propel through the water like a minnow and you can actually put bait inside them to scent the lure," Mr. Price said during a phone interview Wednesday from his business in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

"My first attempt with this lure was on the Bow River in Alberta. "On my first cast, I landed a brown trout."

But Mr. Price says the lures not only have novelty and intrigue and can sustain a solid marketing campaign, but also provide ample promotional opportunities. As an example, he says Labatt used the lures as a successful promotional tool for its Wildcat brand in Alberta.

Mr. Price says a judge has also assured him that since he's using discarded items beer companies can't go after him for using their product.

"He told me, off the record, that they should be happy," says Mr. Price, adding he has a stable of about 150 workers, including many senior citizens, students and stay-at-home moms who assemble the lures for him in their spare time. As well, Mr. Price says the lures also help recycle a product that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

"There are more than 100,000 tonnes of bottle caps that are discarded across North America each month," he said. "I collect over 100,000 caps each week just in Montreal."