The email from the Netherlands to Times fishing columnist Nelson Sigelman with the subject line, “please help,” arrived on November 1. It was from Ton Kalkman, a controller for the port of Amsterdam, who makes an annual fishing pilgrimage with his friend Rene Sehr to the Vineyard.
“I was spinfishing from my boat when I lost my last Viva Maria lure, you know, the ones you use for albie’s,” Ton wrote. “I surfed the net to find some new ones because they are not available in Holland, well that turned out as a no. Those things are very, very hard to find. I found two lures in Ireland and that was it.”
Ton wondered if the lures might be available for purchase at a Vineyard tackle ship, particularly the 29 gram version in green-silver. “I hope you can help because those things are great for bass fishing here,” he wrote.
Nelson emailed Coop’s, Larry’s and Dick’s. He learned that the lures, manufactured in Japan, are no longer in production. Ron Domurat of Edgartown, an employee at Larry’s, stepped up.
“I have a few in my personal stash that I’d be very willing to donate as I really don’t use that size and am not heavily into albies,” Ron wrote. He refused to accept payment.
Four Maria lures are on their way to Holland in time for Christmas.