Creativity can be used both for the sake of art and practicality, and fish decoys exemplify that feature. These realistic fish were carved to mimic the appearance of their live counterparts, not just to be used as decoration but also to lure fish.
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For certain types of fishing, these decoys can be even more effective than live bait: Not only can they be brighter, but they can be tailored to mimic the fish most appetizing to pike. But Osvold and others spend more time carving and painting than strictly necessary. “It becomes fun, and you kinda get addicted,” he says.
Osvold knew that he was far from the only one obsessing over decoys, which have long been sold to people looking for a mantelpiece item rather than a fishing tool. So about 20 years ago, he started the National Fish Decoy Association (NFDA).
The association showcases the decoys created by artists in order for them to gain exposure as well as connect with other enthusiasts of the craft. You may check out their gallery here.
(Image credit: Jacob Sazama/NFDA)