Charles Murat Mureel Lure
The Charles Murat Mureel lure is more than a lure, but a story of a man and the Surf Striper Industry. The lure was created by Charles Murat or as his friends called him, Charlie. Murat’s Tackle Shop, which started around 1946 not only sold the Mureel Lure a self confessed copy of a Creek Chub Giant Pikie Minnow Lure. At Murat’s they sold boats, accessories, and probably more than anything Rods. Charlie was a famous rod maker, and re-wrapper by anyone’s right, and his shop in North Smithfield, Woodstock Rhode Island was a hub of not only those looking to acquire bait and tackle, but those looking to learn and fit in with the North Shore Striper class. In doing my research on the Mureel lure, I learned a great deal about Charlie, not just the specifics, but in listening to other people describe the man, and his life and those around him. How he seemingly and unknowingly had harnessed it and made history revolve around him, in a humble sort way. Being involved at the base of the surf casting movement he found himself being not only as salesman for his sundries but as a mentor, business partner and mostly friend to many. His construction or the Mur Eel lures changing and evolving over time like most lure makers, as adjustment in diving lips and use of materials would change as fast as the surf casting community into which Charlie himself was grounded. How others in that tight nit, sometimes consider impenetrable tight lipped community would not offer support to a newbie, Charlie would freely share his knowledge of. After which was proven how much it was Charlie himself those sought to have direct involvement with, by the dissolution of things like the Woonsocket Striper Club, and his own tackle show years after his passing.
There in lies a common parallel to different generational periods of time we see in the American Fishing History. Creator’s, innovator’s and their influence on people and on an entire fishing industry by just doing what was natural in their passion and their lifeblood. The men and woman alone that worked and created these things ,with their traits and passion for the product. The industry then itself creating an environment that surrounds and envelopes the person and the product.
As I noted earlier, I learned a lot about the man and the person Charlie was. I learned and read about what a person can be to others by just holding true to themselves, and what one can become. The lure below is a consignment I had received years back as with most on my site. At the time I received the Mureel Lure had no real knowledge of Charlie, or the Mureel, and now after having done some research I wish that I had bought it for myself and my collection as I have always been entranced by antique lures with a great story.
In the article below the gallery, you see Charlie died doing what he loved and was surrounded by those who loved what he did as well as him. The transcendence from a rod wrapper, a lure maker, small business owner, and unknowing friend to many. I didn’t write about the lure as much as I could have, it’s particulars and specifics. I felt that the story of Charlie was greater than lure alone.
And on some of his antique lure boxes it so fittingly reads “It’s the Action. the Provides the Satisfaction” and so did Charlie in life.
Charles Murat Mureel Lure Gallery
Ill leave the article with a piece on Charlie’s death I copied-borrowed from a site reading about Charlie. I would recommend all to visit and read an interview given by one of his friends, and one of the leading Striper authors and historians. as to the accounts of Charlie. Murat Tackle and the Mureel.
*******Everybody was into fish when he came out and Charlie tried to seem casual as he hurried down to the surfline. Five of his disciples were close by, fishing furiously, when Murat caught his first.
“Aha,” he chided, “the old man is going to show you again.“
Another of the gang hooked up and to the left another angler leaned into a bull striper. The pace was feverish as almost everyone had fish on. By now Chalrey was landing his second, a 20-pounder, when he called: “Beat that fellas.” he made another cast and hung another right off. The Cape sun had lowered enough to lengthen shadows and suddenly it was evening.
It was the third fish.
One of fthe men turned in time to see Charlie tumble face down on the beach, the rod made by the master’s own hands sliding under his shoulder on the wet sand — alive with the thrashing weight of a big striped bass. A wave rose, stretched toward the shore, broke into foam and annointed our Charlie.
Word traveled on Long Bar and the burley characters there could only sob. Another tucked his long billed swordfisherman’s cap under his arm and prayed. His friends stood in a tight circle around the body because for them time had stopped.
Then, an orphaned rod standing in its spike groaned under ythe strain of a bass surging away with the bait. A caster turned instinctively headed for the pounding stick.
“Cut that goddamned line,” someone shouted. But before anyone could move all the rods were leaning to the east, each tied into a hooked striper.
“Cut them all,” the voice commanded. And one of the boys that Charlie had tutored walked through the stand of surfrods lancing the taught line on every one. Five sticks snapped straight in the last fire of sunset.
Word spread like fire all along the Cape. We’ll never know if it was he or the way he went that caused anglers to whisper of his passing over the gunwales of their surf boats or at every hotspot where surfmen gather. He died with two fish on the beach and another cartwheeling wildly out there on a darkening sea. Having had a warm sun over his shoulder, his last impressions must have been the softness of clean sand and the sweet song of the high surf. Some of us envy him.
*********The aforementioned article on his death can be read at: Striper Surf[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]