Charles Murat Mureel Lure
The Charles Murat Mureel lure is more than a lure, but a transcendence and a story of a man affixed and entrenched into the Surf Striper Industry. The lure was created by Charles Murat or as his friends called him, Charlie. Charlie was the owner and lifeblood of Murat’s Tackle Shop, which started around 1946. Murat’s 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 Surf Casting and Striper Rods. By anyone’s right, Charlie Murat was a famous rod maker, and wrapper. At his shop in North Smithfield, Woodstock, Rhode Island, it 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 that rose up around him. I had written some of this article a while back if you use dog years for the time stamp, but a blink of an eye for how you view life when we self-reflect. I wrote part of this article two years ago, before my own body reviled its own dirty little secret. While now at the age of 45 the secret exposed, I have been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer which inflicts less than 2500 people a year. I like to think that I draw certain parallels with Charlie, as with my own approach to life as I move forward, determined to distance myself from the 50% mortality statistic by which Ive now been branded. How yet again in a strange way, my use of this hobby and its history, and my passion for people, lures, rods & reels have given me continued clarity and renewed focal point on what we deem important, and how we spend our time doing it.
Charlie, seemingly and unknowingly had harnessed his love of his own hobby and it’s trade and made history revolve around him, in a humble sort way. Being involved at the base of the surf casting movement he, Charlie, 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 sometimes others in that tight nit, sometimes considered impenetrable tight-lipped community (Sounds Eerily Familiar) would not offer support to a newbie, of which he, Charlie, would freely share his knowledge. Whether he was guiding them as to where to fish or what to use, one thing is for certain, there was a great confluence at Murat’s Tackle shop. The joining of his knowledge of the sport, his wisdom as a guide, and moreover some days just a hot cup of coffee.
Therein 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. How history has shown us many times over that sometimes doing what we love becomes loving what we do. The men and woman alone that have worked and created these things to which we covet, they transpose craftsmanship with their personal 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 was a consignment I had received years back, many know me by Antiquelurestore. At the time I received the Mureel Lure I had no relevant knowledge of Charlie, or even the Mureel, or Occular Melanoma. Now after having done some research, I wish that I had bought the lure and box for myself and my collection, as I have always been entranced and enamored by antique lures when paired with a great story. But maybe, just maybe I got more than a lure in a box or a tumor in my right or the partial blindness it has bestowed. Maybe Im the lucky one as I got a early reminder to wake up appreciating the gift, and go to sleep full of life and full of thanks.
In the article following this portion you’ll see Charlie died doing what he loved, and he was surrounded by those who loved doing as did he as well as the love Charlie. If we can all be that fortunate to figure out that within that one sentence, really, lie one of the keys to life itself. Charlie made a transcendence from a rod wrapper, to lure maker, small business owner, and unknowing and unassuming friend to many. I didn’t write about the lure as much as I could have, it’s particulars or specifics, as I felt as if the story of Charlie was greater than a description of the lure alone..
And on some of his antique lure boxes it so fittingly reads “It’s the Action that 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]