Monday Trivia – A Surprise Connection (Mar 16, 2015)

Bass Buster's most famous lure?

Bass Buster’s most famous lure?

Just a couple weeks back we covered some of the story of Virgil Ward, famous angling personality and owner of Bass Buster, Inc. The company was most famous for a small L-style spin lure called the Beetle Spin. Chances are every one of you knows of the lure, and just as likely, every one of you probably owned the bait at one point in time. I can actually remember finishing in the money in several local club tourneys back in the day by using the larger sized 1/4-oz bait, just swapping out the barrel swivel for a Sampo, and then adding the blade of choice to make a very subtle spinnerbait that was a killer in cold water.

While reading through one of the first In’ Fisherman magazines dating back to 1976, I came across the page below (click to enlarge) showing key Canadian Shield smallmouth baits for the time. Of course, the Beetle Spin was one of their recommended lures, but I was immediately shocked to see another pictured bait. There is a very interesting history and story between Bass Buster’s Beetle, and another lure shown on the page. To win this week’s trivia contest, sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits,  tell me the other lure I was surprised to see, and the story/relationship between the two. While there could potentially be a few different answers, the first person to name this very specific and unique backstory I’m thinking of will get this week’s prize.

Answer and full story will be posted on Thursday.


  • JKarbo214 .

    Gapen’s Ugly Beetle. There was a 1976 court case when Bass Buster’s sued Gapen’s over copyright infringement.

  • Al H

    Bass Buster filed a suit against Gapen for trademark infringement for using the word Beetle to describe virtually identical lures. Bass Buster won and Gapen was ordered to pay damages. Gapen changed the name to Bug and continued to make the lures. The decision was one of several that were referenced in case that made it to the Missouri Supreme Court about intellectual property and trademark infringement.