We’ve only touched on it once before in the comments section of another post, but I was reminded of this bait when I came across an old ad featuring Al Lindner endorsing the Bill Plummer SuperFrog. While you might make an argument for the Snagproof Frog as being one of the earliest and most popular weedless style frog baits on the market, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn that the SuperFrog, in its heyday, wasn’t the more popular of the two. I know I kept a couple in the tackle box.
As the story goes, Bill Plummer, the “inventor” of the SuperFrog, first came up with the idea after his daughter’s trip to the dentist. In a November 1978 Sports Illustrated article titled, “One Million Frogs Later” (did I mention how popular this bait was?), author Dan Levin wrote;
It begins one fateful day in 1957, in a dentist’s chair, with a 5-year-old named Beth Plummer who had been promised a toy if she did not cry. She got a 10 cent toy frog with a rubber bulb that made it hop when squeezed. That night her father picked it up, snapped the little rubber legs, and announced, “This would make a terrific lure.” He rigged one up with a weedless hook he had patented a few years earlier, took it over to the Sudbury River and started catching bass.
The article goes on to mention how Bill became a millionaire thanks to his invention, after “Harrison-Hoge Industries, Inc., offered to manufacture and sell his frog—and any other lures he could dream up. The contract guarantees a weekly check based on sales, plus bonuses, which come along “every once in a while.”” Afterward, he basically ended up being able to go fishing 6 to 7 days a week across many northeastern states. The article also chronicles some pretty interesting “facts” behind the man and his personality. Here are a few excerpts from the story;
> The bass are harder to fool now,” he said. “There are so many more fishermen than there used to be. But I still have enough good days to know that there are just as many big bass as there ever were.
> He hefted a bait-casting outfit, the reel wound with 15-pound-test braided Dacron line tipped with a four-or five-foot length of 15-pound mono leader, the only kind of tackle he uses.
> He catches all his bass on four kinds of lures: jigs, and three of his own design—the Banshee, a spinner bait; the Water Demon, a bottom crawler; and a surface lure, the Bill Plummer Surface Frog.
> He estimates an annual catch of 1,000 bass of more than two pounds, despite eschewing modern refinements such as electric motors, high swivel seats and monster outboards, which are standard equipment on tournament bass boats.
> Plummer detests tournaments. His boat is an unpretentious car-top model which he designed and had built, 12 feet and 80 pounds of red cedar covered with fiberglass, with low. fixed seats and a three-horse Evinrude to putt it along.
On March 30, 2007, Bill Plummer died at the age of 85 in Marlborough, MA, where he resided the last years of his life.