As usual, I was cruising an old magazine the other day and this ad caught my eye. Every old-time basser at least remembers the old Whopper Stopper company (now owned by Pradco) and probably had their arm worn out from throwing the Hellbender – what a great bait that was. What originally made me stop, though, was the Bayou Boogie, a bait we’d today call a vibration bait, or Trap.
Upon further review of the ad something else caught my eye – the Dirtybird. Look at the Dirtybird close, though. Does it ring a bell in your head? Do patent suits come to mind? Does the name Chatterbait leap into your head? It should.
Albeit, the Dirtybird’s blade appears to be welded to the hook eye, it still provides a lot of the same action the Chatterbait does, which is side-to-side motion of a jig/skirt and also acts to make it weddless. This isn’t the first lure that I’ve come across in these old ads that screams Chatterbait, either. While reading an old Bass Master Magazine (1972 vintage if I remember correctly) I came across an ad for the Wiggle Worm. The Wiggle Worm was essentially a plastic worm rigged on a head that had a blade affixed to it. When retrieved, the worm would wobble (I guess wiggle is a better word) back and forth.
Then from my memory, I recalled some heads we used to sell at the shop I worked at that had metal bills attached to them. They were just the head (and blade) but one could have tied a skirt on them and had what would essentially be a Chatterbait.
All this isn’t to degrade the Chatterbait or their lawsuits. It’s just to show you that a lot of things in bass fishing, or life in general, are copies of something from way back when. Fortunately for the Chatterbait folks, they seem to have been the first to patent the idea of placing a blade in front of a jig. Smart move.