Is There Really Anything New in Bass Fishing?

Whopper Stopper Ad circa 1976.

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 What originally made me stop, though, was the Bayou Boogie, a bait we’d today call a vibration bait, or Trap.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.

A better look at the Dirtybird

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.

  • Terry, I love your throw back articles. Takes me back to the times when my passion for fishing was formed. The lures I went through countless hours in my dads tackle boxes. The hell benders, lucky 13’s, rapalas, rebels, vinyl skirted twin spins, all the good stuff that I dreamed of catching fish on. Keep up the great work.

    • Thanks Scott! Glad you’re enjoying the site. We’ll keep posting and hopefully more memories will be jogged.

  • Joe J

    Interesting. I guess the Chatterbait blade isnt as fixed as the Dirtybird ‘s was, so maybe that would be enough to be a difference.

    • That could be Joe. The interesting thing is from what I’ve read of the patents, they patented the action of the bait? In any event, they have the patent. 🙂

  • Clem Kadiddlehopper

    The Dirtybird looks more like the Berkley vibrating jig-bait thing they came out with about 7-8 years ago, a fixed blade on a jighead that created vibrations during the retrieve.

  • Scott Jarvis

    Look at the “NEW” Lindy RiverRocker it’s a TADPOLLY !!!! Lindy should be ashamed.