A couple weeks ago, Terry posted a piece on the Harkin’s Lunker Lure, one of the first true buzzbaits on the market, and probably the one that put such baits and the technique on the bass fishing map. That generated an offline discussion among Terry and myself, along with George Kramer and Rick Clunn, about some of the earlier versions of similar baits. One that got mentioned was the Dedly Dudly, which actually came out a couple years earlier than the Harkin’s bait and was created by the famous Burke Fishing Lures company.
Here’s what we found out on this particular bait.
The Dedly Dudly was released to the public in 1972, when it was featured in their product catalog from the same year. And while the Dedly Dudly certainly looked like a buzzbait, it was actually touted in ads to be fished more like a hybrid buzzbait/spinnerbait, not just a true surface lure. I tracked down the national ad for the bait in a June, 1972 Fishing Facts magazine (below), and none other than Bill Dance was the featured pro endorsing the bait. Of particular interest is the description of how the bait can be used, especially toward the bottom of the ad. It states.
“…this dual action spinner works as a “buzzing” surface lure if the retrieve is started as it hits the water, or as a “root dodging” deep runner by allowing it to sink below the surface. The instant-starting blade design also lets you fish the Dedly Dudly slower than any other spinner.”
As you can see from this description, the bait was truly considered a spinner, as George pointed out in our discussion, and not a surface bait/buzzer like the Lunker Lure. George went on to comment that, “I think it points up that the” application” is the secret of productive lures.” This certainly seems to be the case through bass fishing history, as so often we see a bait that just appeared to be ahead of its time, and that is largely due to use in the ‘wrong’ application, or at least in some technique that hasn’t been created or gained widespread attention yet.