Hey, Hey, Hey! The Fat Alberts of Bass Fishing

Bill Cosby's 1972 character, Fat Albert

Bill Cosby’s 1972 character, Fat Albert

Most everyone growing up in the 70s and early 80s knew who Fat Albert was. Chances are, like me, you probably even watched the Saturday morning cartoon show featuring Fat Albert and his friends, which debuted in 1972. The character was created by Bill Cosby and was originally part of his standup routine going back to 1967. But there have also been a few lures that carried the name.

Zoom's single tail Fat Albert grub

Zoom’s single tail Fat Albert grub

Anyone who might be somewhat serious into fly fishing might recognize the oversized foam creature known as a Fat Albert. There are several different patterns of the original that can be bought, but let’s instead focus on a pair of bass lures today.

The first one that probably comes to mind is the soft plastic bait made and sold by Zoom. Their Fat Albert grub, which comes in both a single tail and a double tail version, is a pretty popular soft plastic bait. The single tail version, fished alone, is considered a smallmouth standard in many parts of the central U.S., and is also a common spinnerbait trailer. Their twin tail version is frequently used as a trailer on jigs. But there was another Fat Albert bait in the bass fishing world.

Mann's 1973 ad for their new Fat Albert hard plastic crankbait.

Mann’s 1973 ad for their new Fat Albert hard plastic crankbait.

Mann’s Bait Co. came out with their Fat Albert alphabet plug back in 1973. As noted in this original ad from the time, the bait featured dual sound chambers and was counter balanced. It was originally offered in 9 different color patterns, and is frequently classed in with similar sized and styled baits such as the Norman’s Big N. Billed in the ad as, “The hottest new lure in the south,” $2.50 would get you the bait in your choice of color, a Mann’s catalog and a boat decal. Hey, Hey Hey! Such a deal!

  • Andy Williamson

    I cut out that coupon, ( in BASSMASTER I think), and sent in my 2.50 and got one in chartreuse. I was really surprised at the size (big, 3 inches) and wondered if it would work. From shore, I took a one pound bass at Armour Lake, SD and again from shore took a one pounder at Wagner Lake, SD, both largemouth. I believe I kept it in one of my tackleboxes that got stolen some 30 years ago. Good memories, Brian.