The Fred Arbogast Company has created some of the most popular, as well as collectable, fishing lures ever made. Think of baits such as the Jitterbug or the Mudbug. Going back even further, you have the Hawaiian Wiggler and such. However, this piece isn’t about any of those more “famous” lures, but instead is about a less familiar bait called the Bug Eye.
I’m actually hoping some of our readers might be able to chime in on this one and give us a good story or two about the bait. You see, the Bug Eye was a 3/8-oz. molded (plastic) mid-depth diving crankbait with bulging eyes, hence the name. Bait length ran about 2.5 inches. It never won any big national tourneys that I’m aware of, but it did have a spot in my earliest bass fishing tackle box. I have to admit that I bought it more for looks than anything, and honestly can’t even remember catching a bass on one. But it was a pretty neat bait none the less. It featured a clear plastic diving bill molded right into the body, but that bill took a sharp downturn, something fairly unique at the time of its introduction in the late 1970s.
Another unique feature was the attached skirt to the rear of the bait. This was a sparse flat rubber spinnerbait skirt that was attached to a small metal “peg” that was affixed to the rear eye of the bait, along with the treble hook. You could replace the skirt or even change to a colored skirt of your choice by simply removing the existing one and sliding the new one over the metal peg. The bait also featured a rattle inside, and I seem to remember it as more of a single knocker type, though I can’t swear to that. It came in all the usual “old school” colors such as the various “coach dog” patterns, along with some other more novel patterns at the time like “green frog” and “rainbow trout.”
Beyond that, about the only other thing I remember is that this crankbait was discontinued around 1985, or about a dozen years before PRADCO brands acquired the company. These can still be picked up on eBay from time to time, but you don’t find them regularly. So does anybody else remember this neat little crankbait?