One thing I found out rather quickly is that, as a collector and researcher of bass fishing history, I end up spending more and more time scanning the pages of Ebay looking for memorabilia to collect and write about. One item that recently caught my eye was an auction for an old Arbogast Jitterbug.
The Jitterbug is one of those baits that most everyone had growing up, and has become a staple for night bassin’ anglers for years. Most every popular article you read mentioning topwaters for bass at night will include a black Jitterbug. Serious big bass hunters like L.J. Brasher, documented in the pages of early 80s Bassmaster magazines, made the Musky-sized black Jitterbug the staple night bait of trophy hunters.
Now days, your off-the-shelf Jitterbug sells for $5.00 in most any tackle store. The newer ones are all made of (thermo)plastic now, but the old originals were made of wood, much like the old Bombers and similar diving plugs of the day. Those are the ones that can get a little pricey, and that is exactly what caught my eye when I just happened to stumble upon an auction in process where a jitterbug was already close to the $90 mark with days left. Most never go for anywhere near that amount, so I thought this one must be special in some way. I “watched” it in “My Ebay” so I could follow it, and found that the bait finally sold for over $150. You can see the final sale ad below (click for larger image);