The Bass Charger!

1973s Bass Charger!

1973s Bass Charger!

So the exclamation point might be a bit of overkill, but that was how the bass charger was introduced to readers in this 1973 ad. Billed as “a fisherman’s dream,” as well as “one of the greatest topwater bass lures ever made,” I don’t think it quite ever lived up to those accolades, but it was still something different and unique at the time.

It was comprised of a 3/8-oz plastic body, looking much like a modern day crankbait or topwater body. However, there were a few very unique features to this lure. First was the twin set of “free floating hooks” that were held onto the body of the lure via a set of metal pins. Each was independent, but they acted and looked nearly like the popular twin hook configuration on most every soft body frog on the market these days. The other unique feature about this lure was also similar to many of those baits in a way.

You would take an Uncle Josh bass strip and thread it through the plastic “spoiler” on the back of the lure, running the end up to the head of the lure. There, you’d take a small removable screw and place that screw through the pre-punched cut in the rind strip, then resecuring the screw in place to hold the strip. The tail of the strip actually dangled and trailed off the tail of the bait, sitting perfectly between the double hooks, similar to stranded skirts on frogs today. Think of it as a cross between a soft plastic frog and a Johnson Silver Minnow, perhaps.

The bait came in 6 colors, and you could add the colored pork strip of your choice to mix or match. The bait was designed so that “you can fish those weedy, mossy, brush-clogged bass holes without constantly fouling your lure.” They sold for just $1.75 each, or buy 5 and get 1 free. Obviously, the bait never made a big splash (to my knowledge) with bass anglers, but it is an interesting concept, incorporating many features of some very popular baits both at the time, as well as those of baits today.

Bass Charger ad with available colors.

Bass Charger ad with available colors.

  • As far as its weedlessness, it worked well in sparse pads, but pretty terrible in matted milfoil. As far as hooking fish went — not bad, but not great, either.