Will the Original Bait Ball Please Rise

ICAST 2013 Best Hardbait Winner the Bait Ball from LiveTarget.

ICAST 2013 Best Hardbait Winner the Bait Ball from LiveTarget.

ICAST 2013 was all abuzz this year when LiveTarget for the fourth year in a row won something in a best lure category. This year it was best hard lure for their “new concept” bait ball lure. We always give kudos to companies for thinking outside the box, especially if they design a bait that actually catches fish – and by the looks of this bait, it should catch fish AND not be banned from tournament events where “multiple lure rigs” are shunned.

But there’s always that proverbial “but” – ain’t there?

I was perusing Dr. Todd Larson’s site, Fishing for History, the other night when I came across an interesting (that’s for you Pete) find. Not to discredit LiveTarget for not coming up with something novel but (the proverbial one I was talking about earlier) this concept isn’t new. How can that be, you may ask.

Staley-Johnson Twin Minns circa 1946.

Staley-Johnson Twin Minns circa 1946.

Well, in 1941 a dude from Brian’s home state of Indiana named Raymond Staley designed a bait he called the Twin Minns. It was a wooden crankbait that featured two minnow-shaped pieces of wood that were attached to each other with a metal plate. Not only did it give the illusion of two baitfish, it was two (wooden) baitfish.

The company didn’t get off the ground in 1941 due to the war but in 1946 Staley joined forces with Kenneth and Georgie Johnson to form the Staley-Johnson Manufacturing Company and Twin Minns went into production. Unfortunately the company didn’t succeed, like so many lure companies do, and they folded in 1948.

One thing you can say about LiveTarget is they figured out how to put more than one lure within the confines of one lure. Staley couldn’t have even dreamed of that back in the day due to the lack of technology. Also, I wonder how that thing was when you were trowing it anywhere near wood or grass? It’s got “hang-up” written all over it.

  • Paul Wallace

    That is so cool. I’ve never seen/heard about that company?? Don’t think I’ve seen it in Carl Luckey’s antique lure book.
    Thanks Paul