Homemade Plastics and Jigs 1962

Photo Don Fuelsch's 1962 Southern Angler's Guide.

Photo Don Fuelsch’s 1962 Southern Angler’s Guide.

Some say it was Nick Creme who invented the modern plastic worm in 1949 – others say it was Dave DeLong. In any event, the new PVC material took artificial worm fishing to an all-new level. Prior to PVC, artificial worms were made out of rubber – the kind your car tires are made of. They were hard, not very lifelike and left a lot to be desired when it came to action. Polyvinyl chloride changed all that.

Having grown up in southern California, hand pours were more the norm than the exception. Yeah, we used Jelly Worms, Diamond Backs and Mister Twisters but if you really wanted to catch fish, the ticket was Jim Smith’s hand poured Smitty Worms. Smith and his wife Carol ran a successful business out of their house in Glendale and supplied baits to nearly every tackle shop in the southland. But, if you ventured out of southern Cal, you were hard pressed to find anything hand poured let alone anyone who knew what a hand poured worm was. [Read more…]

Creme Hardbaits?

1962 Creme Lures ad featuring two short-lived hardbaits, the Mad-Dad and the Du-Dad.

1962 Creme Lures ad featuring two short-lived hardbaits, the Mad-Dad and the Du-Dad.

The name Creme has been associated with bass fishing since they developed (arguably) the first contemporary plastic worm in 1949. As the story goes, Nick Creme, from Akron, Ohio, fashioned a new worm from the newly formulated polymer, polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Prior to that, most artificial worms were made of rubber. Creme’s new worms were not only soft but came in a number of colors and were scented.

Not only did bass anglers like them better than the old tire treads they’d been used to, the bass loved them too. In fact, it’s said that at one of the first tackle shows where the products were revealed, Creme sold close to 10,000 packs. At four to a pack, that’s a lot of worms. [Read more…]

This Month in Bass Fishing History – May 2013

KS_20085 YRS AGO: While fishing a tournament at a strip pit in Cherokee County on May 3, Tyson Hallam, 14, caught the new Kansas state largemouth bass, weighing 11 pounds, 12.8 ounces. The certified fish edged the 31-year-old state record of 11 pounds, 12 ounces caught in 1977.

Hey, we’re just getting started… [Read more…]

Flip What?

1970 Flip Tail advertisement.

Here’s a great old ad from a great old company that was just recently resurrected from the halls of bass fishing. Before the last year, you only knew of FLIPTAIL if you bass fished 30 or 40 years ago or found an old tackle box in your grand-dad’s garage. [Read more…]

Boat Shops of the Past – Leach’s Sporting Goods

Leach’s Sporting Goods ad from 1976.

As a small kid in the early to mid ‘70s, my mom would take me to Leach’s Sporting Goods to buy worms, sinkers and hooks. Although I was there to but these goods, I could stand and stare for hours at the crankbaits hanging on the walls or the plastic grubs and worms located in the coffee cans on the shelves. It was a dream-like place for a kid bitten with the fishing bug.

What intrigued me most about Leach’s, though, was the “boat shop” out back. In the early days of my family’s fishing adventures we didn’t have a boat and resorted to renting when we went to the local lakes to fish. For those of you that fished southern Cal during those days, you remember the old (even at that time) wood and glass sleds they rented that might top out at 3 mph with a 6-horse Merc going downwind. [Read more…]

The Action Worm – Gimmick or the Real Deal?

Action Lures Breathing Worm ad from Western Bass Magazine, Fall 1976

The first time I came across the Action Lures’ Breathing Worm was around 1978. They were hanging on the wall at the shop I worked at – already having a number of birthdays there – collecting dust. They looked too gimmicky for me to lay down the $1.99 required to liberate them from their pegs, especially when my hard-earned $2.50/hr wage was generally spent on Bagley’s DB2s and Smitty hand pours.

Then one day an angler who I really respected came in and bought the entire stock. I asked him, what he was doing and he just smiled, paid the bill and left. [Read more…]