Marketing Classic Winning Baits

1975 Rebel Super-R ad advertising Martin’s 1974 Classic win.

1975 Rebel Super-R advertisement.

Anytime a pro wins a major tour event, especially a high profile one like the Bassmaster Classic, it is just a matter of weeks, or sometimes even days, before the winning company tries to capitalize on the victory. Partly this is due to the immediacy of the Internet and social networking, and the “on demand” society we seem to have become. But it didn’t used to be that way, and someone had to be the first to tie the two concepts (tournament winning and advertising/bait sales) together. The Rebel ad in today’s post is likely one of the earliest examples of this melding of marketing and bait promotion. [Read more…]

We do Reels, Why not Frogs and Blades?

Zebco spinnerbait ad circa 1976.

Over the course of time, especially in the early 1900s, many companies not only made lures but rods, reels and assorted other fishing paraphernalia. Heddon is a good example of this, marketing not only their famous lures but also rods and reels. Pflueger and Shakespeare did the same. But as bass fishing came into its own, more companies began concentrating on their bread-and-butter.

This one here fits right in that niche of, “you should stick to your strengths.” Here we have two ads from two of the major rod and reel companies of all time. The problem is they’re not ads for rods or reels. Instead, they’re ads for bass lures they’re trying to get you to buy. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Don’t Be a Baby! Answer and Winner

Photo Bassmaster.com

Congratulations to Paul Wallace for winning the Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest with his correct answer!  Read below for the answer.

Paul Elias played a critical role in the development of the Mann’s Baby 1-Minus, the first crankbait that specifically aimed to stay shallow rather than reach new depths. After a near win at Lake Okeechobee, he came to Mann’s with the idea for the bait.

“I was on my way to Mann’s after a second-place finish on Lake Okeechobee thinking I could have won with a shallower runner,” he told Mike Pehanich of Bassmaster two decades later. “I thought, ‘We have the deepest running crankbait. How about making the shallowest?'” [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Don’t Be a Baby!

Photo Bassmaster.com

Paul Elias played a critical role in the development of the Mann’s Baby 1-Minus, the first crankbait that specifically aimed to stay shallow rather than reach new depths. After a near win at Lake Okeechobee, he came to Mann’s with the idea for the bait.

“I was on my way to Mann’s after a second-place finish on Lake Okeechobee thinking I could have won with a shallower runner,” he told Mike Pehanich of Bassmaster two decades later. “I thought, ‘We have the deepest running crankbait. How about making the shallowest?'” [Read more…]

Inexpensive or Cheap?

Bass Buster ad from 1972

Oh the days when I could go into a TG&Y or Woolworths, head down the tackle isle, pick up five purple Tarantulas, pay the cashier $4.95 plus the 6% California sales tax and head to my local golf course pond for some fishing after school. This was a pretty common affair for me as a 12-year-old kid.

I have no clue how many Bass Buster Tarantulas, Beetle Spins and Scorpions I went through between the ages of 12 and 14 but it was a lot. Then at 14, I started working at the tackle shop and my days of the “cheap” lures were over – I had to buy the “better” Markey spinnerbaits at $2.99 and the Beetle Spin turned into a “crappie” lure. I wasn’t a crappie fisherman – pun intended. [Read more…]

Is There Really Anything New in Bass Fishing?

Whopper Stopper Ad circa 1976.

As usual, I was cruising an old magazine the other day and this ad caught my eye. Every old-time basser at least remembers the old Whopper Stopper company (now owned by Pradco) and probably had their arm worn out from throwing the Hellbender – what a great bait that was. What originally made me stop, though, was the Bayou Boogie, a bait we’d today call a vibration bait, or Trap.

Upon further review of the ad something else caught my eye – the Dirtybird. Look at the Dirtybird close, though. Does it ring a bell in your head? Do patent suits come to mind? Does the name Chatterbait leap into your head? It should. [Read more…]

What Were They Thinking?

1976 Norman Redman Spinnerbait ad.

I posted something a few years back about my preference for a spinnerbait and still to this day, it hasn’t changed. Of course over the course of the last 30 years spinnerbait technologies have increased and now we have titanium wires and weight-distributed bodies. All this new stuff is great and serves a purpose but give me an old 1/4- to 1/2-ounce Norman Redman spinnerbait (red head of course) and I’m happy about 90% of the time.

[Read more…]

Clearly it’s a Spinnerbait

This blade style never caught on.

By the early 1980s, bass across the country had been exposed to traditional safety-pin spinnerbaits and became more resistant to their charms, so lure manufacturers had to come up with new ways to make old reliable even better. Accordingly, the Crankbait Corporation decided to build a spinnerbait that would excel in clear water, the key element was a clear Colorado style blade that wouldn’t create the terrifying flash of bronze, chrome or nickel blades. [Read more…]