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Have you ever seen a duckling get sucked under by a big musky? Apparently someone from the Gopher Bait Company did and thought up this lure design. This topwater bait has two steel paddles on the side that stir up water as you reel it in to mimic the frantic kickings of a duckling. It’s a 4-inch duck that weighs 1.5 ounces and comes in a variety of colors.
Shakespeare Swimming Mouse
Complete with a string tail, this bass bait was made in the 1950s and 1960s. You won’t see it in many bass boats anymore, but the hand crafted 2.75-inch wooden plug is now a collector’s item.
Is it a leech? A frog? A lizard? An alien? Most creature baits are not designed after a specific natural species. They have more arms, tails and paddles than any natural creature. Theoretically the added appendages create more water displacement and attract more bass. This bait has become a pitching and flipping favorite among bass anglers.
Storm Kickin Goby
The polar opposite of the creature bait is Storm’s Kickin Goby, which is designed to perfectly mimic a round goby. Gobies are an invasive species in the Great Lakes and are a favorite food for smallmouths. This bait could be used during the spring spawn as gobies are notorious for invading bass beds.
This homemade bait is designed to mimic a swimming chipmunk. While this may seem like a cool idea for a lure, chipmunks are not exactly a primary food source for bass, musky, pike or any other known freshwater fish. Photo: rabidscottsman
Baby bull frog
These hand-painted lures are designed by Captain Ken Daubert, a professional taxidermist and fishing guide. The single weedless hook in the front keeps the bait from snagging on lilly pads and the legs kick back and forth during the retrieve. Photo: floridakayakfishing.com
Original Trolling Lure
Deemed “the only real trolling lure on the market today,” this bait should be reserved as a last resort for any angler. And I mean last resort. Actually, if the fishing gets so bad that in your desperation to get a bite you think it would be a good idea use this bait, you should just reel up and call it a day because you’re probably delirious. Photo: Sven & OLE’s
Fishing snake by Dough Hannon
Doug Hannon, aka the Bass Professor, came up with this unique fishing snake. It’s 99 percent weedless and runs along the top of the water. The snake comes in brown, black and white. Photo: Natural Lures inc.
What you see is what you get with this bait. This simple chunk of brass wobbles through the water and attracts fish with its flash. As its name suggests, it’s aerodynamic shape allows you to cast it a country mile. It comes in a variety of sizes and can be used for everything from panfish on up to stripers.
Japan has developed a healthy bass fishing culture and Japanese lure companies are turning out some unique products, like the Rat-X by Megabass. The company was founded in the late 80s and makes a variety of baits, rods and reels. Sure their Rat-X might look cool, but it goes for $40. Are you a confident enough caster to toss a $40 bait out 20 yards through a cross wind, and drop it between two fallen logs? Me neither.
Shaking insect plug
Here’s another Japanese innovation, the Mushimura surface shaking insect plug. Pop it, shake it, or just twitch it and let it sit. This bug is made from a special foam combination and the wings are designed to make life-like ripples. The lure featured here is in the Louisiana cicada pattern. Who knew Japanese bass like cajun food? Nories Mushimura
The Gatta-X Turbulence With a tail prop and wings, this bait has a loud, violent and wacky action. It’s meant to work the surface in choppy water. But the bells and whistles aren’t cheap. Also made by Megabass, the 3.25-inch plug runs for $45.
Flash back 50 years and the wacky bait topwater bait of the day was the Worth Flutter-Fin. The lures were made from wood and came in a variety of different styles and color patterns. Today they’re a collector’s item for lure junkies. Photo: lurelore.com
Hi-Fin’s bass creeper gives a you a slow methodical wobble that other baits can’t mimic. Just look at the wings on that thing. If bass are extra aggressive you can pop it for a good splash. The company also makes larger versions of this bait for muskies and pike. Hi-fin
The Spin-A-Lure looks like a metal domino with a curve at one end and a hook at the other. You can cast it, troll it or jig it in saltwater or freshwater.
The Spinno Minno was made by Uniline out of Dallas, Texas. The metal spinner in the middle of the body created extra vibrations in the water that were meant to attract fish. These baits are now valuable collectors items and can go for more than $100.
The Aqua-bat is another unique old school bait. The lure has a compartment under its lip where you insert a pellet. The pellet dissolves and emits a gas that causes the bait to swim erratically. Photo: Lure Lore
Bite Lite Lure
This bait has a battery and red flashing light that is supposed to imitate a bleeding fish. It comes in a kit of three, including a top water bait, a lipless crankbait and diving crankbait.
This battery powered lure floats on the surface and vibrates to mimic the ripples of an insect’s wings. The lure was introduced in 2009 and can run for 17 hours on one battery. It’s water-activated so it’s designed to turn on as soon as you cast it. alivelure.com
In the 1930s Fred Arbogast developed perhaps the most famous weird lure of all time: the Jitterbug. The bait doesn’t look very sexy and its action is nothing more than a simple chug along the surface, but there isn’t a bass angler in the country who hasn’t successfully used one. It’s one of the easiest topwater bass lures to use and has become one of the most recognizable baits ever made. Photo: Mars
When you’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink, it’s time to get more creative. Here’s a look at some of the weirdest baits new and old.