Tonight, I'm bringing you a new Quiz for the month of April, located on the right side of the page, and a short discussion about last month's Quiz:
The question was: "What was the first commercial bait-casting lure in the USA?"
And the results are below. The answer to the question is in red:
1. Four Brothers Spinner: 0 (0%)
2. Buel Spoon: 7 (23%)
3. Dowjack Plug: 5 (16%)
4. Dardevle Spoon: 18 (60%)
Fact: Although Jim Heddon is generally credited with devising the first commercially successful lure, the first commercial bait-casting lure was the Buel spoon, made in Whitehall, New York, more than a decade before the Civil War (~1850)! This particular lure was a triangular piece of metal that spun on a shaft adorned with a treble hook covered with red and white feathers. This "skittering" lure took Pike, Bass, and other game fish in trolling and when cast with a long pole. In casting, however, the amount of water that could be covered was very limited!
As for the other answers...
1. Four Brothers Spinner
After the late 1800's, a number of spoon lures were marketed: the Skinner spoon, the Lowe Star Bait, and the Four Brothers Spinner! These were all underwater lures which became famous for bait casting with the development of the shorter rods.
3. Dowjack Plug
What is the history behind the Dowjack Plug?! Believe it or not, its creation and name come from quite an intriguing story!
Jim Heddon is credited with devising the first commercially successful top-water bass lure shortly before the turn of the century: the "Dowjack Plug." Legend says that he was sitting on a log and whittling while waiting for a fishing friend one fine summer day along the banks of Michigan's Dowagiac River. By the time his friend came along, Jim's whittle stick had been chipped to the size and shape of a cigar. Jim tossed the bit of wood into the slow-moving current and watched it float away. It whirled in an eddy for a few seconds, then suddenly disappeared as a big bass exploded under it and seized it momentarily before spitting it out!
Heddon quickly took the hint. In no time at all he was making the first of the "Dowjack" plugs, a corruption of the name of his pet River. This floater came out in true American colors in 1898 -- white body, red collar, blue nose -- and was rigged with three treble hooks. It was an instant success and most assuredly furthered the cause of the short-rod bait caster. This early surface lure, when fished slowly and provocatively, with the collar throwing lively ripples on the surface, is still a killing bait for Bass.
4. Dardevle Spoon
The Dardevle Spoon came out around the beginning of the 1900's! It is billed as a lure that has caught more trophy game fish than any in history. Its original design was a creation by Lou Eppinger, who had hammered out a 2-ounce spoon with a thin body and thicker edges just before a two-month Canadian fishing trip.
Even after a century or so, the traditional "Dardevle Spoon" is still being manufactured at a plant in Detroit, to about 2 million pieces a year!
Now that you know the answer for the previous Quiz, give it a try on the April Quiz! The answer will be coming up on May 1st. =)
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,
Best of luck for all of us,