Stan Fagerstrom, in his signature red hat, shares one of his favorite baits for the Columbia River log ponds he learned to bass fish on shortly after World War II. Photo Terry Battisti.

When this site first started back in March 2012, Stan Fagerstrom became one of the early supporters of the site.  A year later, during one of our frequent conversations on the phone, he asked how he could help with the site.  That conversation led to Stan’s monthly column, Let’s Look Back.  Stan provided nearly 40 entries over that first iteration of the site and I feel it only respectful we start putting some of those articles back out for all to enjoy.


I’m not at all sure I should even be writing what you are about to read.

Why would I say something stupid like that and possibly discourage a visitor to this part of the Bass Fishing Archives?  For just one reason: The lure I’m fixin’ to share thoughts about is more than likely going to be darn difficult for you to find.

If you’ve read my last Let’s Look Back column you know what I’m talking about.  That column details how a very good friend had shown me I didn’t know near as much as I thought I did about catching bass in the Columbia River log pond I was fishing every chance I got.

If you did read that last column you’re aware I took a dim view of my friend’s intention to show those log pond bass a metal wobbler. I’d never fished wobbler there myself, but I “just knew” it wouldn’t work.  The truth of the matter was I didn’t know squat!

Well, my friend kicked my butt clear over my shoulders by catching more than twice as many bass that evening as I did – and every blasted one of those dumb bass grabbed his metal wobbler.

I also mentioned something else in that column.  I was beginning to realize how little of the bass fishing truth I really knew back then when I was just getting started in the middle of the last century.  But while I accepted my lack of knowledge, I also realized I could learn.  I’ve been endeavoring to do that ever since.  One of my first steps in the learning process was to discover every blessed thing I could about those bleeping metal wobblers.

I swear you can’t write about bass fishing without sounding contradictory some of the time.  That’s where I find myself when it comes to fishing metal wobblers for largemouth bass.  I’ve mentioned that if I were to go back to the Columbia River sloughs I used to fish so long ago the first lure I’d throw would be a metal wobbler.

Would I feel the same way if by chance I was fishing in California or South Carolina? No way!  I’ve fished metal wobblers a bit elsewhere but I’ve not really done much with them except on the Columbia River sloughs.  There they were excellent.

As I’ve also mentioned, I’m not talking about a variety of wobblers.  There’s only one that consistently did the job for me on the sloughs.  As far as I can determine, it hasn’t been marketed now for years.  Maybe I’m wrong about this but I don’t think so.  I’ve found them mentioned a time or two here and there on the Internet but that’s about all.

The specific wobblers I’m writing about are red and white, candy-striped affairs with a copper finish on the inside.  They are 2 1/4-inches long and weigh a 1/2-ounce.  At the time I was fishing them so much, they were being marketed by the National Expert Bait Company.

I suppose there are other wobblers out there that will work as well as these but I’ve not found them.  I did throw other brands and colors in the beginning, but not for long or very often.  Those little jobs the National Expert Bait Company was selling worked just fine.

Like I said, I’m not aware that this company is still in business.  I wish it were.  Be assured I take very good care of the few of their wobblers I have left.

NEBCO, as the National Expert Bait Company called itself, had a name for their fine little wobbling bass whackers.  Get a close up look at one and on the copper colored underside you’ll see the wording “NEBCO Flash Bait” etched into the metal.  Note carefully the illustrations that accompany this column.  The lure’s underside also carried a number.

The National Expert Bait Company (NEBCO) Wobbler in size Flash Bait 266 was Stan's favorite. Photo Terry Battisti.

These lures came in a variety of sizes but the only one I scored with over and over again carried the Number 266.  Beneath that number you’ll see the wording “MPLS 8 MINN,” an obvious reference to Minneapolis, Minnesota which I assume was company headquarters.

Knowing that the Columbia River backwater bass would hit this NEBCO Flash Bait was one thing.  Knowing how you had to present the lure to get the bass to do that was even more important.  Keep an eye on my next column.  I’ll detail the single method I discovered that those backwater bass just couldn’t resist.

If you can find a few exact copies of these dandy little wobblers, try them in the fashion I’ll detail in my next column.  Maybe one day you’ll find water where they’ll work for you as they have for me.

If that happens you have my guarantee you won’t regret it!

– To Be Continued –


Editor’s Note: As Stan alluded to above, the National Expert Bait Company (NEBCO) has been out of business for several years, but their wares can still be purchased at the online auction houses.