Lucky Bunny Bait Co Ad Field & Stream May 1953

In the world of bass fishing there have been a lot of successful baits over the years.  Examples would be the Heddon Zara Spook, the Arbogast Jitterbug, the Bomber, and of course, the ubiquitous plastic worm.  But for every one success story, there are 100s of baits that didn’t quite make the mark.  And then there are the baits that make you scratch your head.  That’s what today’s post, More Darwin Baits 1950s is about.

I’ve been going through a big stack of Field & Stream magazines and scanning all the bass fishing-related ads I could find.  Invariably, you come across ads from some small company that you know won’t be in the following year’s magazines.

The years the magazines spanned were from 1952 through 1954 and in each case, I had more than half the year’s issues.  That gives a good idea of how these baits faired from year to year.

Lucky Bunny Bait Company

The first bait I’d like to mention was one that caught my eye instantly.  The Lucky Bunny Bait Company and their Lucky Bunny Bait.  The first ad I saw was from the May 1953 issue.  Even though the ad was small, I couldn’t miss the big bold letters that said,


When I looked off to the left and saw the rabbit’s foot attached to a plug head, my initial thought was, “The rabbit wasn’t lucky.”

Reading the first ad there wasn’t too much info on the bait.  From the description it said it had a genuine rabbit’s foot attached to a tenite plastic head.  The head came in three colors, red, yellow, and green, but they didn’t remark if the rabbits foot came in any color other than white.

Lucky Bunny Bait Co Ad Field & Stream June 1954

This ad was in nearly all the issues for 1953.  As I moved into 1954, the Lucky Bunny Bait Company changed up their ad.  This time they used a different image of the lure and possibly a different lure altogether.

Where the 1953 ad stated it was a genuine rabbit’s foot, this ad stated “Only Spinning Lure with Real Fur Body.”

If you look at the bait, it now appears the entire body is made of plastic, and they have glued rabbit’s fur to the bait.

It’s difficult to say if the original was like this or had a real rabbit’s foot.  If it did have a real rabbit’s foot, what made them change?  I’ve never heard of a shortage of rabbits.

What I think spurred the change was cost.  Rabbits only have four feet, which means four lures per fluffy little critter.  But they have enough fur on them to make probably 200 lures.

I’m not sure how effective the bait was but they claimed to have 1,000 guides using it successfully.  I have a hard time believing that since their ads didn’t last much longer than 1954.

J. & R. Tackle Company Jim Bo

The next bait I found that fit in this category was the J. & R. Tackle Company Jim Bo.  At first glance I thought this was just another Sonic or vibration type lure.  Boy was I wrong.

Reading the description, I was amazed to find out this was a lure that swam on its own, just add water.

The verbiage hits you right out of the gate.

“JIM BO – the most sensational invention in the history of fishing – the artificial minnow that swims.  No more live bait to buy.  This is the lure sensation of the 20th century.”

Jim-Bo Swimming Lure Ad Field & Stream April 1954

It reminds me of the countless other automatic or swimming lure that have been put on the market.  But the interesting thing about Jim Bo is there are batteries, springs, or fuel to give it motion.  Then what gives it motion?  Balance and gravity of course.

I must be missing something here.

Jim Bo was in every single issue of Field & Stream in 1954.  Not having any issues from 1955 or beyond, I can’t say how long it lasted.  But I’d be willing to bet it didn’t last too long.

Taiyo Trading Corp No-Name Lure

This next ad really caught my attention, based on its name.  The No-Name Lure.  These two ads were found in the June and July issues of Field & Stream.  The June issue had the ad with the image and the July ad didn’t have an image.

The image appears to be a spoon like a South Bend Super Duper with a feathered single hook on the back. The claims for the lure are right out of an infomercial you’d see at 3 a.m.  The inventor, Mr. John Fujita, says it took him 2 1/2 years to develop this lure and now that it’s been perfected, he’s willing to do demonstrations on its effectiveness.  It’s worth the five minutes to read each ad in full.

I wonder how many of these baits Mr. Fujita sold and if his balance sheet came out in the black after paying for these two miniature ads.  I can say this, there was no sign of the No-Name Lure in any of the 1953 Field & Stream issues I scanned.

No-Name Lure Ad Field & Stream July 1952
No-Name Lure Ad Field & Stream June 1952

Al Stewart’s Original Famous Goldfish Lure

Maybe I’m being a bit too picky with this bait, Al Stewart’s Famous Original Goldfish Lure.  It’s a spoon and spoons catch fish.  What got it in this category were, again, its claims.

“No Lure Can Outfish”

“America’s Hottest Lure”

“Hundreds of thousands sold”

All your typical hard selling phrases designed to catch fishermen.

I’m sure the baits caught fish.  The spoon itself was developed by cutting the handle off a metal spoon, drilling a couple holes and adding a line tie and hook.  It caught fish.

What I do know is this bait wasn’t a flop, likely due to all the advertising.  In fact I’ve heard of people collecting these baits at NFLCC meets.

Al's Famous Golfish Lure Ad Field & Stream March 1953
Al Stewart's Goldfish Lure Ad Field & Stream April 1954

That’s about it for more Darwin Award winning baits.  If you’re interested in more, click on this link.