Schoonie's Skooter ad fom the May 1919 issue of National Sportsman magazine.

Twenty-five years ago, there seemed to be much more interest on the part of most collectors in early, small, miscellaneous lure manufactures.  One bait that was considered fairly hard to find was Schoonie’s Skooter, which was made in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Kalamazoo lies in the heart of what the Kimball’s called “Plug Alley” in their seminal book, “Early Fishing Plugs of the USA.”  “Plug Alley” is a band of natural lakes that lies across southern Michigan and part of northern Indiana, roughly between Detroit and Chicago.

Heddon, South Bend, Shakespeare, Paw Paw and Creek Chub all lie in “Plug Alley” along with countless small early manufacturers.

Write-up on the Schoonie's Skooter by Dixie carroll from 1919.

The reason is simple, in the early 1900s, before automobile travel became common place, folks in Chicago and Detroit could jump on a train and within an hour or two be in an area that was blessed with thousands of small natural lakes teeming with bass and panfish.

Locals saw an opportunity with the popularization of baitcasting to cash in on the tourist trade with the sale of their own “highly successful baits.”

Today’s ad for Schoonie’s Skooter comes from the May 1919 issue of National Sportsman.  The writeup on this bait by Dixie Carroll is from the same year.

The smaller 2-hook Schoonie's Skooter Jr. size in rainbow is shown (left) along with a standard yellow 3-hooker for comparison. Photo courtesy of collector Rob Pavey.
The more common full sized Schoonie's Skooter in white with a red head is shown here with Box courtesy of Lang's auction.