Original Caption: Early bass - very early - and 42 deg cold! Contrary to what most fishermen believe, bass can be taken from cold water. These bass came from a southern flowage. The fisherman here is Jack A. Smithwick with proof of the effectiveness of his Devil's Horse. You're going to hear more about Jack from us - he's good and so are his baits. April 1969, Fishing Facts and Secrets

Today’s historical photo is of Jack A. Smithwick, one of the famous Smithwick’s (the “& Son” of the Smithwick clan), with a nice stringer of topwater bass.  Smithwick made a lot of early lures, but they’re most famous for their Devil’s Horse (originally the Devil’s Warhorse) topwater bait.  This picture appeared in a 1969 issue of Fishing Facts and Secrets, along with a great Wiley Miller graphic showing the recommended way to fish these baits.  Fishing News/Facts was actually the early northern distributor for the baits, and stories appeared in several early issues.

You can learn a little more by checking out a post from our archives which also features some video links on Smithwick baits.

An original Wiley Miller rendering of how to fish the Smithwick Devil's Toothpick. Photo April 1969 Fishing Secrets Newsletter.