The 1998 ICAST Best of Show display board. Photo Terry Battisti.

Back in 2014, I had the pleasure of visiting Guy Eaker at his home in North Carolina. If you haven’t heard, Guy has a veritable museum at his house when it comes to bass fishing memorabilia, tackle and anything else that’s relative to the fishing industry. We spent the entire day going through old memorabilia he’s accumulated over his 40-year career in the industry. But that’ll be another story for another time and one you won’t want to miss.

All that aside, there was one thing that I saw at Guy’s house that jogged my memory and is something I can share with you today as a stand-alone piece. That thing is the Eaker Shaker.

Developed by Eaker in the 90s, the curved blade was designed to be placed in front of a jig or soft plastic in order to give it more action. Attach the Eaker Shaker with the snap provided, cast the bait out and slowly wind it back to the boat. The resulting action would vibrate your rod tip and bring a different look and feel to an otherwise normal bait.

The bait had a lot of promise, so much so that Eagle Claw bought the rights to market and sell it. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the accessory never really caught on with the fishing masses even though it won the ICAST Best of Show award in 1998.

But there’s an interesting twist to Eaker’s Shaker and it came in the form of a bladed jig produced by Ron Davis and his son Ron who owned RAD Lures in 2004.

Nothing at first happened but then came the FLW Stren event on Lake Okeechobee in January 2006.

Brian Thrift won that event hands down on a “new” bait called the ChatterBait® by RAD Lures out of South Carolina.  Thrift so dominated that event that the folks at Rad Lures couldn’t keep up with demand.  If you were heading to Florida that year, you had to have them and if you could find any, you didn’t mind laying down the going rate of $25 for each of them.

In the meantime, with the Davis’ unable to keep up with demand, in stepped Z-Man Fishing Products to help with the manufacturing.  A deal was struck and Z-Man was now owner of RAD Lures and more notably, the Chatterbait®.

Shortly thereafter, bait makers coast to coast started putting blades on jigs in an effort to capitalize on the ChatterBait® craze. As it turned out, Z-Man Fishing Products, received a patent on the lure and cease-and-desist letters were flying out of the Palmetto State faster than jets off an aircraft carrier. Orders even went to Eaker and Eagle Claw.

Problem was Eaker had proof that he’d developed the blade way before the Davis’ had even conjured up the idea. That proof was in the form of a poster board used at a sports show in the mid-‘90s as well as their Best of Show award issued at ICAST in 1998. Eaker never heard back from the originator of the letter.

It’s crazy how something can be invented and lost before its time. The Eaker Shaker is proof of that. I can say that I personally thought the Eaker Shaker was a crazy thought. I saw them on TV and in ads and never once considered buying one, let alone using one. I can’t say I was alone in those thoughts – I never knew anyone or fished with anyone who used it. Now you won’t find me leaving the house without at least 50 ChatterBaits® in the boat.

Now it’s off to eBay to try and find some of Guy’s old metal blades. I want to try them out myself – after all these years of poking fun at them I might be ready to throw them.

Guy Eaker models his Eaker Shaker blade attached to a jig. Photo Terry Battisti.
Eaker Shaker display board used at sports shows from 1998. Photo Terry Battisti.