Bumble Bug Fishing Lure
Gowen Manufacturing Company - Gowen, Michigan
I've always considered the Heddon No-Snag River Runt Spook one of the more 'hardware heavy' of lures but the Bumble Bug by Gowen Manufacturing Co. of Gowen, Michigan is a worthy rival!
The Bumble Bug lure has a metal bracket that extends from the middle of the belly of the lure to beyond the back end that holds two treble hooks. The bracket is mounted on the bottom of the lure at the back where normally a hook mount would be in such a way as to allow the bracket to see-saw up and down. The action of this bracket is provided by a front mounted spinner blade which is fastened to a off-set shaft. As the blade turns, the off-set shaft causes the bracket to sway.
Plastic Bumble Bug
Originally made of wood, this lure was first made in the 1940's with a body length of 2-1/2". The wood Bumble Bug is easily identified as it does not have the upturned tail that was later present on the plastic version produced in the 1950's.
Baby Bumble Bug Lures
A smaller wood version of this lure was also produced that measures 1-1/4" in length. It differs from the larger version in that the rear bracket is fixed and therefore does not move like the bracket on the larger version. This version also has a front prop.
Bumble Bug Box & Paper Insert
The Bumble Bug comes in two different size clear plastic boxes, one measuring 3-3/4" x 1-1/4" x 1-3/4" and the other 3-3/4" x 1-3/4" x 1-3/4". The smaller box has a paper insert glued to the bottom of the box with fishing instructions. Some boxes also contained an a "emergency order form" with fishing instructions printed on the reverse side. Click HERE and HERE to see pictures of the order form and fishing instructions.
The order form lists the following colors for this lure:
Click HERE to see a picture of Terry Yorker's collection showing both wood and plastic versions in the various colors. The solid white one is a repaint and not a color this lure came in as far as is known. The yellow/black spot color is not a listed color but exists in both sizes.
The plastic Bumble Bug can usually be found for $25-$35 in the box. The wood versions will sell for more and are of course more difficult to find. (Note: these price estimates are from the original 2001 article.)
- It appears this lure may be been available as early as 1949.
Lures For Sale: See what we have in stock at My Bait Shop for vintage lures. Our ever changing inventory makes this worth repeat visits.
Leighton Automatic Spin
The Leighton Automatic Spin is shown in Karl White's Fishing Tackle Antiques and Collectibles book on page 13 as a 'dead bait trolling lure' by an unknown maker. Collector Ed Utley sent me a picture of this lure in it's original packaging! Ed notes that the packaging shows the name of the lure as the "Leighton Automatic Spin", made by Leighton Lure Co., Nashua, New Hampshire. The one pictured is the No.2 Trolling size and originally sold for $1.10. Ed stated that there are three hooks and one brass spinning device per package.
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