Horrock-Ibbotson Shmoo Bait

Shmoo Bait Novelty Fishing Lure

Horrock-Ibbotson Bait Company - Utica, New York


Original Lure Lore Article:
Horrock-Ibbotson Shmoo Bait 
Horrock-Ibbotson Novelty Shmoo Bait

Novelty lures are a class onto themselves and certainly the Shmoo Bait falls into this category. It was made in 1947 by Horrock-Ibbotson of New York, a company which also made reels as well. As you will note, the lure is shaped much like a bowling pin. It has a metal diving lip on the top of the head and two trebles located mid-body and at the bottom (not shown because it is in the box in the picture). Markings include a painted face and feet.

The "Shmoo" was a cartoon character in the famous "Li'L Abner" comic strip drawn by the late Al Capp. It is one of the most famous comic strips ever written and if memory serves me correctly, ran from the 1930's to the 1970's until Al Capp died (1979). The Shmoo was a lovable fellow and multiplied like rabbits. As I recall, the Shmoo didn't mind being eaten and always tasted like whatever you wanted it to taste like!

Shmoo Bait

Known colors include white with black markings/green stripes on back, red head/white body with black markings, and yellow front/red-orange back, silver with red side and scale back, and a white front-red back with red markings, 5 in total.

Shmoo Lure Box

The box the lure came in was decorated with characters from the strip including Mammy and Pappy Yokum, Daisy Mae (she made tight, cutoff jeans famous!), and Li'L Abner himself. Examples of this lure at lure shows run from $150 to $250 in price without the box. The owner of this item values it at $500 with the box. (Additional note:  these price estimates are from the original 1996 article.)


My Bait Shop Updates:

Here are some additional facts about the company and their baits:

  • The lure came in 12 catalog colors.
  • The lure measures 3" long.
  • Below are two dealer ads from 1950 and another Shmoo lure and box photo:
Shmoo Dealer Flyer

     Shmoo Dealer Flyer


    Shmoo Dealer Ad 1950

    Shmoo Dealer Ad 1950

    Shmoo Box and Lure 

     Shmoo Box and Lure



    If anybody has additional information or paperwork such as early advertisements they would share it would be greatly appreciated.



    Test Your Knowledge:  Horrock-Ibbotson Shmoo Bait Fishing Lure FAQ's:

    When was the Horrock-Ibbotson Shmoo Bait first commercially produced?
    Commercial production of the Shmoo Bait began in 1947.

    Who made the Shmoo Bait fishing lure?
    The Shmoo Bait lure was made by Horrock-Ibbotson out of Utica, New York. 

    Where can I find more information on the Horrock-Ibbotson Shmoo Bait Fishing Lure?
    You can find more information on our website My Bait Shop where we have a full page dedicated to Horrock-Ibbotson Shmoo Bait fishing lure.

    Related Articles / Pages:

    Lure Lore:  More great Lure Lore articles on My Bait Shop featuring in depth lure reviews and historical data.  An ever-growing section started in 1997 and continued on today at My Bait Shop.

    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.



    If you have any further information on any of the items displayed on this page which you'd like to share, please send your comments to me and I'll update the page accordingly. Contributions of interesting items and/or unknowns are encouraged.

    (Originally Published on LureLore.com on May 4, 1997 - Vol. 2, No. 9)
    Moved to My Bait Shop in 2020 and updated as applicable

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