Musky Sucker Bait Manufacturing Company - Madison, Wisconsin
Wood and plastic lures tend to get most of the focus by tackle collectors so rubber lures just don't get the 'respect' that the former do. One company that produced a whole line of rubber lures was the Musky Sucker Bait Mfg. Co. of Madison, Wisconsin and of their line of lures, the Silver Mullet is one of the most difficult to find.
Bob Slade's book, "The History & Collectible Fishing Tackle of Wisconsin", states that the Silver Mullet was first produced around 1946. It differs from the standard line of Musky Sucker lures in that it has a raised dorsal fin on the spine in addition to a second tail fin. The lure measures 10-1/2" in length, weighs in at a hefty 8 ounces, and has two 8/0 hooks. Like all of the musky sucker lures, it has glass eyes. It came in two variations, one with a diving lip and another without the lip and was packaged in a gold colored box. The company assigned series number for this lure was #200.
According to the company's sales literature, the Silver Mullet was "...made to resemble the natural Mullet in color, size, and shape. The sides are silver, accented by a strip of metallic blue green across the back." Of the examples I've seen, the color of the lipless model is similar but with black back and markings.
Silver Mullet Lipless Version
The Musky Sucker Bait Mfg. Co. went out of business in early 1948 so the Silver Mullet was only produced for a period of about 2 years, making it one of the toughest to find, particularly in the box. There is no recent sales information available on this lure but knowledgeable collectors estimate a value of $150 or more in the box.
Musky Sucker lures in 10-1/2" and 7-1/2" sizes
In addition to the Silver Mullet, the Musky Sucker Bait Mfg. Company made several other rubber lures. The Musky Sucker lures came in both surface and underwater models. The surface models have a spinner on the front as part of the front line tie. These came in 2 different sizes, 10-1/2" and 7-1/2". The underwater models have a diving lip on the front and came in 10-1/2", 7-1/2" and 4-1/2" sizes.
The 'Flexie' and Musky Sucker lures in 4-1/2" size
The company also produced a articulated body lure known as the "Flexie" that came in 2 different sizes, 10-1/2" and 7-1/2". Before the company went out of business in 1948, it also produced the "Flexie Broadtail" which had the same body as the Flexie but a wide rubber tail. It came in 2 sizes, the 7-7/8" and 4-7/8". The Flexie Broadtail is considered the rarest of the Musky Sucker Bait Mfg. Company lures.
To display and/or print a copy of some rare sales literature from the Musky Sucker Bait Mfg. Company that is in PDF format, click here.
Special thanks to NFLCC members Joe McCarthy, John 'Rubba-Bubba' Walker, and Bob Slade who provided much of the material for this Lure Lore!
- Company production began in 1939 and ceased in 1948.
If anybody has additional information or paperwork such as early advertisements they would share it would be greatly appreciated.
Unknown Fish Decoy
This is a wood fish decoy of unknown origin. It measures 7-1/4" in length and weighs in at approximately 4 ounces, and has two belly weights, front and rear. The tail is slightly offset from the body line. The eyes are carved.
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.
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