February 23, 2018 - Vol. 14, No. 1

Bug-N-Bass Lure

Abu Hi-Lo
Bug-N-Bass Collection
(Collection pictures courtesy of Mike Berendt!)

One of the more unusual of the wide variety of collectible plastic fishing lures is the "Bug-N-Bass" made by the Buckeye Bait Corporation of of Council Grove, Kansas. Imitating a open mouthed fish chasing a fly, the lure was developed by Kenneth W. Magoon of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and patented in 1963 under Design patent number 194,877 and he assigned the rights to the lure to the Buckeye Bait Corporation.1

The Bug-N-Bass came in two sizes, a 2-1/2" version and a 3-1/2" version, both with a black & red 'fly' mounted on the front of the line tie extended from the mouth of the lure. Though the lure is unmarked, it is distinctive enough to easily be recognized. It came in both a cellophane window cardboard box or a clear plastic box. The cellophane window box is stamped on one end with the color code (1-12) and the size (S or L). It also has fishing instructions on the bottom and the box pocket catalog shown below. The plastic box has a paper label inside that also indicated the color number as shown in the upper right hand corner of the box paper pictured below..


Bug-N-Bass lure boxes


Buckeye Bait Corporation Bug-N-Bass brochure

The company brochure listed twelve (12) 'catalogued' colors as shown above and in the following chart:

No. 1 - Large Mouth

No. 2 - Sand Bass

No. 3 - Blue Fish

No. 4 - Rainbow Trout

No. 5 - Brown Trout

No. 6 - Perch

No. 7 - White Coach Dog

No. 8 - Black with Silver Rib

No. 9 - Mullet

No. 10 - Shad

No. 11 - Crappie

No. 12 - Yellow Coach Dog

In addition to the 12 catalogued colors, there are even more 'uncatalogued colors. A long time National Fishing Lure Collector's Club member, the late Dennis MacNulty, in an email, indicated he had identified at least 13 such colors. His list included the colors Frog, Red Head/White, Solid Black, Yellow, Yellow/Black Sides, Sand Bass/Red Head/Clear Body, Red Head Flitter/Blue Back, Red Head Flitter/Green Back, Red Head Flitter/White Back, Red Head Flitter/Black Back, Red Head Flitter/Red Back, and Red Head Flitter/Yellow Back. Three (3) of these are shown in the following chart:

White Sand Bass

Sand Bass/Red Head/Clear Body

Red Head Flitter/Green Back

One notable variation is shown in the Red Head Flitter/Green Back color where the 'fly' is white and yellow, unlike the rest of the lures.

Values of Bug-N-Bass lures vary based on color and size. For catalogued colors, these typically range in from $25 to $75 without a box. Uncatalogued colors go for much higher prices and have been known to exceed $500.2 A recent sale of one in February, 2018, in Frog without a box realized a sale price of $430 at auction.

1Robert A. Slade, The Encyclopedia of Old Fishing Lures Made in North America, Volume 3 (Bloomington: Trafford Publishing, 2011), p. 175.
2Slade cites 2 such examples, one for $1,000 and another for $1,700.  

Wood body Shadrac Lure

Wood Shadrac Lure
(Click on image to enlarge)
(Pictures courtesy of Katie Moulton of the United Kingdom!)

The Weber Tackle Company of Stevens Point, Wisconsin was one of the oldest and had the longest history for lure companies of Wisconsin, having it's start in the 1880's when it was known as the C.J. Frost Company, known for fly rod lures.  It acquired any number of small lure makers and I believe finally closed in the 1980's.

During that time, it produced a lure known as the Shadrac. The Shadrac came in both a small and large size with the larger size having a spinner blade both on the front and back. Known examples of the Shadrac lure have always been made of plastic but this one is made of wood! Unlike the plastic ones which are marked in raised letters on the spine, this one is unmarked. It is 4" in body length.

Plastic Shadrac Lures (Small size)

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. Lures pictured in Lure Lore are not for sale.

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Web Author: Tom Jacomet
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