The C.C. Roberts Bait Company of Mosinee, Wisconsin, is the oldest continuous manufacturer of wood baits and is still making lures today. Maybe that is due in part to the fact that Roberts only made two lures for commercial use, the Mudpuppy and the Puppette. The Mudpuppy came in two lengths, 7" and 5-1/2". There are a fair amount of variations in the lengths of these lures due to the fact that in the early years, they were hand-carved.
The early versions of the Mudpuppy was cut down the middle, allowing the tail portion to rotate. Later versions were cut different, with the tail portion being only about 1/3 of the total length of the lure. Also, earlier verisons had flaired gills. The pictures above show the older version on the right with the newer version on the left.
The Mudpuppy had an unusual hook design in that when a fish was hooked, the treble released from the body of the lure and the lure floated away free from the line. This made it necessary to retrieve the lure after catching the fish (assuming you landed it!). During WWII, the company had problems obtaining treble hooks and made their own trebles by using a double hook and a single hook and wrapping them together with wire, then soldering into place.
It is believed that the early lures had painted tack eyes. Later glass eyes were used and later still, decal eyes. The type of eyes, however, are not necessarily a sure way to assess the age of the lure since the company was more than happy to make you Mudpuppys with glass eyes if you sent them the eyes, if you ordered a dozen or more! In fact, If you ordered a dozen, you could specify the colors you wanted as well. This resulted in a whole range of colors which exist for Mudpuppies. Originally they came in Natural (a grey color splatter paint with colored ribs)(pictured) and red head/white body. There are a number of shades of "natural" however, so it is not a definitive color. Other colors include green perch, black, gold green, bright green, orange, purple, and black and yellow to name a few.
Prices for these range from around $25 to $100.
Thanks to Todd Edwards for info. on Mudpuppies!
Most collectors are familiar with the Mermaid lures & bobbers as well as the Mermino Spoons. This little maiden measures about 1-1/2" long and is made of plastic. Any ideas on who made it and what it is called?
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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