Carolina Made Lures
That We Collect
Though I am a native Floridian, I have spent most of my years living in North or South Carolina. It was only natural to begin collecting Carolina made lures. Most of the large lakes in the Carolinas are man made and were built when power companies began damming rivers from the 1930's through the 1960's. Carolina lure making is tied closely to the building of these lakes. These are some of the Carolina lure makers that I collect.
|Click on any of the thumbnail images below to see a larger picture|
Stump Bait Company - Washington, NC
The Cedar Stump lure was originally made by M.W. Powell of Lexington, Kentucky. It was a popular lure in many places, including Washington, NC. It was there that William Whichard and his son William, Jr. were using the Cedar Stump with great success as commercial striper fishermen. In the early 1960's, Powell's health was failing and he decided to retire and get out of lure making. Whichard and his son bought the business from Powell and started The Cedar Stump Bait Company in Washington, NC. They received customer and supplier lists as well as the molds and other equipment needed to manufacture the lure. The Whichards changed the name of the bait to the New Cedar Stump. The plastic lure was made in two sizes and new colors were added. The Cedar Stump Bait Company would also do special colors on request. Lure production averaged nearly 100 dozen lures per week before coming to an end sometime in the late 1960's.
King Manufacturing & Distribution Company - Hemingway, SC
Originally produced in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Creek King lure was also made for a short time by Earl Fenters in Hemingway, South Carolina.
Fly Company - Sumter, SC
I have been told that the Dragon Fly Company was making fishing tackle as early as the 1930's, but can not say for certain that is the case. Most of the lures made by Dragon Fly were poppers, streamers, and flys. Some of their earlier products are shown here, as well as a pair of much more recently made plastic lures.
Plastic Products - Johns Island, SC
Johns Island is known to the be the largest producer of tomatoes in the country. Located just west of Charleston, SC, the island is surrounded by the Intercoastal Waterway and several rivers and creeks. In the 1950's Ellis Plastics Products produced the Plastic Diver lure. It is a heavily weighted pier bait designed for casting or trolling.
Fisher - Charlotte, NC
Operating as Fisher Fishing Innovations, Fred Fisher of Charlotte, NC produced a half dozen or so different lure models. The baits were hand made using Linden wood, also known as Limewood. The Wylie Wizard shown here is named after Lake Wylie, which borders North and South Carolina near Fisher's Charlotte, NC home.
& S. Manufacturing - Valdese, NC
I know nothing at all about this company. Their metal Zoo-Zoo lure looks to have been inspired by the Spoonplugs made by Buck Perry only 20 miles down the road.
D. Folsom Arms Co., Inc. - Charlotte, NC
Gasque - Asheville, NC
Both of these lures were designed by Jim Gasque of Asheville, NC. The top lure is the Gasque Crawler and the bottom lure is the Dubl-Minnow. The baits were produced by The Allen Company and later by the Lucky Bunny Bait Company, both of Chicago, Illinois.
Howell - Brevard, NC
The Carolina Killer was designed and first manufactured by Don Howell of Brevard, NC. The bait was later made by a company in Pisgah Forest, NC before being made by DDJ Plug Company in Roseman, NC. The Carolina Killer was originally made of balsa wood and later made of Styrene. Both are shown here.
Company - Naval Base, SC
Fly Manufacturing Company - Greensboro, NC
Lisk Fly Manufacturing was in the business of making fly rod and spinning lures from the late 1950's through the 1990's.. They are no longerl making baits. Lisk Lures are often found on point of sale cards like the one shown here. I especially like the slogan on this Little-Skunk lure, which is ....made by "Tar Heels" for "you-all" to fish with....
Bait Company - Durham, NC
The lure shown here was made by Bunny Hardwick who ran the Mo-Do Bait Company out of a small cinderblock building located not far from Falls Lake near Durham, NC. The Mo-Jo lure seen here is a wooden top water popper and is quite well made. The business is still run by his family and operates as a bait and tackle shop.
Nash - Kannapolis / Concord, NC
Pete Nash was a fishing lure distributor in the Kannapolis / Concord area of NC in the 1940's. He was the Carolina distributor of Jim Pfeffer lures at that time. Nash was also making his own lures from around 1945-1950. The most common lure made by Nash was the Shiner shown here. These lures were made using wooden shiner bodies left over from the operations of the Robinson Bait Company. Pete Nash later retired to the Santee area of South Carolina.
Albert Padrick - Wilmington, NC
This is the only style of lure that I have seen made by Joe Padrick. The lures are made of wood and are heavily weighted. They were obviously intended for salt water use. Padrick was making lures in Wilmington, NC from around 1957 - 1964.
Perry - Hickory, NC
In 1947, Elwood "Buck" Perry applied for a patent on a fishing lure he called the Spoonplug. A patent was granted in 1951. The Spoonplug lure was specifically designed to exploit Perry's ground breaking ideas of structure fishing for largemouth bass. Perry's knowledge of the migration and feeding habits of bass came together with his versatile lure to spawn generations of Spoonpluggers who study and practice his techniques today.
Bait Company - North Charleston, SC
When Arel Brown got out of the US Navy after World War II, he chose to leave his Alabama home for the Charleston, SC area. You could not readily buy fishing lures immediately after the war, so Brown began making them. For a period of only about eighteen months in 1947-1948, he was making fishing lures as The Santee Bait Company. With the help of a cousin, he made the lures in the basement of the home owned by his aunt and uncle. Mr. Brown estimates that only about 1,500 baits were ever made. The lures were turned on a small lathe and hand painted in a variety of colorful patterns. The Santee Bait Company produced some of the finest wooden lures ever made in South Carolina.
Click here for extensive information about the Santee Bait Company.
Sales, Inc. - Columbia, SC
Arthur and Alex Woodle operated Woodle's Jewelry Store in Greenwood, SC. In the late 1940's, they began to make a fishing lure known as the Scooterpooper. The lure body was made using small oval shaped metal boxes that originally held watch crystals. A shaft with spinners was soldered to the body, resulting in a fishing lure that "purrs...growls...brings out the beast in a bass". The Woodles sold or gave away lures they made in the store for years. In 1948, Alex Woodle and Fred Craft incorporated Scooterpooper Sales, Inc. in Columbia, SC. Scooterpaper Sales contracted with Meridian Tool Works of Meridian, CT to manufacture the lure for national distribution. The operation lasted only about five years. During that time the Woodles continued to make lures for themselves and friends to use on nearby Lake Greenwood.
Island Lures - Frogmore, SC
The Head Hunter shrimp lure was designed and manufactured by George Klecak, who had retired to St. Helena Island, SC in the 1950's. He used surgical tubing and monofilament line to form a realistic looking shrimp body on a fish hook. A fisherman could thread the tail of a real shrimp onto the hook and have a deadly bait for salt water fish. Klecak made the baits in his home and called his business Sea Island Lures. He made the Head Hunter shrimp from the late 1960's until around 1980.
Bait Company - Easley, SC
Suddeth Lures were made in Easley, SC beginning in the 1970's. The company made a variety of very successful flat-sided crankbaits and stickbaits. Some of the lures are still made by a Georgia company who acquired Suddeth in 2001.
Heel Bait Company - Durham, NC
In the late 1940's a pair of fishing buddies, John Clifton and Floyd Lamm, came together to form the Tar Heel Bait Company. With the help of their wives and other family members, the home based company manufactured a wooden popper called the Tar Heel Flapper. The lure was available in six colors and was packaged in a couple different styles of 2-piece cardboard boxes. The business lasted for only a short time before coming to an end in the early 1950's.
Temper Corporation - Anderson, SC
The lure company started by Al. Foss in 1915 eventually became the fishing tackle division of the True Temper Corporation. After years of making lures in Ohio, True Temper moved to Anderson, SC in 1955. In addition to several lures originally made by Foss, the company also manufactured their own line of products, including rods and reels, as well as lures. The Screwball and Threadtail lures shown here are some rarely seen baits made by True Temper when they were located in Anderson.
See the page about Al. Foss lures for more information about True Temper.
Williamson & Co. - Orangeburg, SC
Makers of a wide line of fishing tackle including line, floats, etc.