~Antique Saltwater Lures~
"1931" Deal, New Jersey
~ Antique Saltwater Lures; A Brief History ~
At the turn of the century in New England, there were a very limited number of saltwater surf fishermen. Most striped bass fishermen at this time believed the fish were strictly bottom feeders and could only be caught on "bait." There were those though who knew better, they started making and fishing with tin squids (metal lures) and doodlebugs/bugs (lead bucktails). But, still in keeping with the thought that striped bass were solely bottom feeders; they fished them deep or as close to the bottom as possible.
During this same time period in Florida there was something very special going on; saltwater fishermen were using freshwater lures to catch spotted trout, tarpon, barracuda, etc. Casting east with lures was considered the only way to fish by many of the southern sharpies of the time. By the 1920's many of the freshwater lure makers were now also manufacturing saltwater models.
The word spread up the coast to "New England's" striped bass fishermen and they started experimenting with the lures being produced at the time. Many found they could catch fish in all levels of the water column while using these baits. By the mid 1930's there were individuals making their own versions of the freshwater and saltwater lures in larger sizes, with stronger hooks and hardware. Some even started to "thru" wire their lures for added strength.
A new era in surf fishing had begun. But, it was short lived. The country was being thrown into the turmoil of World War II and saltwater fishing had taken a back seat. The war effort also made materials such as hooks, wire, etc. used in the manufacture of lures to become increasingly hard to obtain.
With the war now over, there was a massive surge of people looking for new recreational activities. There was great interest and participation in surf fishing, especially for striped bass. Up and down the coast of New England, bait & tackle shops opened, sometimes two or three in a town. With great influx of people striper fishing it didn't take long before those few ingenious individuals who started making lures before the war and others capitalized on the situation.
This period of time in later years became known as the "Golden Age of Surf Fishing," it lasted until the early 1960's.
On the following pages you will get to view some of the lures that were produced during this time...........
~ Pier Fish ~
Hello & Welcome
To the Antique Saltwater Lure Page
Keeping the tradition going; I'd like to say. Like father like son, I am also an avid fisherman. I am always looking for lures or boxes manufactured by the companies and individuals listed below for the collection. For a thorough list of items I'm interested in; Please visit my Contact Me page.
It is very hard to do research on these companies and individuals as most were very small operations. If you have any information on the ones I have listed here or others and would like to share it. Please feel free to contact me anytime.
Please enjoy a fraction of the knowledge the founder/my father of ShorelineBT.com
Tom Clayton has passed onto all of us.
Thanks for Visiting,
Take The Tour
Edward Crosby, Montauk "1941" / Photo Courtesy of Mark Mead
Click on a Link Below
1800's Cabinet Photo
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