Lures come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes and colors. Many are designed to entice fishermen, not the fish. While most of those listed here bombed at retail, a few sold briskly. Thus lending credence to the old adage: “there’s a sucker born every minute.”
10. HEDDON HI-TAIL
The turbulent ’60s will be remembered forever for its tumultuous political and cultural movements and the Heddon Hi-Tail. In terms of fishing lure oddities, the Hi-Tail may well be the oddest. This combination wakebait, crankbait, and topwater basically looked like a little whale.
According to Heddon’s catalog, “neither you or the bass will be able to let it rest when you see its tail-flicking, gurgling, rollicking surface antics.” The Hi-Tail was cataloged for three years and was popular with fishermen during that time. However, we’re not so sure that it was as popular with the bass.
9. THE HOVER LURE
According to the manufacturer, once you tried the Hover Lure, “you’ll never fish below the water’s surface again.” This imitation dragonfly looked like a plastic bug on a stick that was stuck to a float with a hook wedged in its butt. In theory, bass would leap out of the water to gulp down the faux fly. In practice, apparently the hover thing never really took off.
8. FISHERMAN JOE’S SWIM-N-LURE
This little self-propelled ditty utilized an on-board fuel to make it swim. To use, add the magic powder (included) and set the bait adrift. Water set off a chemical reaction and off the bait would go, hopefully sputtering into a fish’s open mouth.
Fisherman Joe’s Lure fizzled. Its self-propulsion was short-lived and a royal pain to keep reloading. Ironically, for the chemical reaction to work, the lake water had to be slightly acidic—just the type of water bass avoid like the plague.
7. THE TROLLING BOBBER
The as-seen-on-TV trolling bobber promised to do the work for you and guaranteed more fish. To operate it, the angler simply tied his favorite bait to the bobber, switched on the inboard/outboard motor, and set the bobber afloat. It would then chug your offering out into the…