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wishin4fishin

Old baits from the 80s and 90s

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I picked up one of those hard back books from the "Freshwater Angler series," this one is titled "Advanced Bass Fishing". Copyright is 1995, I think they still sell these in book stores and at BP Shops.

Anyway, I found a couple of interesting plastics that were new to me that I just don't hear anybody talk about - here on the forums or otherwise. One was a "Slug-O" and the other a "French Fry."

I've only been chasing bass for the last 4 years or so so these are apparently before my time.

What other baits (hard or soft) have fallen out of favor or popularity since the 80s / 90s?

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Both of those baits are still pretty popular. The slug O was the original or one of the original soft plastic jerkbaits made by Lunker City. French frys are a style of bait, like a centipede. They're really popular C-rig baits and they're a really good bait on a shakey head too.

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V & M French Fry  :)

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The Slug-O was the bait that caught me my first big (over 4 lbs) bass when I was a teenager. After that, I was hooked, and never went back to live bait like nightcrawlers. Although I almost never use them, I still keep a few around, for nostalgic value I guess.

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In 1991 my lovely wife surprised me by booking a trip with a guide at Lake Fork. During the weeks leading up to the trip I spoke several times with the guide about baits and equipment. This was going to be on my birthday weekend, the second weekend in April. The guide kept telling to be sure and bring Slug-Gos and Chatterbaits if I brought nothing else. I had never heard of either. Never did find any of the Chatterbaits, which I know now was basically a slug-go with a rattle chamber and rattle added, but I did get a few bags of Slug-Gos. Didn't know anything about how to rig them or fish them, but off I went to Lake Fork with them in the box. When I arrived and met with the guide he rigged up a 6" Alewife colored one for me at the dock. The first place we went to was an area just west and south of the south dam. He said just throw it out, let it sink to bottom and then twitch and let it sink again. Do that all the way back to the boat, they'll hit it on the fall. On about the third cast I buried the hook into a nice solid 6 pound fish, biggest of the day.....sadly, I was dreaming of BIGGER. But all total I caught several nice ones on the bait that day and have had some in my box/bag ever since. The last time I threw a Slug-Go was on a donkey rig and landed a few good fish then too. Ought to throw them more I guess, I've got about 50 in assorted sizes and colors. I recently received a sampler pack of the 3" size from Lunker City when I ordered some Fin-S-Fish. They look awesome and would be great on a drop-shot rig. Slug-Gos are still made and are pretty hot baits still. Check them out at Lunker City's website.

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I have very fond memories of the slug-o and still use them to this day. A friend was given 2 of them and we were catching fish like crazy, and using a cigarette lighter to melt them back together so we could keep fishing with them. My first trip after I acquired a bag of them was to Smith Mountain Lake with my wife, launched the boat and proceeded to fish for hours in the cove near the launch ramp without cranking the big motor.

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Ozark Mountain made a lure called a "Kingfisher" that is absolutely one of the best baits for fishing matted grass or slop that I've ever seen.  I still have 3 of them.  Ugly looking thing, but baby do they work! :)

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I still have quite a few Rebel Redneck soft plastic baits from the late 80's. It was a lizard body with a spiked red collar meant to be fished through spawning beds.

I also have a bunch of BPS worms from back then in a bunch of colors I have not seen since.

BTW, the plastic has held up well. They're all still like the day I got them.

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Speaking of Ozark Mountain, the Wyatt's out of Carthage, MO started this company in the early 80's or maybe even earlier. I had a hankering to make wood baits and they turned me on to their process and really helped me get started in 1985.  At the time they didn't make a topwater walking lure, and that was my passion because the Zara Spook, at that time, was a very poorly designed lure.  Anyway, when my lures started selling pretty good, the Wyatt's soon came out with their Wood Walker pitched by Charlie Campbell, the Ozarks fabled topwater Guru.

Anyway, I never really was able to compete with the Wyatt's, but they figured out a walking lure would sell hence the Wood Walker was born.  I got tired of making baits and went back to teaching school and fishing. Their biggest seller was the  Wood Chopperwhich  is still revered by many topwater enthusiasts.

One more really popular bait around the Ozarks at this time was the spoonbill Rebel, and I believe it's still a good bait.

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I still have quite a few Rebel Redneck soft plastic baits from the late 80's. It was a lizard body with a spiked red collar meant to be fished through spawning beds.

I also have a bunch of BPS worms from back then in a bunch of colors I have not seen since.

BTW, the plastic has held up well. They're all still like the day I got them.

That's interesting. Maybe the red spiked collar was supposed to help trigger more of a reactionary or defensive strike?

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I still have a bunch of Slug-Go's, and catch fish on them to this day.  Same thing with Zoom Centipedes.  There were a lot of Slug-Go knockoffs back then. 

Other baits?  Hmm...I have topwaters named "Woodchopper", "Nippee D", and "Devil's Horse".  They are prop baits and work great!  I don't know if they're still made anymore.  I just remember getting them in the early '90s.

I think Mann's made a soft plastic bait, the Ghost?, that looked like a dying fish. You twitched it on the surface, and it would slowly sink erratically.

I really liked the Herb's Dilly and caught a ton of fish on them.  Too bad they don't make them anymore.

Poe's RC3 cedar crankbaits were awesome baits when they came out in the early '90s.  Now they're plastic and just aren't the same thing.  :)

And I still enjoy fishing Normark Risto Raps and Rapala Husky Jerks. Both came out in the early '90s.

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Rebel Black Star.

Color C Lector bait colors.

Sugar Shad- I forget who made it.

Bagley lures.  Remember the Smoo and the Fat Cat.

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I still have a bunch of Bomber crankbaits in various color selector colors...should maybe get some of them wet next year.

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I still have a bunch of Slug-Go's, and catch fish on them to this day. Same thing with Zoom Centipedes. There were a lot of Slug-Go knockoffs back then.

Other baits? Hmm...I have topwaters named "Woodchopper", "Nippee D", and "Devil's Horse". They are prop baits and work great! I don't know if they're still made anymore. I just remember getting them in the early '90s.

I think Mann's made a soft plastic bait, the Ghost?, that looked like a dying fish. You twitched it on the surface, and it would slowly sink erratically.

I really liked the Herb's Dilly and caught a ton of fish on them. Too bad they don't make them anymore.

Poe's RC3 cedar crankbaits were awesome baits when they came out in the early '90s. Now they're plastic and just aren't the same thing. :)

And I still enjoy fishing Normark Risto Raps and Rapala Husky Jerks. Both came out in the early '90s.

I've seen a lot of guys here on the forums mention those wooden RC3s.

One question - how did (do) you guys fish the Slug-Os? Similar to a current Senko-style bait? T-Rig? Weightless? Wacky? Or was it more of a minnow jerk bait a la Zoom Super Fluke?

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One of my favorite lures in the '80s was the Heddon Lucky 13. I haven't thrown one in probably 15 years.

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Risto Rap and the Fat Rap. i watch Ebay non stop for these.

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Man, we're showing our age aren't we. I never thought we'd be looking back at the 80s & 90s and yearning for those now classic baits. I had a lot of success with Excalibur Shad-R, Risto Raps, Husky Jerks (balsa), and Poes. Thank god I was at BPS when the Shad-Rs, and Risto Raps were discontinued and I was able to pull them out of a box for a buck a piece. I was especially disappointed when Rapala discontinued the Risto Rap, that was a good crank and it produced. If you were lucky enough to get some of the special colors like the emerald shad and chart/black you really had a crank that called em in. I've got 7 of these that are still in use and another 64 brand new, unopened that I'm saving for....a rainy day?

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That's easy, Heddon River Runts, Mirro Lure, Stingray Grub, Jelly Worms, Johnson Silver Minnow Spoons, Snagless Sally.  The list goes on.  To call lures from the 70's-80's  old is reasonable, but the 90's ? I still wear my royal blue short sleeve one piece jumpsuit and cotton crusher hat.  Stick steering !!!! That's what i'm talking about.

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One question - how did (do) you guys fish the Slug-Os? Similar to a current Senko-style bait? T-Rig? Weightless? Wacky? Or was it more of a minnow jerk bait a la Zoom Super Fluke?

I don't know about other guys but I never could get the Slug-Go to work as a jerk bait. The action was too erratic and it had an upward movement that would cause it to jump and break the surface too much. Guess it would have been good for schooling fish like that. A lot of the striper guides here at Texoma still have their clients use them for that. I always threw it out and pretty much fished it like a tex-rigged worm. Let it sink to bottom, lift, twitch, twitch, sink. Sometimes I'd twitch it three or four times, then let it sink back down. On a donkey rig (double bait rig) I use them pretty much the same way but it's easier to get them to dance sub-surface at about 6-10 feet this way than it is using them rigged as a single.

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[quote author=6769612D0 link=1291351737/19#19 date=1291460917

I don't know about other guys but I never could get the Slug-Go to work as a jerk bait. The action was too erratic and it had an upward movement that would cause it to jump and break the surface too much.

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Other baits? Hmm...I have topwaters named "Woodchopper", "Nippee D", and "Devil's Horse". They are prop baits and work great! I don't know if they're still made anymore. I just remember getting them in the early '90s.

quote]

Smithwick (lurenet.com) still produces the Devil's Horse. I think it went out of production for a few years, but I guess it's still around.

Luhr-Jensen is still producing the Woodchopper. They also have a prop bait called the Nip-I-Diddee. I'm not sure if that's the one you're referring to.

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Still throwing the Zoom Centipedes, great for a tough bite. I like using them on a Mojo rig and also rigged sideways & rear nail weighted so it will glide backwards when you lift it.

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I don't know about other guys but I never could get the Slug-Go to work as a jerk bait. The action was too erratic and it had an upward movement that would cause it to jump and break the surface too much. .

Reasons why the bait does what you describe:

1.- your rod is not positioned correctly ( tip down ),

2.- you are jerking the rod too hard ( just a small wrist snap ) and

3.- you are not jerking the rod correctly ( sweeping rod tip parallel to the water ).

4.- the bait is not properly rigged.

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I too love the original RC-3s, and am always on the hunt for them!  I have a few jumbo sized SLUG-Os that I used for musky fishing. Perhaps they need to see some water time.

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