Weather Forecast


Creek Chub Bait Co. makes the most popular lures in the world

A vintage Creek Chub Bait Company sign.

Even though you might not directly recognize the Creek Chub name, living in the heart of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes region, I can pretty much guarantee you have seen and probably used their fishing lures. As always, some history is appropriate to set the foundation of many articles I will be writing on their highly sought after fishing lures and printed material.

Like many companies, this one had a very modest beginning. Three individuals who enjoyed fishing -- Henry S. Dills, Carl H. Heinzerling and George M. Schulthess --began producing fishing lures. For a couple of years, these friends shared, developed and manufactured fishing lures of many different types. So confident were these three their ideas had merit, they joined together to create the Creek Chub Bait Company, and made on-going history in the fishing world. In 1906, their dreams became a reality, but I doubt even they realized the impact their efforts would have today.

Ironically, all three lived in a small town called, Garrett, Ind. Dills, was an inventor in need of money and hands on business experience. Both Heinzerling and Schulthess were already well-established businessmen. Each of these creative thinkers brought something different and necessary to make the company successful. Their combined efforts truly resulted in some of the greatest fishing lures ever made.

Somewhere in the Dills family legend, it states Henry became convinced he had a lure design that would be marketable and successful. For a number of days he and Schulthess fished and discussed the pros and cons of making fishing lures. By the time this meeting was over, Dills had both Carl and George on board, and so their Creek Chub Company began. It's clear among this trio, Henry Dills was the catalyst behind the lures and innovations that established the great reputation of the company. By the time Henry died in 1927, his ideas had mushroomed into the most popular fishing lures in the entire world. Creek Chub lures are still being made today.

There are so many different lure types, designs and colors that it is impossible to cover the entire product in one article. Attempting to do so would diminish and do disrespect to this company which is a great testimonial to American ingenuity. Make no mistake, the Creek Chub Bait Company of Garrett, Ind., is an American icon. Thus, I will offer a multitude of articles in the months ahead, each one focusing on just one product line. In addition, I will discuss one innovation or component per article, which will help you identify and date Creek Chub fishing lures. Next week we will take our first look at a specific line of their baits and value.

Now for our "What Were They Thinking" segment. Recently, two extraordinary Winchester rifles were found and made available to the open market. The two guns consisted of a Model 76 and a Model 73. Both were exquisitely engraved by a gentleman named John Ulrich and included gold intials "AR". This very rare duo were a catalyst for tremendous bidding and finally sold at Julia's October 2009 auction sale for a whopping total of $316,350. My take-rarity was huge in this sale. The initial owner, Col. Archibald Rogers (initials "AR") was a close friend and hunting companion of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt. Nothing else needs to be said!