Fred Young's Balsa wood lure known as the Big-O was a revelation in bass fishing. Many people, however, know the Big-O only in its plastic version. Here is a short bit on the origins of the Cotton Cordell Big-O from Dick Lundin, a longtime OWAA writer. It dates from April, 1973.
THE HOTTEST PLUG on the market at the moment seems to be the almost legendary and murderous Big-0, invented by Fred Young, an East Tennesseean who hand-carved a few out of a block of balsa wood for some of his friends.
With it, bass fishing professionals who have been able to find one, are winning big dollars in tournaments.
According to Roland Martin of Tulsa, Okla., "This balsa lure does have something different. It's in the wiggle. Most diving type baits have a lazy wiggle, but the vibrations from this lure are more like a bait fish swims."
Martin should know because he is one of the most respected bass anglers on the national tour.
Cotton Cordell has purchased the name from the balsa-woodworking inventor and is now in the process of turning out thousands of a plastic version of the Big-0.
You should find it soon in local tackle stores.
Martin offers this bit of advice on fishing the bait: "Because the lure is so hard to obtain, most fishermen won't really fish it right. It'll get hung up, but fish it hitting, bumping or working in heavy cover. Crank it, and keeping it coming — and hang on tight!"
-- Dr. Todd