Several years ago I got a call from a woman living in Clarksville, N.Y., a small rural town about 10 miles South of Albany. She and her husband Paul grew up on the same farm road as Art Lawton. Art was a proficient "Musky Hunter" from the 1930s - 1960s. His prey were often subject of his prowess on the St. Lawrence River, near Clayton, NY.
His wife Ruth most always accompanied him on his outings, fishing their secret areas and applying his shielded techniques. In one article I read about him it says "the wooden diving lures, specifically the Creek Chub Pikie Minnows, were their favorites. Lawton was very much into color patterns, emphasizing the use of different colors depending on water clarity."
He probably painted the above lure to suit the conditions he was fishing at that time. I wonder where all the rest of his tackle ended up!
Art once held the world record Musky title for a 69 pound 15 oz. (64 1/2") catch in 1957. In the October/November 1992 Musky Hunter Magazine historical editor, John Dettloff's article, summarizing his research which overturned Art's record, appeared. In addition to the bait, copies of photos and the magazine, I was fortunate to also get the original letter John Dettloff wrote to the neighbor (requesting photos and information).
I was so happy to procure this important artifact of Art Lawton's. There are so many more details about this that if interested you can locate on the internet.
-- Mike Kaligordis
As a Hayward boy, I grew up believing Art Lawton was the devil. All I heard from the boys at Pastika's and other tackle shops was how they absolutely knew that Lawton's record was a fraud; apparently they were right! This does obscure the fact that Art Lawton was an incredibly talented musky angler. These are neat pieces of musky fishing history, and many thanks to Mike for sharing it with us!
-- Dr. Todd