Saturday, July 16, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: Bill Plummer Bass and Pike Hooks

Bill Plummer Bass and Pike hooks.

Around 1960 ads appeared in most outdoor magazines for the "Bill Plummer Frog". There was also about that time, a feature article, I believe in Outdoor Life, describing Bill Plummer, his frog and his method for fishing hazards with his frog. The frog featured a weedless hook of Bill's own, somewhat unique design. Most lure collectors are familiar with the "Bill Plummer Frog." A few years ago the original frog had a short-lived burst of popularity in Japan with folks paying as much as $50 for one in good shape. The law of supply and demand soon took over and prices plummeted back to the point where one can buy one at a show and fish with it with a clear conscience.

For many years I had on the back of my work bench (it is too cluttered to call a desk) a Rapala box which had come out of some forgotten tackle box. I always assumed it had a Rapala in it. For some reason I opened it one day and was surprised to find the box papers shown here for a Bill Plummer product that I was totally unaware of: the “Bill Plummer Bass and Pike Hooks.” I have only run across one set of these hooks. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that on the handy order form included with them there was no address given as to where to send the order.

In October of 1987, when Bill Plummer was 66 years old, Outdoor Life Fishing Editor Jerry Gibbs wrote a wonderful, long article about his experience fishing with Bill Plummer. The Article was entitled Bass Fishing The Old Way a title sure to catch my attention. Reading that article one can not come away without a tremendous amount of respect for Bill Plummer as a person and as a “research fisherman”. It described several methods that Bill used fishing from early Spring through late Fall. Most of his fishing feature the use of various forms of pork rind. Prominent in his fishing was the use of his own weedless hooks. Jerry said that Bill was fishing 300 days a year and netting 2,000 Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass a season! That is a lot of experience and a lot of Bass !

-- Bill Sonnett

NOTE: The new book on Bill Plummer Lures and the Fishing Tackle of Harrison Industries is now shipping!

No comments: