The Shakespeare Glo-Lite Mouse
Tucked away in the lower corner of this 1940 ad is an introductory offer for the “new” Shakespeare Glo-Lite Mouse. The ad appears in the 1940 Sports Afield Fishing Annual. It says send for the free 1940 catalog and include 50 cents and you will also receive one of these new baits. The 1940 catalog also lists the Glo-Lite Mouse as “new” and lets us know that it is made of “tenite” plastic.
The first time I heard of this bait was from a much older co-worker in early 1970s. He raved about the fish that he had taken on the red & white model before a large bass made off with it. He also told me that his long search for a replacement had proved fruitless. When I joined the NFLCC and started to attend lure shows in the early 1980s the Glo-Lite Mouse seemed to be fairly common. I purchased a red & white one and made my way to the front door of the now-retired co-worker intending to surprise him with his favorite lure. I will always remember his wife at the door. After I explained my mission, she told me that he had passed away a couple of months prior to my visit. I now had a red & white Glo-Lite Mouse so I might as well give it a try. He was right! It is a heck of a fish catcher.
Concerning the Glo-Lite Mouse, Ernst Radke in his 1955 book New Angles to Bass Fishing said “ If there is a more pleasant lure to fish, I do not know of it.” I would agree completely as unlike the wooden Shakespeare swimming Mouse, the Glo-Lite is very uniform in action from one bait to the next. I know of no bait which will glow so brightly and so long after exposure to light as the Glo-Lite. Shakespeare featured this as a strong selling point in their advertising. This can be a two-edged sword. I do a lot of night fishing and have never found a glowing bait to be very effective and in fact I believe that it spooks fish in shallow water more often that not. This becomes a problem when unhooking a fish with the use of a flash light as the darn lure glows like a light bulb for the next few minutes. I have had some very successful nights with this bait and it is a go-to favorite when they are not hitting a surface bait.
There is a mystery associated with the Glo-Lite Mouse that I have been unable to solve over the years. About 30 years ago I purchase a wooden mouse that was worm-burned from one end to the other. I stripped the paint from the lure and hung it in the rafters of the basement where it remained for several years. I noticed it one day while spray painting something with red and yellow paint. I took it down and by painting it yellow with an over spray of red , got a beautiful blended orange paint job. I put it in the tackle box, but never tried it until one sunny day when fishing was at a stand still. I cast it out while sitting in my canoe in nearby Center Lake and within 15 minutes hooked and lost three very large Largemouth Bass. I will always be able to picture them as they leaped in the noonday sun and shook off that orange mouse. Needless to say I was impressed.
The bait went on to take many fish through the years, occasionally needing a touch up or hook replacement. Try as I might, I could not find another wooden mouse with the exact shape and size of this one. The body was closer in shape to the plastic Glo-Lite than any of Shakespeare's standard wooden models. Finally, at an NFLCC National Show I saw a mouse with the identical shape in a collector's display of Shakespeare Mice. When I looked on the bottom of this wooden mouse I saw the words “Glo-Lite” stenciled. I have only seen four of these wooden Glo-Lite Mice in more than 25 years of attending shows and I have been told by “Mouse” collectors that this is the rarest of all Shakespeare wooden mice. Just my luck that this is the one that has been my most effective bait!