June 27, 2013
Vintage Tackle Contest: Miñano Big Game Lure
By Joe Cermele
It's just about mid-summer, and along many coasts throughout the country, that means it's tuna and marlin season. How fitting is it then that this week we have our first big-game lure in the vintage tackle contest (and a cool one at that)? This Miñano trolling lure belongs to Jame Marcheselli, who got it from an old friend that fished in "the Far East." To be honest, there was very little info on this lure, but I got the impression from the email it wasn't made in the U.S. I kinda worried it would stump Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog, but he found some more info on this wicked skirted troller, which appears to have a real baitfish cast into the head.
Dr. Todd says:
"The idea of casting a fishing lure in lucite is not new; experiments of this type were done back in the 1930s, and several manufacturers sprung up over the years to create them. They were more of a gimmick than anything else. I own a half dozen different lures or bugs in lucite-style lures, but I have never seen a big game trolling lure made in this style until your submission. From what I understand, these lures were made for big-game anglers in the 1960s and 1970s (the latest reference I can find is 1979) by Miñano, who I believe was not a Japanese maker as the Internet implies, but a maker from San Juan, Puerto Rico. As the big-game vintage lure market is all over the place, it is difficult to place a value on it, but I believe it would bring $20-$30. To see a picture of the bottom label on one of these lures showing the "ñ" (the Spanish letter eñe), conclusively showing it to not have Japanese origins, click here."
Terrific find, James. If I saw this at a flea market, I'd snap it up and try to nail some yellowfin on it over the next couple months. Thanks for sending and keep an eye on your mailbox, because there's a set of Berkley Aluminum Pliers headed your way.
If you've already sent me photos of your vintage tackle, keep checking every Thursday to see if I chose it for an appraisal by Dr. Todd. If you haven't and want to enter the contest, email photos of your old tackle to email@example.com, along with your name, mailing address, and story of how you acquired the gear. If I use it in a Thursday post, you get a pair of Berkley Aluminum Pliers (above) worth $50.