Christopher Sass submitted several lure photos into our vintage tackle contest recently, and though they were all pretty funky, none caught my eye quite like the old-school bait in the photo below. I ultimately chose it because the design had me a bit baffled. When Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog weighed in on this find, I just had to laugh, because had it been invented in recent times the infomercial would be epic.


Dr. Todd says:

“What you have there is a Chase-A-Bug lure, which was invented by Leo Krozaleski of Detroit, Michigan and patented on March 13, 1956. He then founded the Leon Tackle Company, also of Detroit, to manufacture it. It’s a mechanical lure that, when the propellor turns upon retrieve, the mouth opens and closes as if to imitate a fish eating an insect. It may have caught some anglers (it was made for several years) but I’m fairly confident it was not a great fish catcher. It is very popular among collectors with Chase-A-Bugs new in the box selling for $200 or more. Your lure is in great condition and should be worth $75-$100. To see an example in the box and patent drawings, click here.”


Christopher, I’d sell that lure and buy some that we all know work really well and make perfect sense, like the Flying Lure and Banjo Minnow. Thanks for sending, and enjoy the new Cabela’s 50th Anniversary Trout Net 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, 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 limited edition Cabela’s 50th Anniversary Trout Net (above, $90).