Vintage Tackle Contest: Victory Bomber

Listen up fans of military history. Today's winner in our vintage tackle contest will definitely pique your interest. The popper below was entered by 15-year-old Dominic Dixon, and it was passed down through the family by his granddad. I thought Dr. Todd Larson of the The Whitefish Press and "Fishing For History" blog was just going to explain what a great bass bait it used to be. Turns out this lure has what I'd say is the coolest story of any lure in the contest so far, and it all ties back to World War II. I knew there would be some juicy info when Dr. Todd's first line of response was: I never get tired of lures and this example is one reason why. I know this is a long entry but I think the story behind it warrants it!

Dr. Todd says:

"One of the reasons I love old fishing tackle is because every rod, reel, and lure has a story behind it. We only have to dig deep enough to find it. What you have, Dominic, is a piece of family history on your hands. The lure itself is a Model #6600 Bomber lure manufactured by the fabled Creek Chub Bait Company of Garrett, Indiana around 1942. It got its name because after December 7th, 1941, when America was dragged into the Second World War, tackle makers wanted to show their support for the American war effort, so Creek Chub named their newest lure the Bomber (available in three sizes--Baby Bomber, Diver Bomber, and Big Bomber). To top it off, this lure was offered only during World War II in what is known as Victory Finish -- because "dot dot dot dash" on the side of the lure is the letter V in Morse Code. V stood for Victory, and so these specially painted lures became known as Victory Bombers. You have a Victory Bomber your grandfather purchased during World War II to help put fish on the table during a time of war rationing, when even common goods became scarce. A Victory Bomber usually sells for $75-$125 in nice condition, but your lure is priceless as a piece of family history. You should consider getting a small shadow box where you can display the lure and a photo of your granddad, so that people will always remember the sacrifice Americans (both at home and abroad) made during the bloodiest conflict in the history of the world. Click here to see a war advertisement for the Bomber and a photo of another color of the Victory Finish."

Truly an epic find, Dominic! A lure with Morse Code on the body...that's pretty wild. In this case I'd take the Doc's advice and frame it ASAP. Thanks for sending, and enjoy the Berkley Digital Tournament Scale that's 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 fstackle@gmail.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 Berkley Digital Tournament Scale (left, $40).