Baits, Lures & Flies photo

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By Joe Cermele

This lure was entered into the vintage tackle contest by Jack Harred, who simply wrote, “Any idea what this is and what its value is?” Yes, indeed, we do have an idea, Jack. You’ve come to the right place. Turns out you got your hands on a pretty sought-after bait from the great state of Texas. Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog will fill you in on the rest.


Dr. Todd says:

_”You have a great old lure made by a Texas fishing tackle legend — Doug English. English was one of a number of Corpus Christi lure makers who crafted some incredibly successful lures. Beginning in 1934, English handcarved lures from plastic, starting with toothbrush handles and after WWII graduating to poured-mold plastic bodies. Your lure is an early Doug English Bingo, which is a wildly popular lure among Texas collectors due to their amazing array of colors. While early lures usually bring $20-$30, English (who once claimed to have given away more lures than any other maker in the world) also made many holiday greeting lures with the words “Merry Xmas” or “Season’s Greetings” on them. These sell for several hundred dollars each when they come to market. To read more about Doug English, click here.”


Sweet find, Jack. I have a lot of friends on the Texas coast that I bet would buy this lure to hang in garage in a heartbeat. 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, 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.