Baits, Lures & Flies photo

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This week in our vintage tackle contest we have a rather enticing-looking bass lure that belongs to Brycen Higdon, who found the bait while helping his grandparents clean out their storage unit. Brycen noted that he can’t seem to figure out the maker. No problem, my friend. Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog will solve the mystery posthaste.


Dr. Todd says:

“You have a classic Southern bass fishing plug called a Dalton Special. The Dalton Special got its start as the brainchild of Tampa Bay, Florida’s Perry Dalton in the 1930s. They were originally hand carved and made from white sugar pine, but like many a bass-catchin’ plug, he could not keep up with demand. Enter Shakespeare of Kalamazoo, who manufactured the lure on contract to Dalton. In 1942, Dalton switched to the Florida Fishing Tackle Co. and had them manufacture his lure. He finally sold out to them in the mid-1950s, and the lure was made for many years afterward, changing hands several times. Since Florida Fishing Tackle Co. marked their offerings “St. Pete” we can be assured you have a ca.1960 Dalton Special on your hands. It is worth $15-$30 in that color and condition, but it’s also an incredible bass bait. Perhaps you should take it fishing…”


I see from your email you live in Georgia, Brycen. I’d take the Doc’s advice and fish that thing…I’m sure you can find a bucketmouth close to home that will happily take shot. 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, 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.