Baits, Lures & Flies photo

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

This old-time bass lure was entered into our vintage tackle contest by Tim Hallett, who wrote: I was cleaning the garage today when I found a box of old lures. I asked my dad about them and he said they used to belong to my grandpa. I was hoping to bring my dad some good news and history on some of these lures! Of all the lures in the Tim’s group, I found this red-and-white “smiling” bait most interesting, and according to Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog it is “one of the most iconic fishing lures ever made.”


Dr. Todd says:

“Produced by the famous Creek Chub Bait Company of Garrett, Indiana, here we have the appropriately named Dingbat. An oddball name (taken from the nickname of a boyfriend of one Creek Chub’s female employees) for a lure, the Dingbat was introduced in the late 1930s (it was offered as “new” in April 1938) and was offered in several sizes and styles, from musky to fly rod. A lure noted as a big bass taker, the bass size (which is what you have) is the most popular, both in its day and among collectors. A Dingbat in red and white in nice condition, with complete hair, is worth $30-$40. It’s an iconic bass lure, for sure!. To see a picture of the 1938 intro ad, click here.”


That’s not a terrible report to relay to your dad, Tim! Great find. 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.