Step into any tackle shop these days and you likely won’t have trouble finding a crayfish imitation. Most will be soft plastic, but lately I’m noticing more and more companies producing flashy, hard crayfish with multiple joints and “defensive position” claws. But the crayfish below, which was entered into the vintage tackle contest by Bob Kneubehl, proves that hard craws are certainly not a new idea. Dr. Todd Larson of The Whitefish Press and “Fishing For History” blog can fill in the rest on this old-time crustacean.


Dr. Todd says:

“The most underrated bait in the bass angler’s arsenal is the imitation crayfish. That being said, there have been dozens of crayfish (and crab) imitations over the years, including yours. It’s a Crab Crawler manufactured around 1947 by the Ed Wood Bait Company of Wayne, Michigan. It’s distinctive for being made of cast aluminum. It was billed as indestructible, and likely was due to its incredibly durable construction. They came in at least eight colors, and are quite popular with collectors due to their striking and unique shape. Yours is worth $40-$60, and around $75-$100 in the box. To see a mint example in the box, click here.”


Excellent find, Bob! I’d call it a shelfer, but I’d also be curious to see if a big fall bass hunting the rocks before winter would still slurp that thing up. 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.