Ever wonder the history of the crankbait?

We as anglers have been using crankbaits for a long time.  Have you ever wondered how this lure got discovered or what was the first documented crankbait.  I was wondering about that and started doing some research.   I discovered an article on by Bernie Schultz about the first crank bait.  Now I know this might not be totally musky specific it still plays a huge part in our modern musky fishery.  Here is the article below: 


A Defining Moment

A crankbait is any lure designed to dive and remain below the surface during the retrieve. And though there are a variety of ways in which that can be achieved — for the sake of simplification — we’ll narrow it to those lures that employ a diving lip.

Like other true innovations in lure making, the crankbait was born of necessity. Anglers of the period needed a lure that would not only dive, but swim somewhat like a baitfish during the retrieve. And they wanted it to reach a reasonable depth.

It wasn’t until 1915 or so that the first lure to utilize a diving lip appeared.

Three avid anglers — Henry Dills, George Schulthess and Carl Heinzerling — joined together to form the Creek Chub Bait Company (CCBCO) of Garrett, Ind. The three would develop some of the most innovative fishing technology of their time. 

Although the company would eventually be remembered more for producing the lure George Perry used to capture the world record bass, Creek Chub also introduced the first crankbait — naming it the “Wiggler.”

Gregg Thomas

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