Last week, I ran a letter from John Genther, of Topeka, who told about his fond memories of fishing with an Arbogast Jitterbug with his parents and the Arbogast Hula Popper with his brother, Robert, who passed away in 2006.
This week’s letter is from Marty Reddick, also of Topeka, who is an old family friend and hunting buddy of mine and shared one of his better memories of fishing with the Heddon Co. Hellbender. He also shared a great photograph of his oldest grandson crappie fishing. Here is his story in its entirety:
I was around 9 or 10 years old one early summer day. We were fishing a family friend’s pasture pond. I had bought two Heddon Co. Hellbender lures earlier that I was wanting to try out. Mom usually used live bait and Dad liked inline spinner baits. I was branching out and doing ‘my own thing’ with these different lures.
One was a black and yellow and the other was green with a white belly. They are about 3 or 4 inches long and have a huge metal lip painted the same color as the body. I slowly worked the shoreline with the green Hellbender. I caught several ‘pounders’ as we called them.
Finally, a big fish hit me and I cranked in a 3-pound bass. Minutes later, on the other side of the pond near a small stump, a 4-pound bass also hit and I landed him.
What a day! I was so proud of my success. I bought more lures after that day and continued to use them for a lot of years. I know over the years the bass I have cleaned from farm ponds will have crayfish in them the majority of the time. I believe these lures work so well because of the resemblance to that prey. I still own six or seven of them and plan on giving them a try this year for nostalgia.”
Great story, Marty! I’ve actually got a few of those in my tackle box — the black and yellow variety — that my grandpa, Sonny Swader, gave me from his tackle box that still work great. Heddon still makes and sells those lures — you can find them on the Bass Pro Shops website or the Academy Sports + Outdoors websitepretty easily — but they don’t come in all the crazy colors that they used to.