Part of bass fishing lore is the introduction, sometimes discontinuance and then reemergence of lures in new locations, or perhaps under different branding. It’s actually pretty common, with the likes of Zorro or Boogerman lures from the southern states, even the Rebel Pop R during the mid 1980’s or you might even include Garland Lures, now found under the Larew banner.
During that same 1980’s period when I fancied myself as a somewhat capable bass fisherman, I enjoyed sponsorship by FlutterCraft Lures. At the time, importing soft plastic products from a company called Lakeland Lures in addition to building an array of jigs and spinnerbaits in his own workshop, Ray Poppa ran the company, which had a pretty nice local following.
The thin little worms reigned supreme for splitshotting, but as small companies often do, once the energy of the owner/builder wanes, so often does the product line. One of Poppa’s last successful products was the Screamer worm, a little, almost four-inch long ribbontail worm, that disappeared just as people were figuring out this is something they don’t have that they really need. (Sort of like AFLAC?)
But then it happened, though not absolutely seamlessly, Frank Pasalich, who already owned the hand-pour company Artafishables, was able see, test, and eventually to purchase the molding machines from the then keepers of the Lakeland Lures equipment in August of 2007.
What the equipment will enable him to do is to produce as many as 80 different styles of baits that were once produced on the other side of the country. The skinny hook tail, of course, is available, plus little shad tails, “fishee” style baits, and yes, those coveted Screamers, to name a very few.
But Pasalich still had a problem. He needed space to run a hand pour business, and he most certainly needed room to run his new collection of molding equipment. But after some consideration (and probably some torment as well, given the economy), he determined to combine the elements of manufacture and retail sales (and eventually a web outlet) all in one place.
The result was the opening of the Fisherman’s Outpost in Poway, on Stowe Drive, a block north of Scripps Poway Parkway a couple of weeks back. In his new digs, Frank has a store front, business office and a manufacturing area that allows him to do what he likes to do—and provide a full range of tackle, not just his own lures.
“I can’t wait to start making these things,” he said of his new molding world. “We want to make things affordable.”
So add this one to your list of bass fishing revival stories. The FlutterCraft line (or is that the Lakeland Lures line?) is back. Now you old guys won’t have to hoard your big bags of little worms anymore.Bass columnist George Kramer, who knew Bob’s Big Boy when he was a baby, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.