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November 15, 2000 - Vol. 5, No. 6

Heddon Crab Spook

Heddon Crab-Spook
Crab-Spook and Baby Crab-Spook

In 1936, six years after the introduction of the first in the 'Spook' line of lures, Heddon introduced the "Crab-Spook", a plastic version of the wood "Baby Crab". The Crab-Spook was assigned Heddon #9900 and is a floating lure that measures 3" in length, weighs in at 3/4 of an ounce, and came in the Heddon 'Brush' box as shown. Like the Baby Crab, the Crab-Spook has a metal collar and a line tie at the tail end of the lure to give the impression it is moving 'backward' much like a real crab. Also, though it came standard with 2 treble hooks, it could be bought with double hooks like the Baby Crab. Instead of glass eyes, however, the Crab-Spook has two 'bead' eyes which are really round, black pin heads. These have a tendency to break off so you'll occasionally see this lure missing one or both of the eyes. Another difference between the wood version and the spook version is that the Crab-Spook has nose feelers. This consists of a single piece of what appears to be a 2" piece of fishing line that has been wrapped around and held in by a nose pin. This material is often missing as well as it becomes brittle with age and is easily broken off.

Baby Crab Spooks
Baby Crab-Spooks

A second version of the Crab-Spook, commonly referred to as the "Baby Crab-Spook" also exists, and measures 2-1/2" in length. In addition to it's length, this lure differs significantly from the larger size in that it has a metal spinner on the nose in lieu of the feelers. A metal bracket is attached to the front of the lure and is held on by two screws, one which also holds the front hook hardware and a second screw located just below the tip of the nose. In this configuration, there is no nose hole or nose pin as on the larger size. Heddon's 1939 catalog makes mention of a 'spinner' version of the Crab-Spook lure but does not mention a difference in size. The catalog entry for the Crab-Spook states, "It floats, dives and swims with lively action, going backward like a crayfish, and new model has a small spoon at the mouth which looks like a piece of food."

1937 Pocket Catalog
1937 Pocket Catalog

Oddly while there is no mention of a different size in the standard Heddon catalogs, the 2-1/2" size is listed in Heddon's pocket catalogs which came in lure boxes. The picture above is from a 1937 pocket catalog and lists the size as 2-1/2".

One interesting fact that has been discovered is that boxes have been found with a "S" prefix for this lure, i.e., S9909NC rather than just 9909NC. It is believed that the "S" prefix number is therefore the Heddon number for the smaller version with the spinner.

To add to the interesting history of the Baby Crab-Spook is the discovery of one without the front spinner but with the nose pin. A close examination shows the remains of the feeler line wrapped around the pin and no additional screw hole for the spinner bracket. Since the spinner version has no hole for a nose pin, this could be a early version of the Baby size made prior to the addition of the spinner. An enlargement of the nose of this lure is shown above.

Crab Spook Colors
Crab-Spook colors

Initially, the Crab-Spook came in seven (7) colors. These included:

9902 - White and Red (pictured)
9909L - Perch Scale (pictured)
9909M - Pike Scale
9909P - Shiner Scale
9909NC - Natural Crab (pictured)
9909GC - Green Crab (pictured)
9909LC - Luminous Crab (pictured)

By 1939, Pike Scale was dropped as a listed color and it only was listed in the six remaining colors.

This lure was last listed in Heddon's 1942-43 catalog. There is a entry in the 1946 Heddon price listing to dealers that the lure was scheduled for 'future' production but it is unlikely it was ever made as no boxes have been found for this lure using Heddon's 'new' numbering system that was introduced in 1946, i.e., instead of 9909NC it would be 9900NC.

Collector value: $50 to $125 range for either size without box.

Web Master's Note: SPECIAL THANKS to Frank Cristao for providing some of the information for this edition of Lure Lore and especially for the colors' picture.

If you have any further information on any of the items displayed on this page which you'd like to share, please send your comments to me and I'll update the page accordingly. Contributions of interesting items and/or unknowns are encouraged. Lures pictured in Lure Lore are not for sale.

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Web Author: Tom Jacomet
Copyright 2000 by Tom Jacomet - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED