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September 26, 1999 - Vol. 4, No. 9

Gen-Shaw Bait

Gen-Shaw Bait
Early wood Gen-Shaw Bait & Early box

The Gen-Shaw Bait was made by the Gen-Shaw Bait Company of Kankakee, Illinois sometime around the late 1940's. The inventors and owners of the bait company were V. C. Genschaw and P. La Roche as their names appear on the early box for the bait. The earliest version of this 3-piece lure was made of wood. Other characteristics included a nail eye, a humped forehead (definite ridge), a eye screw for a line tie screwed directly into the bait,and a squared diving lip, marked "GEN-SHAW."


Vernon C. Genschaw (left) and son Don Genschaw with display of Gen-Shaw lures!
(Picture courtesy of Lynn Genschaw Winn - daughter of Don Genschaw!)


 Models of Gen-Shaws
Later versions

The 2nd version was also wood but had a large built-up tack eye measuring 5/16" in diameter. The forehead shape was now smooth and level with the rest of the body. It too had the marked squared diving lip.

Version #3 was made of a molded tenite plastic, and also had a built-up tack eye, though slightly smaller than the 2nd verison, measuring 1/4" in diameter. More notably, however, was that the line tie was now part of a new shaped diving lip which was flat with a rounded edge and had a groove down the center. This lip was unmarked unlike the earlier versions.

Gen-Shaw Diving Lips

The 4th variety was also plastic but had a slightly smaller eye, measuring 3/16" in diameter. The diving lip also changed to a more 'scooped' lip without the groove.

The Gen-Shaw bait came in 2 sizes, a 3 1/2" and a 3 1/4" which are shown in the photo above. The largest eye is only present on the 3 1/2" lure.

The earliest box for Gen-Shaw baits was a 2 piece gray cardboard box that had a paper label showing the bait. According to the paper in this box, the lure was originally made in only one size and " all the popular color combinations."

The more common boxes these are found in are the printed 2 piece cardboard boxes. These can be found in different shades of yellow and occasionally, in a off-white color as well. Like the early boxes, the paper in these gave a brief description of the lure's use but did not mention colors.

Gen-Shaw lures come in a variety of colors, with known variations of some. I've put together a composite picture showing known colors but am sure there are many more. An ad for the Gen-Shaw bait that appears in Carl Luckey's Old Fishing Lures & Tackle,, 5th edition, lists the following colors for the plastic version and their catalog number:

100 - Black & Silver
110 - Black & Orange
120 - Red head/silver body
160 - Red head/white body
170 - All silver
180 - Frog
200 - White & Gold Scale
220 - Black stripe & Silver Scale
240 - Perch
250 - "Spark-O" lure
260 - Yellow Perch

The going price on these range from $25 to $35; add $10-$20 with common box.

Top to bottom: L&G Wiggler and L&G Bait
(Picture courtesy of William Robinson)

Yet 2 other lures were made by Gen-Shaw starting around 1948, the L&G Bait and the L&G Wiggler. The L&G Bait was a 3" wood lure that had the same eyes, lip and line-tie location like the Wiggle-Lure but was a 1-piece, torpedo shaped lure. The other was the L&G Wiggler which was 2-1/8" in length and was a 2-section lure nearly identical to the 3-section Wiggle-Lure.

Plastic lid boxes for Gen-Shaw Wiggle Lure and L&G lure
(Picture courtesy of William Robinson)

Gen-Shaw Jointed L&G Bait
(Pictures courtesy of Eric Wenzel)

Another lure made by the Gen-Shaw Bait Company is the Jointed L&G Bait. This was made of tenite (plastic) and used one of the same diving lips as used on the Wiggle-Lure. The measure 2-1/16" in body length and are 2-3/4" overall including the diving lip. These were produced around 1950.

Update 4/1/2015:


Unknown Lure

Downright weird is this fella sent in by Dan Basore - love that fluorescent lip - very art deco...!

8/29/2013: IDENTIFIED! This lure is a Baby Terror made by the Lamprey Lure and Tackle Company of Chicago, Illinois and dates to the 1950's. It is made of tenite and is 2-5/8" in length. The company made another lure similar in design called the Lamprey Terror which was 3-3/8" in length which has a more flat face. (Special thanks to William Robinson to help identify this lure!)

Lamprey Terror
(Picture courtesy of Ken Schneider!)

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 2015 by Tom Jacomet - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED