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January 15, 2011 - Vol. 12, No. 1

Heddon's Preyfish

Preyfish in Natural Sunfish with box - #560NSN

In 1981, Heddon introduced a new lure called the Preyfish, a lure designed to look like a shiner minnow. Heddon's catalog listing for this lure cited the book Fresh And Saltwater Fishes of the World by Edward C. Migdalski and George S. Fichter as saying "shiners rate as the best bait minnows." The catalog listings shows pictures of various fish including the Alewife, Mooneye, Gizzard Shad, Golden Shiner and the American Shad to illustrate how much the Preyfish lure looked like these bait fish to promote its sale.

The Preyfish lure was assigned Heddon series #560 and listed its size as 2-3/4", weighing 3/8 oz. According to the catalog, the lure was made of a new plastic foam which was light as balsa wood but tougher and more durable than wood - they called it BalsaFoam. This was classified as a medium dive lure that dove down to 3-5' depths.

There are five cataloged colors listed, all in the 'natural' colors that Heddon offered starting in the late 1970's and into the 1980's. These included Crappie (CRA), Natural Perch (LC), Natural Bass (NB), Natural Sunfish (NSN) and Natural Shad (SDN).

Tiny Preyfish in Natural Sunfish - #550NSN

The following year, 1982, a second size was added, the Tiny Preyfish, with a listed size of 2" and 1/4 oz. The Tiny Preyfish came in the same five colors as the standard size. 1983 was the last time these lures appeared in a Heddon catalog and as with the previous two years, the same colors were listed.

Natural Sunfish (NSN)
Natural Perch (LC)
Crappie (CRA)
Natural Bass (NB)
Natural Shad (NSN)

Color Chart

Special thanks to Ron Drake for his inquiry and pictures he provided. Ron is looking to add to his collection of these so if you have any for sale, you can contact him via email by clicking on his name!


Its a time WAY BACK IN HISTORY, the 1970's and you've limited out in fish, having found the hottest spot in the lake! In today's world, with the technology available, you'd just fire up the GPS system in your boat and 'mark' the spot so you could return another time! But in the 1970's, if you said used a "GPS", your fishing buddies would probably think you were at the very least exposed to too much sunlight and thought those initials stood for "Good Phishing Spot"! (OK, I thought it was clever!)

Enter the SPOT'OCATER! Yes, this gadget was designed just for the purpose of helping you locate a favorite fishing spot!

The Spot'Ocator

The SPOT'OCATER came in a plastic case measuring 7-1/2"L x 5-1/4"W and consisted of a pad of paper with a printed cross-hairs, a mirror with a red line on it, a pencil, and a set of instructions. Here's how this was described in the instructions to 'mark' your spot:

Step 1: Locate two specific markers on shore situated approximately 90 degree to each other.
Step 2: Hold the SPOT'OCATER directly in front of your face making sure you see only the red marker on the mirror and not the reflection of it inside the mirror (this operation squares the SPOT'OCATER with your line of sight).
Step 3: Raise the SPOT'OCATER slightly above your head and line up the red marked on the SPOT'OCATER with marker 1 on shore. Find marker 2 behind you by looking in the SPOT'OCATER. Record markers 1,2 and the locus 1 on paper pad.
Step 4: Rotate yourself 90 degrees and repeat steps 2 and 3 recording markers 3, 4 and locus 2 on paper pad.

You are now located on center of the "X" and to precisely find your favorite fishing place again with the SPOT-OCATER, repeat steps 1,2,3, and 4 using the information recorded on your map.

Now, wasn't that easy? (Oh, and don't ask me what "locus" is...I thought it was a bug but I 'Goggled' it and turns out I was wrong...!)

OK, you laugh, but in the words of the 'famous' (or perhaps 'infamous') Dick Streater, "Well, I got one!"

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!

Comments? EMAIL ME!

Web Author: Tom Jacomet
Copyright 2011 by Tom Jacomet - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED