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Your favorite "Basement Bait Makers"

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I live in Michigan and was curious as to your favorite "Basement Baits Makers" in NY, PA etc..

Quality baits, Zach Bakers Musky Lures, or Mr. Toothy for example.

We never hear of these baits in Michigan and I was curious as to what else was out there.



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Am I allowed to answer? lol. We have some really good guys that are near legends in our area. Do you fish Wiley's? Great, great plug. Toothy makes one heck of a plug also that catches fish. If we move down to include all the PA guys, we have Leo's, Newmans, Legend Perchbaits and Dale Wiley's plugs. I think all of these except for the perchbaits can be really tough to get. I know I wouldn't sell some of my Wiley's, some are just magic and I hope to hand them down to my kid if they aren't totally chewed up by then. We have some really nice bait makers in our area and we are lucky to even have access to them honestly. Greg- some of us around here know your name even though you are 1/2 way across the USA. As for me- I am just a small time guy- making plugs one at a time. Never skipping a step and never speeding things up just get them done. I try hard b/c I have wasted $1,000's of dollars just to find a few plugs I like and run the way I want them to. For me, my staples are- Wiley's and Perchbaits along w/ the baits I make here at home.

Can I turn the question around on you? What are some MI plugs you do well on that we may not know about?

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Bty I didn't mean that Wiley's and those other plugs are built in basements. They are professional companies unlike me, I am as small time as they come. Maybe thats good or maybe thats bad but its just the way it is.

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Let me say that the term "Basement Bait Makers" is not a knock against anyone.

Most manufacturers of fishing tackle work out of a garage, basement or small shop and that holds true across most segments (Muskie, Walleye, Salmon, Trout) of the Sport Fishing Industry.

It was referred to as a "Cottage Industry" in my younger days.

As far as being a "professional" company, that is reflected in the quality of the product and customer service, not the size of the buiding where it was produced. Just my opinion.

As for the Michigan Basement Bait Makers: Ziggie Lures, Lapper Lures, St. Clair Bait Co., Donato's Custom Baits, RJ Lures, S.D. Baits, Cedar Creek (Talonz) and Moski Lures.

You can find their links at http://www.michiganmuskieshow.com on the Exhibitors page.

On the Canadian side of LSC we have Woodie, Artifact, Franky Baits, Bretts Baits, Hose Baits and Frantic Big Game Tackle, that I'm aware of.

Unlike Wisconsin, we do not have a serious Muskie tackle shop anywhere in Michigan.

You can forget about finding a Wiley, Leo, Legend, Mr. Toothy or even a Tuff Shad here.

We have to have the basics (100# Power Pro, Staylock snaps, Knipex cutters, etc) shipped in.

I have yet to see one of Zach's baits, other than on ebay, and I have never even seen a picture of a Newman bait.

I did purchase a Mr. Toothy SWIZZ (last one on the hook) last October, while I was at R&H Musky Shop in Minocqua, WI.

One color to choose from sure does shorten the "buying process", I must admit.

The Michigan Muskie Show earlier this month, opened our eyes as to what the casters, jiggers and even trollers are missing out on here in Michigan.

We had several of the WI and MN makers on hand but we were thin on the makers east of Ohio.

We want to know what else you guys are keeping "hidden" over there.

Many thanks to everyone that replied.


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Greg, Since you have only seen a plug or two from me here are a couple pics-




I see no reason they wouldn't catch fish in your area and at the very least you know they haven't seen these before and I find that helps.

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If anyone is going to the Spring Fishing show this weekend in TO, drop by the Bass

Magnet booth. Mike Nabuisi has been making great plastic baits for bass for many years, & has been making large, custom musky baits for a couple of years now. Although I'm not into muskies, these baits have proven to be dynamite up here in Ont. I was in his shop yesterday, & these baits are very impressive, great colors. I don't believe that these baits are yet included on his web site, but should be after the shows are over.

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Yeah, John Snow is the inspiration a lot of us guys have. On another note, I was just contacted by MuskieGuy from Ohio and in April they are doing a month long lure profile on my baits. They contacted me and I am freakin' thrilled! I also was sent an invite to do the Michigan Musky Show (it's by invite only) next year along with the Ohio show that is coming up soon. These people contacted me and I think it's so cool. I am so excited for this next year it isn't even funny! You guys have seen me from the start and it's neat to have this venture taking off!

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