Each month, I feature fishing tackle on my website that I find interesting. If you have a lure that you would like to see featured or have any comments on the lures I have already featured, please let me know. I would like to hear from you!
Fred Flood grew up in Maryland after his parents moved there for Ireland. This is where he learned to farm, hunt, and fish as a river ran right through their backyard.
In his early 20s, he moved to Cuba where he met his wife. In 1911, Fred moved to Florida where he cleared 5 acres of land for the purpose of growing citrus trees. Sometime in the 1920s, Fred started whittling lures in order to provide fish to help feed his family.
After 7 years, his citrus trees began bearing fruit. He built himself a house with a front porch where he sold his fruit. Finally, with some income coming in, Fred began experimenting more with his homemade fishing lure and began developing a demand for his baits. To make a long story short, the baits sold well, so he applied for a patent which he obtained in 1928.
The lure is titled “The Florida Shinner”. Was it meant to be the “Shiner”? To be honest, I have seen many baits that spell “Shiner” both ways. Many people simply refer to this bait as “The Flood Minnow”.
It was advertised as “The circling minnow that attracts large fish”. It featured hooks that were solid in the belly of the bait (no swivels) and a wood carved body and tail with metal fins. It had two line ties, one on each side of the curved wood body. This would cause the bait to circle when retrieved to imitate a wounded minnow and the action was different depending on what side you tied your line too. The hand painted scaled color is very attractive, although my bait is quite discolored with age. Being these were handmade and painted, no two lures are exactly the same.
These lures were only made for a few years as in 1933 production of the baits stopped, thanks to the great depression hitting hard to everyone in the area. Fred Flood passed away in 1960 at the age of 82 years old.
If you collect Florida lures, this is a “must” have, although it is very difficult to find. A number of boxes have shown up in the past with new baits in them…presumably ones that were never sold but stored away.
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