Kirwan’s Bad Egg
M. F. Kirwan
O'Neil, NE
Early 1920s

September 2009
I believe it was sometime in the late 1980s when I found myself shooting carp with a bow and fishing arrow at a “hot spot” on a small lake in Central Minnesota.

I had just shot a large carp, and was waiting for the next one to come swimming by when an elderly gentleman drove up.  We had a nice conversation about what all Minnesotans like to talk about…fishing, weather, crops, and more on fishing.  He asked if I saw any bass swimming about and I told him that I had.  He said he didn’t have much time to fish, but was hoping he could catch a nice fish for dinner.

He walked down the shore and began to cast an old wooden bass oreno, which is probably the most popular lure in MN amongst “old-timers”.  He walked up and down the short piece of lakeshore next to the road with no luck.  Then he went back to his tackle box to see if he had another lure that would prove “magic” for the bass.  He returned to the shore with a white “egg” at the end of his line.

Well, at this time I was already a lure collector...although my collection was a jumbled up mess in the closet.  I was intrigued by this “egg looking” lure at the end of his line, so I approached him and asked about it.

“Oh, I have had this lure for a long time.  I have no idea what it is, but I like it for I can sure cast it far.  And, it does catch fish.”

I told him that I collected old lures and he laughed as he never heard of such a thing.  We looked over his old tackle box and found lures that I was already familiar with.  Well, all but “the egg”. 

Before I had a chance to ask him, he asked me “Do you want the egg?” 

“Sure”, I said…but now comes the question…what do you offer for a lure that you don’t know anything about?  I had no idea and found myself with only a $20 in my wallet.  “How much do you want for it?” I asked.

“Oh, you can just have it.”

“Well, I have to give you something for it, will you take $20?”

“Are you crazy? How about $10?”  After a long discussion, it was obvious he would not take anymore.

So, the deal was made.  $10 for a round hunk of wood with hooks.

He drove away, probably still thinking I was a little nuts.  I sat there looking at the lure, thinking I may have been nuts too.  The lure looked to be factory made…or was it?  After a few days, the lure ended up being put in my closet with the rest of the “stash”.

Years went by, and several lure books became available.  I found it hard to believe that there were other people out there collecting lures like me.  I began to identify many lures that I previously hadn’t and researching the history was quite fun for me.  But, I could not find anything about my “egg” lure.

Then, one day while reading a large lure book, I read a paragraph on a lure called the “Kirwan’s Bad Egg”.  There was no picture of the lure…but that sounded like my egg.  With more research and looking at several other books, I finally found it.  Yes, my lure is a Kirwan’s Bag Egg.  This lure is very difficult to find and I have ran into many collectors wanting to purchase this lure from me, even though it is not overly valuable.  But, it will remain in my collection as odds of me finding one with a good memory behind it such as this lure is next to impossible.

For that reason, the “Egg” is this months “Lure of the Month”.

Now, I just wish I could find the man that I got it from to tell him what I have and to say thanks again.  But, that was decades ago, and the odds of me winning the lottery are greater.