The Moonlight Bait Company, Paw Paw, Michigan

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I Buy Antique Lures!

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This is the generic "leaping bass" box Moonlight used for all its lures later in their production period. This box was around in the 1920s  before the company became the Paw Paw Bait Company around 1928. The Jointed Pikaroon inside has a beautiful perch finish. This specimen came from a tackle box whose owner was using it for a jackstand to work on his truck.

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This is the Moonlight Brand Minnows box with the Moonlight Bait and Novelty Works verbage, which dates this piece into the early 1920s.  The wonderful Pikaroon inside has a typical upturned nose and wonderful perch scale finish. The Moonlight Brand Minnows boxes are rate; the Bait and Novelty Works name was used only for a short time.

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This Zig-Zag bait is in a Floating Bait box, although the lid and endflaps are clearly stamped for the yellow and red Zig Zag. This piece likely dates to the mid-teens. The color flyer inside has instructions on fishing the Floating Bait, but mentions no other lures in this company's product line.

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Sea Gull minnows made in nearby Dowagiac, Mich., were somehow connected with, or perhaps purchased by, the Moonlight Bait Co. This Fly-Eat-Us is mint in a wonderful crisp box that is correctly numbered  on the endflap.  Sea Gull boxes have been found over-labeled with Moonlight labels. Eat-Us lures are little works of art!

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Silver Creek is another company somehow related to, or perhaps bought by, Moonlight. This musky Pikaroon in the Silver Creek box mentions it was made by Silver Creek Novelty Works. Similar boxes have been found overlabeld with "Moonight Bait & Novelty Works" labels.

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Edw. K. Tryon Co. of Philadelphia sold many early lures under their "Kingfisher" label, including Moonlight's Pikaroon (shown here in rare perch scale) and Pollywog.  The "Dive and Dart when Reeled; Floats when at Rest" logo almost always denotes a Moonlight product.  Kingfisher "Minnow" boxes often contain Pflueger Neverfails.

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This "Moonlight Plug" maroon box, found six years ago by a Michigan collector, is the only such example I'm aware of. Note the cup hardware and wider collar on this early lure. Unlike the common "Floating Bait" made for night fishing, this lure, according to this rare box, is "a surface lure for Day Fishing." I would like to find more of these boxes.

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The Dreadnought,  introduced in 1912 and available only for a year or two, was a monstrous, 5-hooked contraption that must have created quite a wake as it churned through the water. Even the boxes for these heavy lures were larger and taller than other Moonlight cartons.  Dreadnoughts are widely counterfeited; this one is genuine.

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Here is another Silver Creek Eat-Us style lure that turned up a few years back in Missouri. Dating to the mid-1920s, this example includes a glossy printed flyer introducing the Pollywog and Pikaroon lures as "new."  You can learn a lot reading the flyers inside lure boxes.

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This Silver Creek Eat-Us is in its original Kingfisher box with the blue "Bass Eat 'Em' label that is slightly different from the "Eat Us" moniker. Kingfisher sold many Moonlight baits over the years and this one dates to the 1920s.  

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This is a small, narrow box with a Baby Floating Bait inside. Not in great condition, but it's the only such box I've ever seen or heard of. The baby Floating Baits are relatively findable. Maybe they sold most of them in the standard box for the regular sized Floating Bait. This box is unusual and rare, but not particularly attractive

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I Buy Antique Lures!