The Best Bass Fishing Gimmicks Of All Time

The world of bass fishing is not any more immune to gimmicks and scams than any other industry.

At least the gimmicks that have been spotted in the fishing world were pretty fun!

Here is a short list of some of my favorite bass fishing gimmicks of all time. All of them but one tried to tell us that we would basically be fishing with dynamite if we used them. Unfortunately, we might as well have been fishing in a rain puddle!

1. The Helicopter Lure

How could you go wrong using a bait that had the great Roland Martin himself endorsing it? Well, if you bought this thing, you quickly learned that things aren’t always what they seem.

On top of the fact that I have yet to see a bait fish that looks anything like a helicopter, you had the added bonus of legendaryamounts of line twist. One cast and retrieve with this work of art had your line in the perfect position to generate a fantastic bird’s nest in just about any reel you choose.

This is probably my favorite of all the gimmicks. As a fun side note, I couldn’t find a single B.A.S.S. tournament that has been won using this revolutionary bait.

Perhaps it was just ahead of it’s time.

2. Lighted Lures

These things have been around for a very long time. I remember being somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 years old and seeing infomercials for these little beauties.

They are built with flashing LED lights inside of them, that are supposed to attract fish, especially in low light conditions.

I think they would be better suited to attracting a bass if they were into late night dance parties. I have yet to find any evidence that bass like to attend raves, so you are better off not bringing this one on the boat.

That is of course unless the fishing dies off, and you need something to provide you Disco Ball style entertainment.

3. The Banjo Minnow

All right, I will admit it, I bought the Banjo Minnow. I was 12 years old, and I watched the infomercial thousands of times.

Bill Dance was telling me that it would help me catch more and bigger fish, and the infomercial said it was the only fishing system I would ever need. Did I mention I was only 12?

The premise seemed pretty strong. Fish are genetically programmed to attack and feed on dying fish. The Banjo Minnow looked just like a wounded or dying bait fish, so the fish had no choice but to attack the bait. Did I mention I was only 12?

To be fair, I did catch my first bass on the Banjo minnow, and I can still remember how exciting that was. I felt like I had discovered a secret that no one else on the lake had, and they were all suckers for it!

Did I mention I was only 12? Ok good, just checking!

4. The Aviva Fishin’ Buddy

I don’t know if this counts completely as a gimmick, or more as just a way to keep the kids entertained while you get your fishing time in.

It’s a remote controlled boat that trolls a baited line behind it. Kids can catch fish and have fun too!

Well, they probably aren’t going to catch a dang thing with a remote controlled boat, but at least they have something to do while you are in pursuit of your next trophy fish. Just make sure they don’t make everyone else on the lake mad by running the boat over their lines!

Your Turn!

Did I miss any cool gimmicks that need to be on the list? Where you like me, and did you fall for one or more of them?

We would really love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

See ya on the water…

Add Your Comments

Pekerhead says:


I just bought a Banjo Kit. Problem to start is the S&H was more than the kit. So I called and they reduced S&H in half. Anyway, after reading the reviews is the reason for me being a Pekerhead !!

Pops says:

Hey Matt, that was called the walkin’ worm. I think it’s still out there if you look hard enough. “The Kid” will be doing a follow up shortly, bass fishing gimmicks “Part Deux”. Maybe we’ll come up with some other baits that will spark your memory.

Matt says:

I forgot what it’s called, but there was a worm-looking gimmick set, you would let it sink to the bottom, and the body of the worm would move on it’s own and curl up, due to how it was molded.

Jeremy Adair says:

Anyone remember the Flying Lure? It was another “as seen on TV” lure. I actually found a pack at a Gander Mountain when I was eight years old or so and nagged my Dad until he gave in. Never caught so much as a cold using those things.

"The Kid" says:

Man, I totally forgot about the flying lure. That one said you could make it “fly” away from you while you were retrieving it. I never tried that one out.

Raymond says:

I admit I fell for the Banjo Minnow. I will probably fall for another gimmick. I think that we all do at some time. We all look for the magic lure. I bet most have a lure that has never seen water or is rusting in the bottom of the tackle box. That is because everyone has a FAVORITE LURES they allways go to first.

"The Kid" says:

Man, the Banjo Minnow just made so much sense to me back then. I still think that nose hook was a pretty innovative design in all honesty.

BP says:

The Bionic Minnow- It was a gimmick because it was an Infocommercial lure that you could only by direct from the lure company and you got way to many of the plastic bodies and not enough of the molded fish heads.

The thing was I found a pattern, where I could catch the fire out of em on the lure. Used what I had until they fell apart. I should look on Ebay.

"The Kid" says:

Man, I never heard of that one. I’m going to look it up!