antique fishing lures by

The Paw Paw Bait Company, Paw Paw, Michigan

The Paw Paw company evolved from the old Moonlight Bait Company that was created around 1908. It is unclear exactly when Paw Paw was established, but it's likely sometime in the late 1920s. Some of the later lures made by Moonight appeared early on in the Paw Paw line. This company was around well into the 1960s, but mostly  pre WWII lures and boxes will be discussed here.

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The orange Paw Paw boxes are the company's earliest, and often contain leftovers from the Moonlight product line. This is a Bullhead lure, in mint condition, with a special color flyer describing the unusual bait as "new." This unit dates to around 1929 and is a favorite of the collection. Bullheads are hard to find in mint condition.

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The second-oldest of Paw Paw's production boxes are the yellow "photo cover" boxes. This one has a mint Paw Paw Hair Mouse inside. These boxes and their lures date to the late 1920s and on into the 1930s.

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Paw Paw was a major maker of flyrod lures, although not many people know this. The "Indian Sign Bass Bugs and Feathered Lures" boxes, roughly the size of a cigarette pack, often contain unusual, very tiny, Paw Paw lures. The little wooden plug on the card is still wrapped in cellophane. This piece dates to the 1930s.

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Here is another flyrod lure - the Paw Paw Feather Minnow in the colorful Indian Sign Bass Bugs and Feathered Lures box.  This piece also dates to the 1930s, and was acquired from a visitor to this website. Note the tack eyes characteristic of most Paw Paw lures.

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Here are some tiny Trout Flies packaged in a small square Paw Paw box from the early to mid-1930s. The box bottom has a piece of silver cardboard, onto which small cork pedstals are glued. The lures are attached to those little pedestals, and are in mint condition. All three are alike.

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Paw Paw's "Lucky Lures" boxes are relatively common and come in several colors. They were made from the late 1930s on, and usually contain cheaper, tack-eye lures that characterized the company's later years. This bait is a Paw Paw Caster, which has a neat carved wooden tail.

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The Blue Lucky Lures box was Paw Paw's last two-piece cardboard box. After this one, they sold their lures in the cardboard bottoms with a plastic sleeve top. Paw Paw lures still turn up today in great numbers, as do these blue boxes.

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