Unlike today, fishing was not a priority for the general population during World War II. The rationing of goods, including the gas and oil needed for recreational fishing, was far more important to Americans than wetting a line.
During wartime, however, innumerable lures of all shapes and sizes were being invented in the minds of military men and women who yearned to be casting and catching fish stateside. And in the years following the war, many of those baits were created, but most didn’t have what it took to actually bring bites.
Fast forward a few years post Victory Day, to a father and son fishing on Lake Superior, off the shores of “Copper Country”, the Keweenaw (/ˈkiːwɨnɔː/ KEE-wi-naw) Peninsula, to be exact—where men feverishly deep-mined the precious namesake alloy during the boom of operations in the northern most tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
“It was just one of those days the fish were not biting,” says Mike Bekkala—now a third-generation Keweenaw lure crafter; who to this day resides in the heart of Copper Country. “Realizing the majority of the baits in our tackle boxes didn’t produce as promised, my grandfather Sigurd ‘Chic’ Bekkala and father, Harold, devised a lure made from strips of metal cut from copper and brass teapots.”
After many attempts at snipping, torqueing, tweaking and drilling holes, as well as countless passes in a water-filled metal wash tub, the Bekkalas created a unique lure (think: spoon meets swimbait) that today goes by the name Fin-Wing™. And “The lure that swims!” has been a Keweenaw Peninsula favorite since its introduction in 1948.
And now that the lure’s proven itself locally for 66 years casting, trolling and jigging, Keweenaw Tackle Company realizes it’s time to tell the rest of the fishing world that the Fin-Wing has been here for decades and still catches fish like nobody’s business.
So Keweenaw Tackle Company sought a strong voice to sing the praises of the Fin-Wing, and Traditions Media is setting up the sound system.
“We went looking for the right PR Company, whose writers had the knowledge of all things fishing. As well the creativeness needed to spread the word that the Fin-Wing™ is a unique lure that has gone unnoticed, overall, by the fishing industry,” says Dale Elliott, president of Keweenaw Tackle Company. “
So as ice fishing continues, autumn bass call and inshore species are on the prowl, it’s time to acclaim the maker of the original Fin-Wing™. It’ll catch fish whether vertically jigged, cast or pulled behind a boat, and, it works wonders when coupled with soft baits.
Expect to hear more about this premium, versatile lure in the future.