Snook Minnow Lure
The Snook Minnow Lure is a creation of Bob Ousley. Bob, a technician for Sears whose job eventually would transplant him from Tennessee to Florida had many hobbies. A man whose who careers and hobbies intersected and involved the use of his hands. To be handy in trades and his endeavors from stock cars, to motor cycles to spear fishing and collecting tropical fish would ultimately lead him to the Snook. While many were and still are lured (Pun Intended) to the sea via the magical and mystical properties and tales of the Tarpon, Bob would become enchanted with the Snook.
The Snook is a fish whose habitat extends from the Coast of Georgia, Florida, throughout the Gulf and even on down to the Brazilian coast line. The Snook itself does not prefer the coastline, it finds solace in the estuaries, inland tributaries, coastal ponds and Island Networks. The Snook is said to have an uncanny ability to detect abnormalities in its environment and will use such environmental factors from things such as the waters salinity to decide where it will make its habitat.
Bob would become enamored with the snook and fishing for it, like many other lure makers created his lure to fit a need. He wanted a lure that when fished would run 3-5″ under the water and run true. In 1965 he created his first Snook Minnow Lure. Bob’s familiarity with the snook would be evident in his creation of three different sized lures. The Snook is a predator who eating habits are in direct correlation with its own size. As the snook grows, so does its prey. Bob’s snook minnow not only filled his need, but when his friends and fishing partners would come to see it, they wanted to fish with Bob’s Snook as well. The demand for Bobs Snook would outweigh Bob’s ultimate ambition to become a large quanity lure maker.
The lure itself would gain another name as well as Bob a new Partner in 1969, George Turner, the Snook Minnow would transform the Snook to the Magician. The lure can be found in many variations, from the early versions having glass eyes to later painted eye. The Snook Minnow can range in size from 2 3/4″ to 4 3/8″ and the Magician relatively the same but with small differences. It can be found with cup hardware and simple wired though hardware. There are roughly a half dozen different colors of flavors you can collect. While commercializing the Bob O Tackle Co., would open new outlets of distribution for the Snook/Magician, it would never reach the same numbers as some of the other large Florida Lure makers such as Pfeffer, or Robinson or Eger.
Bob’s story does not end with the Snook minnow, should you like to read or learn more. Bill Stuarts books “Florida Lures and Their Makers” is available for purchase, by contacting Bill Stuart @ Bstuartmof@aol.com. Please consider supporting these authors by purchasing their works, many stories including this couldn’t have been told without.