Blue Springs Bait Manufacturing Company

Dennis M. Croft, Jr. – Croft’s Special Fishing Lures – Marianna, FL – Feb 17, 1924

Blue Springs Bait Mfg Co. History

Dellwood, Florida is where Jr Croft and his family were born and raised and is about 12 miles south of Marianna. I received a call from a Donna Jackson and she told me these lures in the box were available. Donna lives in Grand Ridge, Florida and told me her Uncle was Rainey Jackson and was involved in the manufacturing of Blue Springs Bait Co.

One of Jr. Croft’s favorite fishing spots was Blue Springs and it was here that his dad bought a fish camp for Jr. to run. Jr soon learned carpentry skills and built several boats that later had rented to local fisherman.

Humpty-Dumpty

In 1949 Jr. Croft and a friend, A John Barefield tinkered with making a double jointed lure that was a real fish getter for Bass on Merritt’s Mills Pond. In June 1949 Jr and John together filed for a Patent with the U.S. Patent Office for a lure that was described as the front has a diving motion and the two tail sections wiggling movement.

On August 12, 1953 Patent # 2,606,388 was granted to Croft and Barefield.

The new lure was called The Humpty Dumpty.

This lure was 4 1/4 inches long and hand made, Air brushed painted. Packaged in a two piece cardboard box. The top labeled ” Blue Springs Bait Manufacturing Co. ” Marianna, Florida with Croft’s Special Fishing Lures on the side. The lure boxes had a No 52 S 4 and Serial # 98856 on the end label. The boxes had a textured cover to them that seems to make them a bit more water resistant that most boxes found today.

Two other lures were made following the Humpty-Dumpty, a Darter type close to the Creek Chub Darter only a flat bottom would tell them apart. The only Darter positively identified is a Perch on Yellow With Scale Pattern. The other is a lure about 3 inches long with a grooved head much like a Moonlight bait.

In 1953 Jr. Croft sold his half on the business to J.D. Barefield and moved to Jacksonville, Florida. In 1959 Jr. Croft again started making fishing lures only this time under the name of ” FISH-A-LURE ” This will be covered in the Florida Lure Maker – FISH-A-LURE

Much of the information on this page was obtained by utilizing the information provided by Doug Brace, Bill Stuart, and Russell Riddle in “Florida Lure Makers and Their Lures” (Currently out of print). The information we have provided is only a portion of the story.  If interested in purchasing this book, please reach out to other collectors in our forum to inquire about availability.

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