Stanley promises ‘creative ways’ to celebrate 40th
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Stanley Jigs – maker of the lure that caught the biggest largemouth bass ever taken on an artificial bait in Texas – celebrates it 40th anniversary on December 9 this year.
And the man who founded the company, five-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and BASS Mega Bucks champion, Lonnie Stanley, is still at the helm.
Stanley established the business in College Station in Brazos County, East-Central-Texas, in 1979, before moving headquarters two-and-a-half hours east to the small town of Huntington in Angelina County.
“One night when we were lying in bed I told my wife, Patsy, that I wanted to quit my job and build baits,” he recalls. “She told me that was okay and blessed my wish with a kiss.”
Stanley started the business in a used portable building he bought for $200 from a construction site, paying for his first order of supplies with prize money from a tournament he had won the previous weekend.
Stanley, regarded today as one of the founding fathers of pro bass fishing, has since been joined at the company by Robert and John Hale, also former Classic qualifiers, and inventors of the Hale Craw Worm.
And it was a Stanley Jig paired with a Hale Craw Worm that produced Ethel, the state-record 17.67lb bass caught by guide, Mark Stevenson, from Lake Fork.
Ethel was kept in captivity and became a featured attraction at the original Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri. She was viewed by an estimated 20 million people before her death in 1994. Her memorial service was attended by 1,500 people and made national news.
In January of this year, the company offered a $100,000 prize to any angler who catches a U.S. state record largemouth bass on one of its baits before December 31 this year.
“Stay tuned for more announcements over the next few months as we find creative ways to celebrate this big anniversary,” added Stanley.