The Fishin Magician Skid Stik was born from the inspiration and dedication of avid fisherman Larry Musselman (1926 - 2005). An Air Force man, Larry was transferred to Otis Air Force Base, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1960. After settling in, Larry began in earnest to learn all he could about Striped Bass fishing on Cape Cod. After fishing from solid ground on the local beaches and the Cape Cod Canal, Larry bought a 23 foot fiberglass boat with a 140 HP Mercruiser that he named "The Skidder." This greatly expanded his fishing opportunities.
Larry, being good with his hands, and with an engineering mind, always thought he could make lures as good or better than those found in local tackle shops. In 1961 after much trial and error (R&D) and rigorous field testing, Larry started to make his own top-water Striped Bass lures called "the Skidder Plug" which was named after his boat.
Larry's son Harvey and high school buddy Chris Nerolich volunteered to help with all the manual labor aspects of making the lures with the promise that they would have the opportunity to go fishing with Larry and his lures. After building some inventory, Larry and his two workers fished the lures as often as possible for Striped Bass and Bluefish. News of the their fishing success spread to other fishermen and friends who asked to buy the highly productive lures. With very little marketing effort approximately 3500 of the lures were made and sold during the next 3 years, keeping Harvey and Chris quite busy during their stint in high school. Larry was eventually transferred from Otis Air Force Base, and like many things in the 1960's the "Skidder Plug" sadly dropped out of sight.
Fast forward about 45 years and find that Chris Nerolich still has the fishing bug, continuing to have a strong saltwater fishing passion. As an accomplished angler, Chris chases such species as Striped Bass, Redfish, Sailfish, and Bluefin Tuna in Cape Cod and Florida waters and has also taken a turn as a charter boat captain on Cape Cod. But Chris yearned for the days of great top-water Striped Bass action like back in the 60's using Larry's lures. Chris lamented to his fishing friend, Steve Bachand, about the old days fishing with Larry's handmade lures and all the success they had fishing with them.
After some persuasion by Chris, Steve the skeptic decided that going in halves with Chris to purchase a wood lathe and airbrush to make a few of the lures wasn't such a bad idea, maybe it would be fun. Luckily, Larry Musselman's son Harvey (Harv) had the last original "Skidder Plug" in his possession. Thankfully Harvey passed that archived lure on to Chris and Steve. It served as the basis for the new Skid Stik design. Harv continues his fishing ways out in Seattle, Washington. Harv is a well known collector of old fishing tackle and is a member of the Western Bass Club of Seattle.
Steve's experience was in product development, prototype machining, AutoCad, and plastic injection molding. Steve had provided project management for some of the largest plastic molding companies in Southern California during the 1980's and 90's. With Steve's help the design jumped off the drawing board and into the water. Numerous prototypes were built, optimized and tested. Even with rudimentary painting and a handmade look Chris and Steve experienced exceptional catches with the lures using light tackle and a kayak. Steve became a believer. They noticed that Stripers and Blues would literally blowup the lure in the water, producing strikes seemingly much more aggressive than strikes produced from other top-water lures.
Their positive fishing results with the prototype lures convinced Chris and Steve to scale up the operation to offer the fishing public highly effective fishing lures at reasonable prices for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. The new Skid Stik is manufactured using state of the art plastic resins and molding processes with strict quality control including, tank testing, leak testing and pulling force testing. Each lure is consistently and optimally weighted with steel balls for precision balancing, maximum castability and top water performance. The weights also serve as a fish attracting rattle. Realistic paint schemes, lifelike eyes, and quality hook hardware make the Skid Stik a bargain in these times of lure prices that draw a tear from one's eye when that (pricey) lure is lost to that fish, rock, or tree.