|My name is Don Osborne, I am dedicating this museum to the big bait designers. The list is long, Here are some of the more popular names of designers in my collection. Ken Huddleston of Castaic Bait Co and Huddleston Deluxe. Alan Cole with the AC Plugs. Jerry Rago from Rago Baits. Mike Shaw with the MS Slammer. Mickey Ellis from 3:16 Bait Co. Jeremy Anderson from Black Dog baits. Matt Servant from Mattlures. Jason Scott from Castaic Soft baits and Jeff Manning from True Trout. No longer in production. These guys were some of the first to design big swimbaits for Stripers and Largemouth bass and helped figure out to catch the biggest fish in every type of body of water, saltwater included. This sparked a number of other bait makers to put their minds to work and make baits. Thus the big bait makers were born. This created an entire different market in the fishing industry because there were not many types of fishing rods to throw the bigger heavier lures. Now we have Swimbait equipment in all aspects of the sport.
|I am 54 years old and have been
fishing ever since my parents bought their home in Castro
Valley 2 doors down from Lake Chabot. You might say
the lake was in my back yard. I caught my first fish
at 6 years old and that was a catfish. From then on
I was hooked. Fishing every day I could with
friends I learned the lake very well. From its creek
bottoms to the fallen trees and sunken tires. I began
bass fishing when I visited my grandfather in Texas.
My trip was scheduled for 2 weeks and ended up 2 months.
We fished every day for 2 months straight and all my
grand dad could tell my father was "Yup he loves to
numbers game with my friends catching countless numbers
of bluegills and Crappy. We could catch hundreds a day
always letting them go. Then it changed in 1976 they
drained the lake down to fix the dam and the parks department
introduced Florida strain largemouth bass into the lake.
This was exciting for the parks biologists but when
they fixed the dam and refilled the lake the overall
level was 6 feet lower than it used to be. This was
the beginning of the end of the pan fish. The Florida
bass were growing and there was no cover for the small
fish. Less than 10 years later the bluegill and crappy
were gone, eaten by these huge bass planted in the lake
trout eaters were born. The put and take trout planting
programs began in the 80s and have fattened up the populations
of largemouth bass to enormous sizes. Trout derby's
started up again with multiple lakes in the contest.
One morning in April 1999 I ventured down to my favorite
spot with my trusty kastmaster and started throwing
it and I stuck an 8 lb trout.
was a beauty. That fish followed my lure 2 times before
the third time I tossed it behind her she bit and I
landed her. The fish put me in second place overall.
The week went by and I ended up winning 2nd and the
prize was a guided trip with big bass pro Paul Duclose.
fishing one day and started throwing these rubber trout
about 8 inches long called Castaics. Paul caught the
first fish and when he brought it in the boat and I
saw it I knew this was a start to something special.
He taught me the ins and outs of how to catch these
monsters. The most important thing that he taught me
was to be sincere and friendly to everyone and never
lie about a catch. He told me to never fool yourself
or you will only be made a fool. Paul gave me my first
Castaic hardbait signed numbered on the bait and hand
signed on the box. Since then I have had a love of fishing
for trophy's understanding that I can go 10 trips with
out a bite only to be rewarded on the 11th trip with
a 12 lbr. That's how it is with trophy hunting. You
get them a whole lot less the amount of time spent on
the water. In 2002 there was a decline in the population
of bass in the lake until I noticed the bottom of the
lake was like your bathtub in your home. I talked about
this problem with our local bass bait shop owner Jon
Walton. We came up with a program to dump Christmas
trees in the lake. In a year we had the program with
the parks and BBAC Black Bass Action Committee in place.
We dumped 350 trees in 2003, 400 trees in 2004 and 400
trees in 05. We are looking to dump trees in Del Valle
in January of 2006. In the 3 years of dumping trees
I have noticed a dramatic change in the lake and I started
fishing more and more different baits all BIG.
started buying Castaics on e-bay and have put together
a beautiful collection of the originals. All the baits
pictured in the pages of this website are owned by myself.
I don't throw them all but I do have many that I have
had success with that I stick to. My favorite bait to
throw is the Castaic injected hardbait. Something about
that particular bait just turned the fish on. I got
a call From Paul and he said he had a special bait made
by Castaic Hand carver Ken Huddleston.
called it the Huddleston. WOW what a swimbait. I picked
up some of those baits from Ken and it was on. I had
never seen a swimbait bit like that one. This last spring
I caught my personal best 16.94 largemouth that took
my breath away. This ending my story until I break my
lakes record and quest for breaking the 22.4 record
possibly the most sought after record ever
now have an 19 year old son who is learning to fish.
I take him to a pond to teach him the skills he will
need to one day be my tournament partner. He is now
able to cast where he wants and has the desire and the
fever of catching fish. His record day is over 50 bluegill
and 22 bass. Lets say he doesn't have a problem getting
up to fish with his father.