The Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap has become so engrained in the minds of fisherman that you will often hear them call any rattling lipless crank bait a ‘rattletrap’. Widely used by bass fisherman everywhere, other fish can’t seem to resist the attraction of this little noise maker. For example, let me tell you an interesting little fish story.
It all started when my wife and I stopped at a yard sale that had a small amount of fishing equipment. In the back, next to all of the poles for sale was a shining beacon of hope. Yep, you guessed it…a slightly dirty, purple, Hannah Montana fishing pole. My wife loved it and brought it home for the amazing price of one dollar!
The next day we went to our favorite pond we affectionately call ‘Bob’s’. My wife wanted to try out her new pole and needed a suggestion on a lure. I grabbed a 2.5 inch chrome Cotton Cordell Super Spot that I had purchased from the bargain bin a week before. I tied it on her six pound test line, and she was ready to go.
On her first cast, while retrieving, she landed one! I could see her line in the water start to go sideways. She yanks back and POINK! The line snaps! At the same time, we looked at each other and said “Ahhhhhh man!”
After that day, we didn’t think anymore about line snap or the Super Spot. However, I did respool her spin cast reel with ten pound test. Two weeks later we went back to Bob’s to fish. While me, my wife and our six year-old boy were bass fishing at one end of the pond, our seventeen year-old son was cat fishing at the other.
About four bass later, we hear, “I’ve got one!”
Our older son pulls a ten pound catfish onto the bank. He walks over and opens the catfish’s mouth to remove the hook as a look of shock shows over his face. He yells for us to look into the fish’s mouth. To our amazement, in the corner of the mouth was a chrome Cotton Cordell Super Spot! This was the fish that snapped the line on my wife’s magical, slightly dirty, purple, Hannah Montana fishing pole! It had been stuck in the mouth of this catfish for two weeks.
So that just proves that not only do bass like rattle traps, catfish do too! I keep that now special Super Spot in my tackle box for luck.
Since I started the article with Bill Lewis, I feel it is only fitting to finish with Cotton Cordell, since the Super Spot was the main focus of the story.
Carl Cordell, Jr., nicknamed Cotton for his light colored hair became a very skilled fishing guide in the 1940s on Lake Catherine in Arkansas. His father purchased a marina and resort there, this is where Cotton excelled. It wasn’t long until he started a lure manufacturing business. His first lure was a jig head made of lead poured into a handmade mold and dressed as Cordell saw fit. In the 1950s, he carved out of pine bark the first prototype of a lipless crank bait called the Hot Spot. This would of course later in the 1980s become the Super Spot.
Cotton Cordell helped launch the careers of some well known people in fishing. He signed Bill Dance to help him promote his fishing lures in 1974. In the early 80s, he helped Gary Loomis get started in the rod business by providing rod equipment and start up capital. Cordell was later inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. In 2002, he was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and now resides in Hot Springs.