The Bee’s Knees

When referring to something as ‘the bee’s knees’, it means it is of excellent or very high quality. It’s an ironically perfect fit for Brian’s Bees Crankbaits.

Brian Huskins is a local artisan. He has made a name for himself creating spectacular pieces of art. The kind of art I love…the fish catching kind!

Brian, who lives just outside of Charlotte, is a lifelong fisherman. He is a force to be reckoned with in any local tournament.

In the 80’s Brian dabbled in making his own Jigs, Spinnerbaits, and painting crankbaits to suit his fishing needs. Eventually he tried his hand at building his own crankbait instead of just painting others. He made it from Balsa wood and hand painted it himself. (Brian keeps this “first” crankbait as a keepsake tucked away in a drawer in his workshop. This bait was the grandfather for his Mighty Bee Series.)

It was apparent early on Brian had a knack for making unique crankbaits, and soon, word traveled about his baits and their ability to catch fish. A few close friends commissioned him to make custom baits for them. One of those friends was local fisherman, John Ladd. John was so impressed with Brian’s lures, he encouraged him to try to “market” them. After some thought, Brian did just that.

The Bees Knees

Unknowingly at the time, Brian was crafting custom crankbaits for some of the industry’s top professional anglers. Though sponsored by some of the biggest companies in the fishing industry, professional fisherman were secretly using Brian’s baits. His baits were placing well in tournaments far beyond the Carolinas.

Things really changed for Brian when word about his topwater prop bait, the Prop Bee, spread throughout the fishing community. The Pros and weekend warriors alike, really started paying attention when this bait featured on a Bassmasters television show

Brian’s baits have amassed more than their share of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes among the best anglers in the country. As the secret got out, Brian’s baits became a staple in many tackle boxes.

What sets Brian’s crankbaits apart? Mostly the craftsmanship going in to each bait. His original crankbaits are made with Balsa wood. I watched as Brian assembled each bait by hand, from start to finish. A tedious job but he seems to take great pride in each and every bait. As he pitched one in to the “reject” pile, I picked it up and couldn’t find the flaw. It’s the pride and attention to detail that sets his crankbaits apart.

The action the wooden baits have in the water is unsurpassable. All of his baits have a wire connecting the hooks to the eye tie and runs completely through the bait. This is extremely important and eliminates the concern of lost fish due to bait malfunction.

Most crankbait bills are attached last. In the process of making his baits, Brian essentially builds his bait around the bill which almost eliminates the chance of breaking.

All of the lures are hand sanded and painted with such detail, the bait looks like a real deal meal to the most finicky bass. Just like assembly, Brian paints each bait by hand. Mixing and using colors that mimic baitfish.

To add to the authenticity, Brian signs every bait on its right side to insure it has personally been built by him.

Recently, Brian has added a companion company called Bloody Thumb Lures. Brian is super excited about this plastic line of crankbaits and swimbaits. He has meticulously designed and tested these baits to meet his high-quality standards. In addition, through Bloody Thumb Lures, he offers a serious skipping and pitching jig. My favorite feature of the jigs is the application of the paint to prevent chipping. After a hard day of fishing where actual teeth marks can be seen on the jighead, the paint is not compromised.

Whether a seasoned angler, or new to the game, it would be a tragedy to miss out on having Brian’s lures among your wares.

Brain’s Crankbaits can be found locally at Rusty Hooks Bait & Tackle located at 4070 Charlotte Hwy, Clover, SC.


Now go get an amazing lure and go catch fish,
Michelle Armstrong

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