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Strike King History

Strike King Lure Company
Catching King Sized Fish Since 1964

The New Original Strike King Bass Lure

The 1964 ad “Don Fuelsch Southern Angler and Hunters Guide” shows “The new original ‘Strike King’ bass lure” by McEwen Tackle Co. It was a single spin spinnerbait. Bill McEwen was a taxidermist in Memphis, TN and made these lures on the side out of his garage.

Spence Buys Strike King

In the spring of 1966 Charles Spence purchased Bill McEwen’s lure business which consisted of; a lead melting pot, some safety pins, a few bags of skirts and some molds. He refers to it as Strike King Lure Company.

A Business Relationship Formed

Ray Scott holds his first bass tournament on Beaver Lake in northwest Arkansas. Bill Dance, Charles Spence and Ray Murski compete in it. Notably Bill got 2nd and Ray got 4th! They all become friends and form business relationships. It’s estimated around this time Ray Murski calls on a man named Sam Walton who has a chain of 4 stores in northwest Arkansas.

Strike King was Incorporated and the Team Grew

Bill Dance became the most successful tournament angler in the early years of the sport and then became a nationally known television personality. Charles Spence built up Strike King Lure Company as a lure manufacturing entity near the Memphis airport on Sanderwood Street. Ray Murski’s sales rep group grew and represented many outdoor products. So Charles built the product, Ray sold it and Bill promoted it for many years.

Strike King Catalog Hits the Shelves

The oldest catalog found, shows 9 models of spinnerbaits, a Spence Spook topwater prop bait, the Spence Scout and a Super Scout crankbait, wooden Big S and Little S crankbaits, and a Happy Hooker tailspinner.

spanning the 1970s, 1980s & 1990s
Early growth & product development

1976

The Prop Scout and Spin Scout were introduced, as well as worms, lizards, grub tails, hooks and sinkers.

1977

Buzz King® 385B, Timber King spoons, replacements skirts.

1980

Houston Model Spinnerbait, Trailer hooks.

1982

Spence Model spinnerbait, Bootlegger Jig®, Grass King spoons.

1984

Polarized sunglasses are added and quickly become a significant product line.

1985

Tri-Wing Buzz King®

1987

Moved locations to Collierville, Tennessee

1990

Grass Frog, Jig-N-Spoon, Pro-Model® spinnerbait.

1992

Got into the catfish and pork baits with a clever marketing campaign with Bill Dance and a pig! Night Crawler Links® and Bo-Hawg® Pork baits were the early products.

1994

Diamond Shad®, Spin-Dance® spinnerbait, Lightn’in Strike Hooks® for the Pork-O® and Whisker Sticker catfish hooks.

1995

Sale of Company - Charles entertained selling the business to a competitor in 1994/1995 but then turned to his ‘ole buddy Ray Murski. Mr. Murski’s sales organization had been representing Strike King from almost the beginning and can be credited with much of its success. The deal was signed in July 1995 but not completed until November 1995.

1996

Early 1996 John Barns became President and June 1996 Allan Ranson becomes Chief Financial Officer and then was promoted to Chief Operating Officer at the end of the year. The task was to turn the Company around, install new systems and procedures, shore up manufacturing and product development and attack the market.

More than 50 Years of Domination

The Strike King® brand name is one of the most recognized on the market. Our great team of people are experienced and the company’s operations are strong. With continued determination the future looks bright for Strike King.