Proud of East Texas: Boucher fishing lures

Published: Jan. 10, 2016 at 8:53 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2016 at 9:21 PM CST
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EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - You may have never heard of J.C. Boucher, but if you like to fish, you've probably used his inventions.

Boucher has loved to fish as far back as he can remember, and it's still his favorite pastime. But Boucher isn't just any fisherman, he's invented and built some of the most popular fishing lures in the world.

"My first lure was called the 'Gay Blade'" he said.

Boucher says it took him a year to develop the gay blade, which has been on the market since 1956 and is still a favorite among fishermen.

"I started with a pair of tin snips, a tin can and some solder," said Boucher.

Right away, the gay blade was a hit with Boucher's friends, but it soon was to have a bigger audience.

"The word kind of got around and the company came to me and wanted to build it for me, and they covered the entire cost," he recalled. "In fact, they wanted to buy it and I sold it to them and kept a little royalty."

After the introduction of the gay blade, all lures of that type were referred to as "blades."

"A fellow that fishes a lot in a place where he can always catch fish, they refer to it as the 'hot spot,'" he said.

Boucher built the lure "The Hot Spot" in 1959, and it was a hit as well.

"The rattletrap was the biggest of all," he recalls.

The lure Boucher developed, called "The Rattletrap" became one of the most coveted fishing lures in the world.

"The last that I heard, five or six years ago, it had sold 160 million lures," Boucher said.

And that 160 million doesn't even count the millions of copies on the market.

"At one time, there was 26 companies that I know of copying it," said Boucher.

Boucher gives much of the rattletrap's popularity to its name. He says that most people think the name came from the fact that the lure's leads hit together, producing a slight rattle.

But he says in truth, an early salesman's car was the source for the name.

"The name "Rattletrap" wasn't due to the rattle in the lure, but the rattle in his old Ford station wagon," Boucher explained.

At the age of 88, J.C. Boucher is still developing new lures. He says he's been working on one lure for the past 40 years, but whether that lure ever meets his standards or not, he's already given fishermen throughout the world the fun and excitement of the catch.

"It's given me satisfaction because I created what I was trying to do." Boucher said.

In total, Boucher has produced more than 70 fishing lure models.

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