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.