Outdoors columnist for The Herald-Palladium

Dick Houston

Dick Houston of Lawton displays some of his handmade wooden wares that include duplicates of lures made by the Paw Paw Bait Company.

Back in 1940, 16-year-old Jim Houston fibbed that he was 18 and got a job with the Paw Paw Lure Co., which was in a building in the town of Paw Paw where a Biggby Coffee franchise stands today. Two years later, when he really was 18, Jim joined the Navy and served in World War II. After the war, he came back and worked for the bait company again.

Jim passed away in 2014 at the age of 90, and a year later, his son, Dick retired from his job as a finish carpenter for Glas Associates in Kalamazoo. Largely because of his father’s affiliation, Dick had collected some original Paw Paw Bait Company lures, and after retiring, he used his woodworking talents to reproduce several of the original models.

Outdoors columnist Dave Mull lives in Paw Paw. Write to him at dave.sportfish.mull@gmail.com.