Musky Shop Blog
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Daniel Cellar: Pennsylvania Musky Lure Folk Artist
While delving into the depths of musky information to provide our ever-growing audience with content, I stumbled into a single bloggers collection of Lure Folk Art. If you aren’t familiar with folk art, it can be described as typically handmade items that can be decorative or utilitarian that reflect a communities’ cultural or traditional history. In this case, we’re talking about folk art consisting of hand made lures created and designed with the intention of enticing the mighty muskellunge.
Before mass production and injection molds, musky lures were typically hand carved wooden lures adorned with natural features, like feathers and fur. Some of the more exquisite examples were then lovingly painted to resemble baitfish or other lake targets. While conducting research and delving into the topic, I was fascinated by what seems to be lost information about a man who seemed to really represent an era of expansion and industrial growth with his hand carved creations.
Daniel Babst Cellar, born in October 20, 1887, was a forward-thinking creative mind that handmade some fascinatingly detailed musky baits. His story is likely similar to many of his era where catching giant muskies would have garnered great attention in the greater Pittsburg Area of Pennsylvania. Cellar studied engineering at Yale Sheffield Scientific School and became an Engineer for the PA Railroad, an occupation not far removed from his father who retired as the Superintendent of Telegraph for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Though not much can be found about Daniel Cellars, his time at Yale was noted with his membership to Phi Gamma Delta, a prestigious fraternity naming not only Calvin Coolidge amongst it’s more notable members, but also more recently VP Mike Pence. As his own brother proceeded him to Yale, making it seem obvious that education was a prized priority in the Cellar family. Quoted in his Yale pages, “men of few words are the best men.”
Daniel Cellar’s life is not well known, but a majority of it he mainly lived in the Pittsburgh region, so we can imagine the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers led him on many musky hunts. Cellars would have only been in his late 30’s when Lewis Walker Jr caught a whopping 57”- 54lb 3oz behemoth musky, Pennsylvania’s state record, that continues to boggle the minds of musky anglers. I can only imagine what kind of further inspiration that provided in producing ever more detailed hand carved lures inspired by such a unbelievable catch in hopes to be the next to break it.
(Lewis Walker Jr 1924)
Not much more can be detailed of Daniel Cellar other than hopes that he led a fulfilling life as a engineer and musky lure craftsman. His work is still admired and collected. Hopefully his family carries on his love of the sport in some manner tradition. It seemed important for this blog just to highlight his great achievement as a folk artist and creative musky mind.
Follow this link for the blog that led to Daniel Cellars lures operated by Chance Dunlap.
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Best Lures for Gifting Fishermen to Wrap Up 2022
As far as musky baits go, there are a million to choose from at the Musky Shop, so for moms, dads, grandparents, husbands, and wives, choosing which ones to gift might be a bit overwhelming. As Christmas is right around the corner, a short list of what might be a home run for the fisherman in your family could be exactly what you need. Here’s a list of 10 quality lures that have made the cut and come recommended by Musky Shop.
Several new baits have hit the shelves this year and would make exciting gifts for the fisherman in your life. A wild new rubber lure carried by the shop is the Boggs Custom Lures Mohawk. These hand-poured rubber baits are a great add to your rubber collection as they have great undulation in the water that really get the fish excited. They are great Fall/Winter target.
We are also carrying some great baits from Bomb Squad like the C-4 Flaptail. This oversized top water makes a great splash in Spring and Summer when the fish are moving shallow. It makes a ton of surface commotion and is super easy to work with hand cranks and pulls.
Another new addition to the shop this year is the Livingston Titan. The Titan hit the shelves this Spring and has been a great seller for all walks of fishermen. A great bait for novices, the Titan can be worked with simple hand cranks and pulls and is a great season opener bait for Spring and Summer fishing. It has a playful dive and rise with a twisty tail that drives the muskies wild.
For a nice twist on the classic bucktail, the Musky Frenzy Stagger 8/9 makes a great stocking stuffer. The slight blade variation makes a big artificial thump if you’re a bucktail lover, you'll get tons of use out of it. And as most bucktails, it's a snap to use for new folks as well.
For spinnerbait enthusiast, Acebait’s Tandem Series is perfect for ease of use and come in a few sizes for year long use. The Tandem blade is a great attractant with a solid body construction that lasts. This spinner is definitely a great recommendation.
If crankbaits are your speed, then look no further than the Bucher ShallowRaider or Slammer Shallow Crankbaits. Both of these trusted favorites come in a multitude of sizes and colors. With both Slammer and Bucher baits, you know what you are going to get right out of the box, solid crankbaits that get the job done. Both of these bait makers really hit the mark offering a litany of colors to get the job done on any body of water.
Some fisherfolk shy away from big rubber, but it makes a great gift for an exciting unboxing at Christmas time. For someone that experimenting or someone who is a pro, big rubber is great for Fall fishermen. With these folks in mind, Chaos Tackle Medussas cover all the points you want in your big rubber baits. They have a lot of movement with undulating tentacles and really offer a great assortment of sizes and colors. The look great underwater and are a staple amongst musky guides.
For the big reveal, if you are up for spending big bucks for the fisherman in your family, while at the same time getting them something that they may not get themselves, then Supernatural Big Baits are the way to go. Christmas gift opening will take a pause when the big trolling bait is revealed. This mighty bait gets the job done in every trolling situation. They work incredibly well and are in a league of their own as far as big trollers go…big wobble, big fish! Supernatural Baits are handmade, hand painted, and get fisherman excited on site.
Of course, all of these suggestions are just that….suggestions. Many folks wanting fishing gear will ask for specific items, and know exactly what their tackle box is missing, but for newcomers a bit of suggestion always helps. Hopefully we’ve got what everyone needs this holiday season to keep the fisherfolk in your life well supplied for next season! Merry Christmas and Tight Lines.