A look back at the 1959 Hammer Hunting Derby – Hometown Fox

A full-page banner ad that appeared in the May 1959 issue of the Grand Rapids Herald Review. Sent picture.

In early May 1959 Hamm’s Brewery, located in Minneapolis, announced a summer-long fishing derby for fishermen in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Dubbed the “Hamm’s Land of Sky Blue Waters Fishing Derby,” there were 17 weekly competitions in which 113 winners received a $100 fishing package.

There were also sweepstakes prizes for those who didn’t win the weekly contest, but submitted a lottery ticket with their entry. The lottery jackpot, selected by random drawing, is categorized as “your fishing haven – big space, lake house, boat and motor.”

22 official weighing stations have been identified in 22 cities; The closest to Itasca County were Grand Rapids, Bemidji, and Walker. The main features of the newspaper’s full-page advertisement read:

Derby Hums Land of Skywaters Fishing

“Here’s the angler’s dream contest. If you catch sunfish, crappie, walleye, northern bass, small mouthed bass, big mouth bass or any other big freshwater fish, be sure to enter the Hamm’s Fishing Derby.

Every week, $100 of Hunting Apparel will be awarded on TV (WCCO-TV [4]Minneapolis and KCMT-TV [7], Alexandria, 10:30 p.m. EDT, Thursday) to enter the biggest fish in each category. (The fish must be in season of course).

Whether or not your entry won a weekly prize, you are still eligible to win a great prize in the September 10 TV Sweepstakes draw, provided your entry is accompanied by a sweepstakes ticket.

Get your lottery ticket at any Hamm’s retailer now and start fishing for fun and prizes at Hamm’s Fishing Derby. The derby runs from May 16 to

September 7, 1959. Good luck! “


Fishing set consists of the following: Phillipson Casting Rod, Langley Streamlite Reel, Umco Tackle Box, Cortland Line, Knife-Lighter Combine, Weber Portable Cooler, De-Liar Scale and Measure Variety Lures By: Arbogast, Buckberry Spoonplugs, Creek Chub and Heddon, Hi Sport Lures, Mille Lacs, Kautzky, and Louis Johnson Bait Co. and National Expert Bait Co.

Plus a giant lottery bet!

the first Award: a private fishing haven in the land of Sky Blue Waters; Sussel Lake House – New Shoreline Model 24′ x 32′ Built on Private Plot; Aluma-Craft Car-Top and Scott Outboard Fishing Boat, 7½ HP.

2nd Award: Kayot Voyager – 28-foot pontoon boat, full-fledged family playground.

3rd Award: Scott Outboard, size of your choice (3.6 HP to 60 HP)

the fourth Award: Aluma-Craft Flying D Run-about Boat

Fifth Award: One week fully paid vacation for two at the Northernaire Floating Lodge in Rainy Lake, good in 1959 or 1960.

Important fishing derby rules

• Important fishing derby
It is open to all. fish
It must be registered, however, by a person of legal age.
• Reserve weighing stations
The right to open and inspect any fish that has been introduced
and to select entries.
• To be eligible for Hamm’s
Lottery drawing, registration must be accompanied by an important lottery ticket obtained for free
From any Hamm’s retailer
• All registered fish are eligible for Important TV
Fishing Derby Awards. fish
It should be available for viewing
In Corrie’s, “Winning Fish
Headquarters “820 Market

Avenue, Minneapolis,
• Weekly competitions, May 16,
1959 to September
7, 1959. Every contest ends
Monday night.
• In the case of entering relationships
bearing the earliest date and
Time wins.
• Staff and families
from Theo. important brewing
company and its distributors,
WCCO-TV, their ads
Official fishing agencies
Derby weighing stations

I wish to write about the recipients of some of the prizes, but I could not specify any details about the winners. Instead, I decided to see what I could learn about some of the awards.

For example, what is the value of today’s 5th lottery prize of “1-for-2-week all-expenses-paid vacation at Northernaire Floating Lodge at Rainy Lake?” Northernaire Houseboats still operate on Rainy Lake and offer a variety of houseboats. The smallest listed boat, sleeping two, is $1,400 for one week. Assuming Hamm’s covered gas and food (and beer!) would likely be closer to $2,000 if awarded this summer.

I can’t imagine the value of the “giant lottery prize” today. But wouldn’t it be interesting to know the lake on which Cecil’s house was built? And who lived in it and is it still alive or not? Maybe it’s actually part of your family’s current getaway!

I’ve discovered tales of information on nearly every $100 item on Fishing Outfit, all of which are made in the US and many of them are currently listed on eBay. As someone who doesn’t fish, I found the history of the lure to be the most interesting, but the rod was definitely one of the items that greatly increased its value.

Casting Philipson Road

The 6’4 Scout was made between 1957 and 1958, so it’s probably one in hunting packs. It is described as featuring “a detachable handle in coloured cast aluminum, redesigned to fit all new ‘push-button’ reels, with positive spool locking device. The casting swivel rods have 5 chrome-plated guides wrapped in blue thread with red-coated rings.” On the Phillipson webpage, it lists $495.

Nine companies submitted a bait, and the information I got was enough to fill out an entire column, so for now, I’ll focus on a few I found most interesting.

Heddon Lures

Founded in 1898, it is the oldest lure company still producing high quality fishing products. In the late 1890s, James Whedon launched a hand-held lure into Lake Dawajyak, Michigan, and the ripples are still widening. It was the beginning of a new era: the age of artificial fishing for all fishermen. Heddon is the manufacturer of legendary baits including Spook, Torpedo, Lucky 13 and many more, and these lures follow the same innovative vision that James Heddon captured years ago.

Louis Johnson Pete Company

The company came to be with a 1923 patent for Johnson Silver Minnow, by Louis Johnson, a retired foundry operator in Chicago.

The lake where Louis and his son were fishing was full of fish, but it was also full of weeds. So, with the hands-on approach of many creative Midwesters, he set out to develop a fishing lure that didn’t catch weeds but still caught fish. The result was a first weed lure spoon, stiff enough to keep weeds off the hook, yet pliable enough to hook the bass and spear. In fact, the experimental spoon bait was made from silver table spoons with the handles cut, hook and weed guard welded to the concave underside.

Mille Lacs Mfg Co.

Joe and Evelyn Fladebo started the company in their Mille Lacs Lake home in 1937. In 1944 the business was moved to a larger building on Isle. Their son Jim joined the business in 1955. This lure company made several baits, especially deer, and used the trademark “Little Joe,” an old picture of a boy holding a big fish. They also purchased the rights to Slo-Poke, made in Mahnomen, Minnesota, and Lazy Dazy of Preston, Minnesota.

Kristen Marcotte is a retired social worker and current writer who lives in Deer River. She enjoys writing about historical events, and keeps a blog at www.chrismarcottewrites.com.

By now, you may have read Hamm’s Beer’s signature commercial tone (and the famous Hamm’s Bear depiction) from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. In case you needed a word reminder, here it is, from advertising agency Campbell-Mithun:

From the land of the blue sky, from the land of pines, high balsam,

Come refreshing beer,

Important for a refreshing beer.

Brewing where nature works its wonders, aged several moons ago, gently mulled, ham for a refreshing beer, ham for a refreshing beer.

Through flowing waters, through whispering pines and birches,

Come refreshing beer,

Important for a refreshing beer.

There comes a call for magic, a call for cool refreshments, a refreshing ham, and a refreshing ham ale.

Hints of lakes and sunset breezes, dancing and sparkling in every filled glass,

refreshing ham beer,

Important for a refreshing beer.

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