Here I will list other major manufactories not listed under the main catagories at the left.


-Al-Lure-O Weedless Bait Company: I have a lure with this name as being the manufaturer, but that's all I know of it.

-BRAINERD BAIT CO.: To my knowledge this was based in St. Paul and no connection with Brainerd, MN. Can anyone help here?


Fish Decoys Net home : back

Fish Bust'r

Lakeland Wholesale Bait Company

Brainerd and Crosby, Minnesota

Richard Brunelle, founder of the Lakeland Wholesale Bait Company, which manufactured and distributed fishing tackle under the brand name "Fish Bust'r".

Richard Brunelle was born on September 24, 1926 in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1948 Brunelle founded the Lakeland Wholesale Bait Company in Brainerd, Minnesota.

All of the fish decoys were made by one Lakeland employee, Irvin Westra, who worked with the company until he was 73 years-old. He died at the age of 83. Westra would cut out basswood pieces on a band saw to a rough shape and then the piece was finished carved by hand and holes were drilled into the bottom for lead weighing. Three sizes were produced - three, six or nice inches. The majority of the decoys were painted with a red head and white body. a few examples were painted yellow and red as well as yellow and green. The building of the lakeland Wholesale Bait Company burnt in the 1990s and this fire effectively shut down the business as no fire insurance was carried by Brunelle. At the height of production; Brunelle had 29 employees working.

Reference: Decoy Magazine, Issue January/February 2004, Article Titled: "Fish Bust'r Spearing Decoys" by Donald J. Peterson





1942 saw the building of a "defense plant" in the south end of Brainerd, operated by Land O'Lakes Company, making dehydrated milk. I am not sure if the government subsidised its construction, or operation, but have heard that it was listed on the Nazi's maps as a military target!. This was related to me by Tom Rohr, who leases part of the building for his Quik Stand business. Perhaps in his spare time, which he has oodles of, he can do some research on the building itself, or see what traces remain of the original equipment.
It utilized 9 milk-tank trucks collecting skimmed milk from countryside creameries, converting it to a dry solid. Each truck carried 1675 gallons. Every other day a load of buttermilk was gathered. Capacity of the plant, still in operation in 1946, was 300,000 gal. of wet milk/day, operating 24 hours/day, 7 days/week! This translated to 24,000 # of dry milk making 12 tons of dehydrated milk daily, or 43,000 barrels yearly. The plant employed not less than 32 men, and in peak times up to 45.
As of 1946, the range of creameries collected from was north to Pine River, south to Rice, east to Aitkin, and (west?) to Freidheim. It also interchanged with other plants at peak times. The plant was still at this time a war plant, but LO'L had full intentions of further expantion, planning on dehydrating many other products. More research will be needed to determine the reason for and time of its demise, and date of the government's withdrawl. (Tom?) [B75, 1946]