About Us: Our History
Old Whiskers was first developed in Burlington, Iowa by Paul Mower and Harry Herman back in 1952. As long-time fishing buddies, they experimented with different recipes and formulas before deciding which one suited them best. Once decided, they began making small batches of Catfish bait and selling it locally.
As years went by, word spread about its results, and more and more bait shops began to stock it. By 1974, Old Whiskers was available from as far south as Pevely, Missouri and as far north as Dubuque, Iowa along the Mississippi River.
About that time, Paul and Harry decided to retire from making bait and go back to just fishing. They sold the business to Rose’s Bait & Tackle in West Burlington, Iowa, where the bait continued to be made until Rose’s Bait and Tackle added additional product lines. In 1971, Rose’s began offering a soft plastic worm for the dip baits as an alternative to sponge hooks, which were prevalent at that time.
In 1996, the Rose family sold their retail and wholesale bait shop, and son Harold moved the manufacturing operation to O’Fallon, Illinois (just east of St. Louis, Missouri).
In 2008, Old Whiskers Catfish Bait was purchased by International Bait Manufacturers, Inc., which is located in Friend, Nebraska.