Ever mindful of their family company’s history, the new owner of Suick Lure Company, Mike Suick (left) and his father, Steve, stand in front of a trailer adorned with a photo of John and Frank Suick making lures in their shop in the 1940s. The trailer is used by Suick Lure Company when it exhibits at sports shows.

Historic Muskie Bait Company Has New Owner

One of muskie fishing’s most iconic lure manufacturers is in its 85th year in business under the guidance of the fourth generation of its family.

Suick Lure Company of Antigo has announced that Michael Suick has purchased the company from his father, Steve Suick. The purchase price was not disclosed.

“I’m very proud to continue my family’s legacy and I am determined to pass it on to the next generation someday,” Mike Suick said. “And I hope I can keep it within the Suick family.”

Mike Suick, 36, of Antigo, has worked full-time for the company since 2010. Steve Suick acquired co-ownership of Suick Lure from his uncle, Jim Suick, in 1980, and then completed the buyout of his father, John Suick, in the 1990s, though John remained involved with the company until his death in 2021. The company was founded by Jim’s and John’s father, Frank Suick, in 1939.

The company’s flagship lure is the Muskie Thriller, which is available in six sizes in original wood and plastic models. Other lures made under the Suick name include the Nitewalker, Wabull and Weagle. The company also manufactures the Cisco Kid line of injection-molded crankbaits, and the Shack Attack lineup of soft plastic lures. All of the lures are manufactured in Antigo, of which Mike Suick said he “is extremely proud.”

During a 2018 interview, John Suick explained the origin of the Muskie Thriller. “My father had a trout hatchery, and he loved to watch them. He noticed when a fish was off balance or on its side, other fish would attack it. And that’s where he got the idea for his lure,” he explained.

Frank Suick carved his original lure to mimic the action of dying trout, and liked what he created. When he turned it loose on the muskies of nearby Pelican Lake, they liked it, too. In fact, Suick caught a muskie every day for 30 days straight, a feat that at the time was considered impossible. Before long, other anglers more or less jokingly petitioned the state of Wisconsin to ban Suick from fishing Pelican Lake due to his success with his lure.

Frank Suick was posthumously inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 2007.

Mike Suick has complete knowledge of the family business. He worked part-time starting when he was 10 years old through high school. He graduated from Antigo High School in 2006 and earned an associate’s degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in 2008. Two years later he felt the need “to come home” and rejoined Suick Lure Company. “Growing up, I had no clue what the name Suick meant to the sport of muskie fishing,” he said. “Now I completely understand what it is. It took me moving away to fully appreciate what this is.”

After rejoining the business, Mike Suick started in the factory making lures in 2010, and entered sales in 2012 with mostly Wisconsin accounts. By 2015, he was in charge of all sales.

Steve Suick said the addition of Mike Suick reinvigorated the entire business. First came the creation of a website, www.suick.com. Shack Attack was purchased in 2012 to grow the company, and the High Impact line of plastic Muskie Thrillers was added in 2013. Weight systems and leaders were introduced to complement the Muskie Thrillers, and a line of apparel bearing the Suick logo followed. “Without Mike, none of this would have happened,” Steve Suick said.

Such rapid growth resulted in the company running out of room. In 2021, Suick Lure purchased and moved to the old Spring Valley School northeast of Antigo, which more than quadrupled the company’s manufacturing space.

Mike Suick congratulated his father for his more than 40 years of running Suick Lure Company. “They had tremendous growth through the 1990s and that is the reason we are where we are today,” Mike Suick said. “He is really the one who is responsible for this business even having the opportunity to be where we are now.”

The plan, Mike Suick says, is to continue the company’s growth and to remain in Antigo. “We have lots of great baits that are staples for muskie fishermen, but new products run this business,” he said. “Suick Lure Company started out in Antigo and we plan to remain here for years to come. This community has been great to us.”

For more information, visit www.suick.com or call 715-623-7883.