UP Tour – Gladstone: What it takes to create the Swedish Pimple

Michigan

GLADSTONE, Mich (WJMN) — Gladstone, just north of Escanaba, is known to some as the walleye fishing capital of the world.

There, in 1955, six friends turned a hobby into something that would have an impact on walleye fishing for decades to follow.

“Bay De Noc Lure Company started in 1955 and it was two sets of brothers, three from the Nybergs and three from the Apelgren, and their parents were Swedish immigrants,” David Nyberg, a partner with Bay De Noc Lure Company, explained. “It started in my grandfather’s blacksmith shop, Carl Nyberg’s, and he bought his blacksmith shop from Mr. Miller, who was the mayor of Gladstone around the turn of the century. So the history of the shop goes way back.”

The men made lures using popular designs from Sweden before they officially received their trademark for their very own lure, the Swedish Pimple.

“The Swedish Pimple is jigging lure,” Nyberg said. “It’s widely known throughout the Midwest and beyond and we make 10 sizes in numerous color patterns and a lot of ice fishermen are very fond of them.”

The Swedish Pimple was an instant hit and was trademarked in 1957. David and his cousin Anders are the current partners and run the shop very similar to how it was back when it began.

“Pretty special family business,” Nyberg said. “It’s old-school. We do everything by hand, so there’s not a lot of automation but we get the job done and a lot of people like our lures.”

In business for more than 65 years, the Swedish Pimple has found its way all over the world, taking a little piece of Gladstone history with it.

“Most of our sales are in the Midwest, but we sell throughout the United States and we export to Russia,” Nyberg said. “Years ago, we exported back to Sweden, but with the way the internet is now, they’re sold online and in numerous online stores and I’m assuming that a lot of our lures reach far beyond the United States.”

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