Feature Article #13

South Bend 


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Starting around 1927, the South Bend Bait Company began to advertise the availability of fishing films for use by Izaak Walton League Chapters, Conservation or Civic Clubs.  There was no charge for use of the films, as long as the organization paid express charges both ways.  Most films were supplied in both 35 mm and 16 mm format.   All film was produced on Safety Film stock.  Early films were produced in black and white, but later films were available in color.  Each reel ran around 12 to 45 minutes in length.

During the 1930's the South Bend catalogs listed some of the film titles available.  Complete details about the films were available by requesting "Folder C-79."  (If you have a copy of this folder, please contact me so that I can update this article with a more comprehensive listing of titles available.)  After the war, film titles were no longer listed, but references to the availability of the films continued.   South Bend advertised the availability of these films until 1965.

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I was fortunate to obtain five original film titles from South Bend's archives.  I had the 16mm film transferred to VHS and DVD for preservation.  Cost of the transfer was approximately $0.10 per foot, plus the cost of producing master VHS tapes.  In order to bring some of this footage to other collectors, I obtained video editing hardware and software for my computer and transferred some of this footage to video and still clips for the enjoyment of fellow South Bend collectors.

If you have any original South Bend film titles, I would be willing to pay for the transfer process to VHS tapes, provided I could retain 1 copy of the film.  If your interested, please contact me.  Preservation of this material is essential for the future generations to enjoy.

Film Titles

Based on information in South Bend catalogs, I have compiled the following information about some of the film titles offered by South Bend.   Video clips and still frames can be viewed by selecting the following icons after the movie title:

      Video clips            Still frames

Seeking Steelheads              
"A depiction of the experiences of a party of anglers seeking "steelhead trout" in the streams of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, with glimpses of surrounding scenic attractions."  (1930 South Bend Catalog)

Filmed in black and white, this silent film was made in 1929.  While the film itself is older, the copy acquired has a "trailer" added at the end showing the newly remodeled South Bend factory and copies of the 1938 and 1939 retail catalogs.   There are various shots of men fishing many taken at Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.  (National Film Board of Canada)

Fishing at Norris Dam (Title Unknown)             
This is one of the five films I was fortunate to acquire.  There is no title on the film, but it features Ivar Hennings, H.O. Stream., and other South Bend executives fishing at Norris Dam in Knoxville, Tennessee.  The film was shot of their fishing adventure to Norris Dam from October 25, 1940 to November 3, 1940.  During one part of the film, Ivar Hennings circles these dates on a calendar, allowing precise dating of the film.  Next to the calendar was also a copy of the 1940 Retail and 1940 Dealer Trade catalogs.   This film contains some awesome footage!   Follow H.O. Stream and others on a tour of the South Bend Display Room....see so many counter displays that you'll almost fall off your chair!   See actual footage taken outside the South Bend Bait Factory......still photos of Ivar Hennings and others with their "South Bend Tackle" boxes, and more!

Action in Idaho               
Filmed in color, this adventure features trout fishing in Idaho.  The scenery is great, and several South Bend executives, including Stu Pritchard, are featured in this film.   

Tigers of the North               
"From the moment this film was reviewed in the projecting room of the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau, it was destined to become the most popular picture of it's kind ever produced.  Filmed in northwestern Ontario, where few anglers have penetrated, the scenery is unsurpassed and the action will hold attention until the end.  Muskies are landed weighing upward of twenty-five pounds; bait casting from shore and from boats.   One scene in the picture shows the cast, the bait dropping on the water, the strike, and landing the fish.  This is the very latest fishing picture taken by the Canadian Government."  (1928 South Bend Catalog)

The film was shot in black and white and appears to date to around 1927.   There is some great footage of South Bend president, Ivar Hennings, battling with muskies.

Dancing Dynamite               
Shot in black and white, this silent film dates to 1929 and features fishing for small mouth bass on Lake Nipigon, Ontario, Canada.  (National Film Board of Canada)

Tenderfoot Trails
"Filmed at the Athabasca Ranch near the eastern border of Jasper National Park, Canada, this picture is a tale of three city fellows who, tired of Summer Hotels and "ready-made" vacations, sought new adventures by holidaying on a "dude" ranch in the Canadian Rockies.  The trip includes a pack-horse trip through magnificent country, wading fast streams, fly casting and bait casting for trout.  A picture that will delight any outdoor enthusiast because of its diversified interest."  (1929 South Bend Catalog)

This silent film also features various shots of bronco busting with cowboys watching from a rail fence.  Fishing was filmed at Rock Lake and also features a stop at a Cree Indian camp on the way home.  The Indians are filmed dancing and playing games.  (National Film Board of Canada)

Salmon Angling on the Restigouche
"Each year anglers from all parts of the world visit this famous river, so rich in scenic beauty, so noted for its excellent salmon fishing.  This film takes you on the Restigouche as it winds its picturesque way through the dense forests of Northern New Brunswick to the Bay of Chaleur.  Salmon are raised, then hooked, but before they are brought to gaff, thrill the audience time and time again, as the salmon is a leaper and fighter."  (1929 South Bend Catalog)

Winding its way through the dense forest of Northern New Brunswick to the Baie des Chaleurs is the country's most renown salmon stream, the Restigouche River.  Film features various shots of heroic battles between two hundred pound fishermen and twenty-five pound salmon.  (National Film Board of Canada)

Invading Muskieland
"Over four thousand feet of film were taken to secure this picture.  Filmed at the same time as "The Tigers of the North" at Hudson, Ontario, the leaps and dashes of the battling 'lunge will entertain you until the end."  (1928 South Bend Catalog)

Battling with Muskies
"This film has been proclaimed the finest action picture of the fighting tiger of the North ever filmed.  Every fish is landed by bait casting -- no trolling.  The scene is Hudson, Ontario, located amidst the primitive outdoor country of northwestern Ontario.  Few game fish possess the battling ability of the 'lunge and in this film we find him at his best.  Leaps, dashes, thrills and excitement accompany every foot of this movie and the alert handling of the muskies by Ivar Hennings, President of the South Bend Bait Company, adds materially to the exclusive features of "Battling with Muskies."  This is the newest fishing film taken under the supervision of Raymond S. Peck, Director of the Canadian Government Motion Picture Bureau."  (1927 South Bend Catalog)

"Little did Ivar Hennings, president of the South Bend Bait Company, realize when he made "Battling With Muskies" for the Canadian Government that it would be shown all over the United States and many foreign countries.  Its success was instantaneous and unquestionably it is the kind of a picture a red-blooded sportsman enjoys.  Every foot of this film is filled with excitement as the "Old Timer" masters a battling mass of energy--the muskie."  (1928 South Bend Catalog)

The group in this silent film fishes at Kenneally Lodge on Lake Vermilion in Ontario.  Many great fishing scenes were filmed, including a shot of a cameraman shooting with a hand-held camera, standing in a canoe.  (National Film Board of Canada)

In Quest of the Bronze Back
"Those that love the wild leaps and dashes of the fighting small-mouth bass will enjoy this film.  Bait and fly casting for these beautiful bronze-backs are seen throughout the reel.  Camp life as well as fishing is portrayed in this movie by Cal Johnson, well known write of the outdoors."  (1927 South Bend Catalog)

Filmed in the '30's, picturesque Lake Weslemkoon lies deep in the highlands of Ontario, about 70 miles north of Belleville.  Anglers tent on Chipmunk Island and canoe in search of small mouth bass.  (National Film Board of Canada) 

Laurentian Lures
Mountain landscapes in the Laurentians open this silent film from 1930.  Both men and women canoe on the lake in search of speckled trout.  (National Film Board of Canada)

Fishing Gamely for Game Fish
"A very interesting, educational reel portraying the finer points of bait and fly casting."  (1928 South Bend Dealer Trade Catalog)

A very educational film showing everything from the proper method of holding black bass and extracting hooks, to preparing fish for cooking.  Fishermen show how to spool line onto a reel and how to lay out line to dry at the end of the day.  A group of men also discuss equipment and close-ups are shot of various artificial lures.  This silent film was produced during the '20's.  (National Film Board of Canada)

Nibigami Muskies
This silent film was made during the 20's at Kenneally Lodge near Hudson, Ontario.  It features some great footage of fishermen boarding a Canadian Airways Fairchild seaplane with some aerial shots of Nibigami and the plane landing on Cliff Lake.  Muskies are the real star of this film with plenty of fishing action.  A Canadian National Railways train rushes by the camera as a final compilation shot of a map of Canada in the background.  (National Film Board of Canada)

Fishin' the High Spots
Maligne Lake, the finest trout lake in American, had just one point short of perfection:  no fish.  Then speckled trout were planted in its glacial waters.  This '30's film features tourists at Jasper Lodge on horseback, including a sighting of a bear running and climbing a tree!  Two fishermen battle with trout while a porcupine sits on a log floating on water.  (National Film Board of Canada)

This silent film was produced in the 30's in Canada.  It features muskie fishing on Cliff Lake at Minaki Lodge in Ontario. There are also some aerial shots of the lake from a seaplane and the plane racing with a train.  (National Film Board of Canada)

Secrets -- Superior National Forest

Redwood Empire Sports Parade

Lake Trout Thrills

Where Trout Abound

Fighting Salmon

Fisherman's Choice -- Lake Trout or Muskies

Canoeing for Trout


All photos and content copyrighted 2001and 2002 by Marie R. Munson.  Please contact me at bbroreno@aol.com for permission to use any and all photos or content on this Web site.