Last week Paul Nuzum of Del City sent me photos of an Okiebug coin.
Okiebug was the famed tackle store in Tulsa founded by Don Butler, who won the second Bassmaster Classic in 1972 and was the first member of B.A.S.S., the Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society.
Butler died in 2004.
I had never seen such a coin and both Nuzum’s research efforts and mine to learn more about the coin have been futile. The back of the coin has an inscription in a language we haven’t been able to identify. I forwarded the photos to an antique tackle collector in Edmond, but he had not seen the coin before, either.
“I have searched every possible avenue trying to find someone who can tell me what these symbols say or mean,” Nuzum said.
Gene Gilliland, fisheries biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said state wildlife officials even took a crack at it.
“We looked every language we could find to see if it matched but came up empty,” he said.
One person thought the inscription was a good luck message to bass fishermen, but we are not sure.
So we are asking for help. If anyone can tell us about the history of the Okiebug coin and what the inscription means, please let us know.