Beginner July 2017 News/Columns Whisker Whackers

A lost treasure found, Vicious colored minnows

It was an accident of sorts. The outcome stirred the fishing world. The intent of South Carolina pest control guy, Harold Collins, was to create a way to keep his minnows alive longer. Collins concocted a mixture of chemicals that he thought would do the trick. The result was to turn the minnows blue.

Collins must have been pleasantly surprised. He engaged the help of chemist friend, Kim Senn for a little help with what became his new project. The duo spent the next eight months developing what he called the Minnow Magic Coloring System. Their final concoction safely colored minnows Fluorescent Pink, 14 Karat Gold and Outrageous Orange.

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The Minnow Magic dye was popular enough that it caught the eye of Field & Stream Magazine. In 1998 the magazine published a “Best of the Best” column where 25 items were chosen from all sorts of “…hunting gear, fishing tackle and related stuff.” Listed in no particular order, Minnow Magic Coloring System was among those top 25 items.

Somewhere along the way the product vanished from the market only to be rediscovered by George Pfeiffer, himself an avid angler. “I was setting in a coffee shop and the owner asked me to get something for him. I reached up on a shelf in the cabinet where he had directed me. I noticed a strange container. I picked it up and read a label that said Minnow Magic. I turned to the coffee shop owner and asked what it was.”

The response was simple. “These two guys figured our how to dye live baitfish.”

This random finding led Pfeiffer on a long journey of discovery, anticipation and finally success. “I knew,” said Pfeiffer, “having something that could actually dye live bait would be huge.”

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Pfeiffer began wondering how he could find out more. A little more questioning led him to discover that the inventor had a widow. “I actually went back and I goggled the topic,” explained Pfeiffer. “Interestingly enough there are blogs out there with people asking if anyone knew where to buy Minnow Magic.”

Pfeiffer’s research indicated that the product was on the market for about a year before disappearing. “I was very motivated and inspired when I saw that information on the blogs,” declared Pfeiffer.

He finally found a phone number for Collins’s widow. “After numerous phone calls I was able to track her down. I got her on the phone and she was very nice, very cordial, but really kind of hesitant. She said she no longer had any of the stuff related to the dye. She had given everything to a relative.”

Pfeiffer asked the widow if she would share the relatives phone number. She told him to call her back in a month and she would have the number.

He made the call a month later and was able to get the new contact number. “I called and left him numerous messages,” recounted Pfeiffer.  “Finally he picked up one day only to say he wasn’t interested.”

Not one to give up easily Pfeiffer continued to encourage his contact to meet and discuss the dye. “I said please, I will drive wherever you are. He finally agreed. I asked him when, and we set a time.”

“We met. He was a real nice guy. I think I built enough credibility with him and he finally said OK. He asked me to come back the following week to see just what he had.”

At the next meeting Pfeiffer discovered that his contact had box loads of material. “I thought it was surprising how much stuff he had for the short time that Minnow Magic was around,” said Pfeiffer. “There were newspaper articles and a video that had played on the local news station. They did almost a five-minute news story on these guys, it was big news.”

“He also showed me a cover from Field & Stream Magazine that these guys where on. Inside the magazine Minnow Magic was recognized as one of the “Best of the Best” products for 1998. I was even that much more inspired and motivated.”

“We struck a deal on a handshake,” said Pfeiffer. “Unfortunately, some of the formula was missing. I was able to get in touch with the guy who assisted the guy with the formula that past away. Working in conjunction with yet another guy who was a chemist, we were able to get the colors they had as well as add some additional colors.”

Pfeiffer decided on Magic Fish Dye for a name and went to ICAST 2014 to test the waters. “In my 24 hours in Orlando I must have had 40 people come up to me and say this is amazing, this is big. Once again I was inspired. I knew I had something great. People loved the product.”

Pfeiffer’s thoughts were to produce and distribute the product himself. “Almost immediately I got a $20,000 order,” exclaimed Pfeiffer. “I began to think this is crazy, little ole George may not be able to do this alone. I may need to engage some folks that know the industry, the people and the distribution channels.”

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After lots of conversations Pfeiffer struck a deal and decided to become part of the Vicious family of fishing products. “We are now Vicious Bait Dye,” disclosed Pfeiffer. The new Vicious Bait Dye was unveiled at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando.

“We are extremely pleased with the reception we received at ICAST 2015,” said Pfeiffer.  “Visitors to the Vicious booth were nothing short of amazed. I heard statements like, this is a game changer; there is nothing on the market like this; and you should have won new product of the year. It was nothing but positive.”

When put to the test the dye adheres to the outside of the bait in as little as five minutes. The dye is biodegradable, and if used as directed, will not harm the bait or the fish that eat the bait. It is not just for minnows. Try it on your shad, shiners, chub, shrimp, mullet, herring, suckers, squid and more.

The new Vicious Bait Dye adds a new dimension to fishing. They offer the natural smell, wiggle and taste of live bait and the colors associated with artificial baits. With Vicious Bait Dye anglers can have their live bait in one of four colors: gold, orange, pink or purple.

Nature gives minnows a color that blends in with their natural surroundings so they can hide from predators. Minnows dyed with this new product will have nowhere to hide.

For more information on Vicious Bait Dye visit their website at

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