Trolling Motors of the Past – Part One

Shakespear TM1 231x300 Trolling Motors of the Past – Part One

23 pounds of thrust to get you from here to there….eventually.

As you cruise around the lake this weekend under 101 pounds of electrically-generated thrust, pity the poor anglers living in the early 1980s who had to tool around on no more than 30 pounds. Actually, don’t pity them too much – they probably thought their 23 pounds of thrust (from a single battery!) was the cat’s meow.

Does anyone even run a trolling motor of 23 pounds or less on a jon boat these days? I doubt that Shakespeare’s 12 and 15 pound thrust models could pull most of my tournament partners’ tackle bags across the street, let alone pull a whole boat into oncoming current. The arms race in electrics may be the most unsung hero in the quest for better angling over the past 30 years.

And when did Shakespeare stop making electrics?

SoCal Sticks from the Past – Jack O’Malley

Jack OMalley Piru2 120x300 SoCal Sticks from the Past   Jack OMalley

Jack O’Malley of the West Valley Bassmasters hoists a 10-pound northern taken on a jig. Photo courtesy of Dave Coolidge.

Sticks from the Past is a column devoted to anglers who made an impact either in their local region or state. They’re the anglers who made all the other anglers shudder when they plopped down their entry fees. In this first installment we look at one of southern California’s hottest anglers in the 70s, 80s and 90s – Jack O’Malley.

During the late 70s and 80s, I had the opportunity to work in one of California’s best tackle shops. Here I heard tales of legendary western anglers and their exploits on the water. One name that always came up was Jack O’Malley of the West Valley Bassmasters. By the early 80s, I was fishing against Jack in local team events. At that time, he was known as one of the best, if not the best, jig fisherman in the state. And he had a lot of competition during that time from the likes of Mike Folkestad and Larry Hopper. [Read more...]

Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail – Part Three

Bobby Murray BMClassic 19711 225x300 Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail – Part Three

Bobby Murray with his final-day string and Ray Scott presenting him with the $10,000 check for winning the first Bass Master Classic. Photo Bass Master Magazine Jan/Feb 1972.

This is part three of a three-part series on the 1971 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. To read Part One, click here and to read Part Two, click here.

The conclusion of the 1971 tournament season brought on a new twist in bass fishing – the first Bass Masters Classic – which would determine the first bass fishing World Champion. All year anglers fished to qualify for this event and at the end of the regular season, the top 24 anglers were secretly placed on an airplane in Atlanta, GA and whisked through the sky westward to their final destination.

Once the plane hit the 10,000-foot level, Ray Scott stood up and announced the final destination for the event, Lake Mead in the stark Nevada desert. Here are a few of Ray’s words taken from the Jan/Feb issue of Bass Master Magazine regarding the disclosure of the event site.

“We’ve got the best bass fishermen in the world on this plane. You wouldn’t expect the World Series to be played on a Little League ball yard. Neither would you expect the World Championship of Bass Fishing to be held in a fish hatchery. We’re headed for Lake Mead on the Nevada-Arizona border. It will be the toughest fishing test of your angling careers. But, it’ll be worth it. To the victor goes $10,000 cash.” [Read more...]

Check out my Chef Boyardee Signature Series Lizard

FFormula Resized23 224x300 Check out my Chef Boyardee Signature Series Lizard

But garlic wasn’t always associated with attracting bass.

Look at this clip from the June 1994 issue of Bassmaster, advertising the fact that Fish Formula had introduced a garlic-scented concoction. “[T] he garlic is intended as a masking scent, rather than as an attractant,” the article stated. It’s still far from scientifically proven that garlic is the ideal masking agent, but unlike the “Ooze” product written up in the same article, it seems to have stood the test of time.

 

 

The Birth of the Flippin’ Stik – Part One

Thomas Hauck Meyers Flippin2 300x254 The Birth of the Flippin Stik   Part One

Dee Thomas explains the concept of Flippin’ to Fenwick’s Dave Myers.

This is part one of a two-part series on the advent of the Flippin’ Stik. I had the pleasure of discussing the subject with Dee Thomas, the father of flipping, and Dave Myers, the brains behind the design of the blank. In this installment, Thomas talks about his first tournaments, how he felt he couldn’t compete and the eventual protests from fellow competitors surrounding the long rod. To read Part Two, click here.

 

Dee Thomas’ early tournament endeavors were met with mixed results and mixed reviews. Most tournament bass anglers at the time considered his use of 12-foot rods as ‘unsportsmanlike’ and ‘something only a meat hunter would use.’ The 12-foot rod wasn’t something ‘a serious tournament angler would even consider.’

[Read more...]

Bass Pro Christmas 1976 – New Snow Suits Endorsed by LT. Dangle

BPS Snow Mobile Suit ad Xmas 1976 224x300 Bass Pro Christmas 1976   New Snow Suits Endorsed by LT. Dangle

Bass Pro Shops Christmas 1976 Winter Clothing Ad reprinted with permission from the 1976 Winter Issue of Western Bass Magazine.

Back in the days before really good cold-weather gear, serious anglers all needed something to keep them warm from the elements – especially during winter. Back then there wasn’t much to choose from. Either you used expensive ski gear or a one-piece snow mobile suit like shown at the left.

[Read more...]

The California Lunker Club: Dave Coolidge – Part Two

Coolidge Gardner1 178x300 The California Lunker Club: Dave Coolidge   Part TwoThis is part two of a two-part article on the first California bass tournament organization. This article was completed in part by interviewing Dave Coolidge, the founder of the California Lunker Club (CLC) and taking excerpts from the August 1974 issue of the CLC magazine. Excerpts are italicized. To read Part One, click here.

In Part One, Dave Coolidge talked about the humble beginnings of the CLC and how he brought together bass anglers from San Diego to Los Angeles. In Part Two, Coolidge discusses those early tournament days, the difficulties he had with CA DFG officials that Catch-and-Release was good and how he turned public perception of bass tournaments around in California.

[Read more...]

Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail – Part Two

John Powell Back to back Champion Sept Oct Bassmaster1 284x300 Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail   Part Two

John Powell hefts a 40-pound Sam Rayburn string that took him to his second win in a row. Photo Bassmaster Magazine Sept/Oct 1971.

This is part two of a three-part series on the 1971 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. To read part one, click here.

A brief look at the standings from the first two events, as shown in part one of this article, reveals what could possibly be a significant omission – Bill Dance, the 1970 Angler of the Year winner and the guy who’d won more B.A.S.S. events and money than any other angler – is absent from the standings. This is significant because tournament fans all over at the time were looking for another Dance, Mann and Martin showdown. Unfortunately for Dance, and possibly fortunate for Roland Martin, he had just started his famed fishing show, “Bill Dance Outdoors,” and would not make any of the events slated during the ’71 season. [Read more...]

Graphite Rods: Only for the Wealthy Angler?

Cost of New Graphite Rods 1974 300x270 Graphite Rods:  Only for the Wealthy Angler?

Figure 1. Click on image to view larger version.

In today’s bass scene, anglers complain about the high cost of nearly everything associated with the sport. Twenty-dollar crankbaits, $400 reels and $60,000 bass boats seem the norm. Everyone complains that in order to stay competitive, like the pros, they too need the high-dollar gear. Recently I was leafing through the 1974 March/April issue of Bass Master Magazine and came across this little gem of an article on the “new” graphite rods that were soon to be debuted. I thought it was interesting – not only because of the nostalgia but because the same was true back then. Equipment costs were beginning to skyrocket for those who wanted to stay competitive.

[Read more...]

Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Tom Mann Seminole Champ May June 1971 Bassmaster 300x2842 Season at a Glance: 1971 Bassmaster Trail   Part One

Tom Mann wins the first event of 1971 at Lake Seminole just edging out Roland Martin. Photo Bassmaster Magazine May/June 1971.

This is part one of a three-part series on the 1971 Bassmaster Tournament Trail. Because some information in the Nov/Dec Issue of Bass Master Magazine was a little fuzzy, retired Bassmaster Weigh-master Harold Sharp was consulted to clear things up.

The 1971 Bassmaster season or as they used to call it, “The Society’s Tournament Trail,” became the second-such season where an angler would be recognized for consistency throughout the year. Many know Bill Dance was the first angler to win the Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) award in 1970. The interesting thing in this report is the title, as called out in the 1971 Nov/Dec issue of Bassmaster Magazine, was referred to as the Point Scoring Crown. More on this later. [Read more...]