Archives for June 2012

SoCal Sticks of the Past – Dick Trask

Dick Trask holding his big fish award for the West Coast Bass Tournament Organization’s San Antonio tournament. He paired with Scott Gantz and also took first place.

“I learned so much from him – he had a lot of influence on my fishing. His offshore techniques taught me a lot and I’m sure the way he held on a spot had an effect on the way I do things today. I wish I could have fished with him more.”  2005 BASS Angler of the Year, Aaron Martens.

[Editor’s Note] I originally authored this article for Bass West USA in 2007. I would like to thank them for allowing me to reprint it in full here on the Bass Fishing Archives. For those who will argue that using a split-shot in front of a worm was invented long before the early 70s, you are correct. The specific technique in which Dick Trask developed along with the dart-head technique were solely his.


It isn’t often a person comes along and changes the status-quo in bass fishing. People such as Dee Thomas, Buck Perry, Billy Westmorland, Charlie Brewer and Ray Scott have all made major contributions to the world of bass fishing and without them, the sport as we know it today, wouldn’t exist. [Read more…]

Build Your Own Bass Boat 70s Style

A couple weeks ago we posted a piece on building a bass boat control center. The article was based on an article written by Howard A. Bach in the 1973 Bassmaster Fishing Annual. While writing that piece it occurred to me how in the early days, especially in the West where there weren’t many bass boats, all that was required to bass fish was a boat, some tackle and a desire to catch bass.

This was evident in the early magazines because a large number of the articles had pictures of anglers fishing out of their small aluminum boats – not full-blown bass boats mind you – catching fish. A good example is the opening picture for this article. [Read more…]

Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Motor-Guide not-so-Magic Carpet. 1982.

In the old days, as boats got bigger and their weights got heavier, the need for more thrust from the troller became evident. The technology of the day made it difficult to design a motor that would put out more than 30 pounds of thrust without making the motor too big and/or have to operate on 16 batteries.

So, in order to placate this need, in 1982 Motor Guide came out with their solution to the problem.

If one trolling motor head put out 27 pounds of thrust, all we have to do is add another head and we’ll get 54 pounds of thrust. Right?

Well, the idea was great – what they didn’t consider was: a) the weight of two heads and their geometry wasn’t amenable to the bows of bass boats and b) if one head drains your batteries in 8 hours of fishing, two will certainly drain them in half a day. But those were just menial little problems. They had a 54-pound thrust troller! [Read more…]

Bass Fishing Memorabilia – Who’s with Woo?

Woo Daves at the 2012 Bassmaster Virginia Northern Open with his Woo Fans. Photo BFA Pete Robbins.

When the Bassmaster Classic came to Richmond, Virginia for a three-year stint from 1988 through 1990, many pundits predicted that local pro Woo Daves would have at least one Classic trophy on his mantle by the time 1990 was complete. The veteran pro reputedly knew every stick-up, wing dam, duck blind and rock pile on both the James River and its major tributaries, the Chickahominy and Appomattox Rivers.

Daves put together three quality performances in those hometown Classics, but despite finishing in the top five each time, he was never able to win on the James. In 1988, he finished 2nd to Guido Hibdon, missing the title by a mere 6 ounces. The following year he finished 5th, shy of Hank Parker’s winning mark by nearly 5 pounds (once again Hibdon was one spot ahead of him, besting Woo’s weight by a mere 13 ounces). In 1990, Rick Clunn blew away the field with a monstrous final day catch and Daves finished 4th with 25-13. He was remarkably consistent over those three Classics, averaging no less than 8 pounds 10 ounces per day and no more than 9 pounds 6 ounces per day in any of them. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – A Very Close Call

The February 2004 FLW Tour event on the Atchafalaya Basin featured an even 200 anglers in the field, but for me it’s notable not just for who did fish, but for who didn’t make it to the event.

Do you remember which angler was supposed to fish that tournament but never made the first cast? [Read more…]

Homer Circle – Thank You for All You’ve Done

Homer Circle 1914 – 2012.

By now many of you already know the sad news that one of Bass Fishing’s most cherished writers, communicators and advocates, Homer Circle, passed Friday, June 22, 2012. Homer Circle is one of the few people who has been around since the dawn of the sport and over his career in the fishing business touched many lives with his teachings. He coupled with Glen Lau to produce the films Bigmouth and Bigmouth Forever and did similar viedos with the acclaimed Lindner Family. He was editor of Outdoor Life for a few decades and wrote a number of books on the subject of bass fishing. His works have touched the lives of nearly every bass angler.

Over the course of the next month or so, Bass Fishing Archives will be doing a tribute to “Uncle Homer” for all he has done for us.

Thank you Uncle Homer for your work and dedication to our sport.

Bass Master Classic III – This Ain’t Mutual of Omaha

Just like the prior two Bass Master Classics, the third Classic was also a secret. This time, though, we were heading to Clarks Hill Lake on the Georgia/South Carolina border.

We were going to stay on the South Carolina side of the lake and had set up to use a new resort, Hickory Knob Resort, that was just being completed. Prior to the event, we made a trip to the resort to check it out.

The resort was located a long way from any town and a new road had been cut through the pine forest in order to reach it. Once we got there we noticed that the place had a very large barn and some smaller buildings located behind it that would be perfect for hiding the boats during their assembly. [Read more…]

Inexpensive or Cheap?

Bass Buster ad from 1972

Oh the days when I could go into a TG&Y or Woolworths, head down the tackle isle, pick up five purple Tarantulas, pay the cashier $4.95 plus the 6% California sales tax and head to my local golf course pond for some fishing after school. This was a pretty common affair for me as a 12-year-old kid.

I have no clue how many Bass Buster Tarantulas, Beetle Spins and Scorpions I went through between the ages of 12 and 14 but it was a lot. Then at 14, I started working at the tackle shop and my days of the “cheap” lures were over – I had to buy the “better” Markey spinnerbaits at $2.99 and the Beetle Spin turned into a “crappie” lure. I wasn’t a crappie fisherman – pun intended. [Read more…]

The Willoughby – Or is that Will-not-oughby?

Willoughby ad from the March/April 1975 Issue of Bass Master Magazine.

The cover of the March/April 1975 Bass Master has a picture of what I thought was just an old antique reel. Kind of a fly reel-looking sort of deal. I figured, “Eh, Bass Master has an article on old antique fishing gear this issue. Cool.”

As I flipped through the magazine and landed on page 20, though, I realized this was no antique tackle article, it was about some guy trying to bring back to life an antique reel – namely the Willoughby.

Okay, I’m all for collecting and/or fishing antique gear. It’s fun and gives you an idea of what the people – a long time before me – had to deal with when they went fishing. For example I have some old Garcia 301s (not really that old) that are fun to pull out every now and then and some old Plfuegar direct-drive knuckle busters with cat-gut line on them that make me feel for anglers of the past. Do I seriously fish with them? No.

Anyway, the article is about bringing back this archaic reel because it retrieves line faster than any casting reel of the time – 20 inches per turn of the handle as opposed to 16 inches by an ABU 5000-series reel. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: 1973 Bass Master Trail – Part Three

Rayo Breckenridge holds the 1973 Bass Master Classic trophy. I wonder if he went to the same tailor as Ricky Green? Photo: Cover photo Jan/Feb issue of Bass Master Magazine.

This is Part Three of the three-part series on the 1973 Bass Master Tournament Series. To read Part One click here, to read Part Two click here and to read the ’73 Classic Anglers’ Profiles click here.


The third Bass Master Classic was again another “mystery lake” in the annals of Bass Master Classics. In the previous two events, Ray Scott had waited for the chartered jet to reach 10,000 feet before announcing the destination to the Classic contenders. This flight, though, would be different.

Scott not only waited to tell the contestants, he waited until the flight was almost over and they were flying a circle above Clark’s Hill Reservoir before he made the announcement. Here’s out it went according to Bob Cobb in the January/February issue of Bass Master Magazine.

“We’re going to circle the lake in a minute, anyone see anything familiar? That’s Clark Hill Reservoir…..Junior Collis, we’ve brought you home.”

It was Collis’ first Classic and he’d recently won one of the toughest events in B.A.S.S. history in May at Lake Keowee. Now Scott was taking him to his home lake. He was an obvious favorite right from the start. [Read more…]

Scorecard Snapshot – Which of these anglers isn’t like the others?


Rick Clunn won his fourth Bassmaster Classic title in 1990, a record he now shares with Kevin VanDam. It was an outstanding performance, as he vaulted forward from 10th place (a deficit of nearly 10 pounds) after Day Two to claim the title.

Clunn’s personal effort on the James River was certainly noteworthy, especially considering the depth of the field, which included seven other Classic winners – George Cochran, Woo Daves, Hank Parker, Guido Hibdon, Ken Cook, Larry Nixon and Tommy Martin – in the 41 man field. Daves was a hometown favorite and both Parker and Hibdon had already won Classic titles on the James. Clunn’s 18-07 bag the final day was the largest limit weighed in during any of the three consecutive James River Classic.

However, there was one “outsider,” an angler whose credentials and background were different than all the rest. Can you guess who it was? For a hint, look to the bottom of the scoresheet. [Read more…]

The Writers – Rich Zaleski

Zaleski hoisting a stout New England bass he caught in cold water. He was one, if not the first writer to talk about how bass bunch up in cold water. Photo courtesy of Rich Zaleski.

Editor’s Note: This series is dedicated to those people who penned the many articles we read in order to learn more about our sport and become better anglers. Sure it may have been the anglers who developed the techniques, lures and equipment we use today but it was the writers’ job to make sure these bits of information got to the masses. Without the writers to communicate this, the world of bass fishing would be very different today.


Over the course of time there have been a number of writers who have helped advance the sport of bass fishing not by just communicating what well-known anglers were doing but by applying the scientific approach to their own bass fishing and relating their observations to the masses. Names like Al and Ron Lindner, Doug Stange and Steve Quinn all come to mind when one thinks of the scientific approach to fishing. Another name that falls into this category is Rich Zaleski.

Rich has spent a lifetime studying and writing about the sport – in that order. During the interview for this article I asked him what he liked to write about most and his answer was, “I like to write about what I learn bass fishing. I don’t like to write someone else’s story, I want to write about my studies on the water and how they’ve made me a better angler.” [Read more…]