Archives for December 2014

Smallmouth Magazine – Volume 1 Issue 10

Don Wirth hold a nice smallie fishing the Do-Nothin' technique. Photo Smallmouth Newsletter Volume I Issue X October 1985.

Don Wirth hold a nice smallie fishing the Do-Nothin’ technique. Photo Smallmouth Newsletter Volume I Issue X October 1985.

The October issue of Smallmouth Newsletter went back to the original four-page layout of most of the other 1985 issues but this one was jam packed with some really good pieces. For one, the newsletter starts out with an article by Tom Zenanko on targeting Autumn smallies. A good overall piece that would give the would-be smallie angler a good idea what to expect when chasing the brown fish as the weather turned cooler.

The second page, though, had a really good piece by Bassmaster writer and Harry-n-Charlie legend, Don Wirth. Wirth wrote about using Bassmaster Classic winner Jack Chancellor’s Do-Nothin’ technique to wrangle smallies. In typical Wirth fashion, the article has a couple of good one-liners but most of all, it’s filled with great tips on how to fish the rig for smallmouths. [Read more…]

Christmas Gifts 1976/7 – Tackle Boxes

1976 Bass Pro Shops Christmas Ad.

1976 Bass Pro Shops Christmas Ad.

In keeping with the Holiday spirit, here are a couple of ads from 1976 and 1977 regarding tackle boxes. The first ad, again from a 1976 Western Bass Magazine, is from a Bass Pro spread in the winter issue. The ad features two BPS tackle boxes and a Plano 777.

I don’t know if you remember the old BPS boxes but they weren’t the best quality made. The boxes like the Lunker Lunch Box – made of yellow ABS plastic – tended to warp in the hot sun and would fail to stay closed after a while.

The Bass’n Buddy Crank/Spinnerbait box was a copy of the old Flambeau 2275 Crank/Spinnerbait box that was a mainstay of the day. It was a great design for both blades and cranks but seems to have been thrown aside for the 3700-style boxes we see today. [Read more…]

Smallmouth Magazine – Volume 1 Issue 9

Smallmouth Volume I Issue IX[Editor’s note: Monday Trivia won’t return until next Monday January 5, 2015 in observance of the Holiday season. In its place we bring you a continuation of the Smallmouth Newsletters from 1985]

The September, 1985 issue of Smallmouth was a full six pages filled with a lot of good content and hardly any advertisements. In fact, advertisements to date had been limited to a half column ad for companies such as Kunnan Rods, Fish Formula and Bass Hunter Lures.

Issue 9 starts off with a piece by Al Smith on fly rod smallmouth. It’s a good article on what is needed to target the brown fish in small, rarely fished streams. It’s another example of how Tom Rodgers was trying to get everyone involved with bass fishing, fly rodders included. [Read more…]

Christmas Gifts 1976 – Fenwick Lunkerstiks

1976 Bass Pro Shops Christmas ad for Fenwick Lunkerstiks.

1976 Bass Pro Shops Christmas ad for Fenwick Lunkerstiks.

Last year we ran a segment over the Christmas break that a lot of people seemed to enjoy. It was comprised of old Christmas ads from some of the magazines we have, namely from the 2-year-old Bass Pro Shops. Well, we still have a few of those BPS ads along with a couple others that we’ll share over the next few days.

Today we look at one of the items Johnny Morris had for sale during the 1976 Christmas holiday – Fenwick Lunkerstik 1400s. Graphite rods were well on their way to becoming the staple for all fishing and it seems that Morris may have bought all the glass Lunkerstiks that Fenwick had in stock. If you read the ad, you’ll see that he’s selling these glass rods, the best glass bass rods at the time, for under $19. [Read more…]

Smallmouth Magazine – Volume 1 Issue 8

David L. Hayes poses with his world record smallmouth bass. Smallmouth Newsletter Volume I Issue VIII August 1985.

David L. Hayes poses with his world record smallmouth bass. Smallmouth Newsletter Volume I Issue VIII August 1985.

In August 1985, Tom Rodger’s Smallmouth Newsletter continued as a four-page monthly with Billy Westmorland opening up the issue with some night-time tips on catching smallies in the hottest month of the year. The article itself is short but full of the best information from the time – but some of his suggestions now seem a bit dated. For example, his comments about spinnerbaits not being a good choice for daytime smallmouth fishing seems a bit crazy. Westmorland, who was a proponent of small lures for smallies, didn’t seem too confident in bigger baits – and who was to argue with Mr. Smallmouth? I just wonder if he’d lived longer whether or not he’d have changed his mind. [Read more…]

Merry Christmas 2014

fishing-christmas-cardThe staff at the Bass Fishing Archives would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We will be taking the rest of the year off to spend with our families and will not be posting the standard daily features until January 5, 2015. Until then, we’ll continue to post the Smallmouth Newsletters from the year 1985 starting tomorrow with the August issue and finishing on Jan 2 with the December issue.

We sincerely thank you for your continued support over this year and the past three years we’ve been online. We hope 2015 brings you much happiness, success and, of course, big fish!

The Staff at the Bass Fishing Archives.

Monday Trivia – Guido Gitzem at the St. Johns Answer and Winner (Dec 22, 2014)

Kevin VanDam. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Kevin VanDam. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Merry Christmas and congratulations to Steve Q for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers to this week’s contest, please read below. The next trivia contest will be posted January 5, 2015.

It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when a Kevin VanDam top-10 finish was anything other than a routine occurrence, but if you head back to 1991, the 22 year-old Michigan pro was just getting started and not quite yet a household name. Fishing his 8th B.A.S.S. event that February on Florida’s St. Johns River, Van Dam finished second to veteran Guido Hibdon, and just ahead of another legend, Roland Martin.

The 1991 Florida Invitational on the St. Johns marked VanDam’s best B.A.S.S. finish to that point, besting the 3rd-place finish he’d earned the prior September on New York’s St. Lawrence River[], a tournament in which he also fell one place behind Hibdon in the final standings. He “finally” earned his first bass victory in December of 1991 at Lake Lanier where he outlasted six former and future Classic winners in the top 10, including Denny Brauer (2nd), Rick Clunn (3rd), David Fritts (4th), Bob Hamilton Jr. (6th), Mark Davis (10th) and – you guessed it – Hibdon (7th). [Read more…]

More Cuba – The 1978 ABF Bass Tournament

Anglers flew to Mexico in order to get to Cuba. Read the original caption from the Mar/Apr 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman to see who was signing up. Photo American Bass Fisherman magazine.

Anglers flew to Mexico in order to get to Cuba. Read the original caption from the Mar/Apr 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman to see who was signing up. Photo American Bass Fisherman magazine.

Last week when Pete posted the piece on the relaxing of political ties between the U.S. and Cuba – and the renewed possibilities of U.S. anglers being able to fish the mythical lakes on the island – it jogged my memory of the first (maybe the only) bass tournament ever held on the island. That event was sponsored by the now-defunct American Bass Fishing organization who used Dan Snow as the conduit for getting a number of American anglers from the U.S. to Cuba via a tortuous path through Mexico. [Read more…]

Holy Mackerel!

Holy Mackerel, Batman!

Holy Mackerel, Batman!

That’s what a lot of guys were saying when they recently watched the sale of a Storm Wiggle Wart go down on Ebay. We have posted before about similar lures that went for lofty prices. For example, the Arbogast Jitterbug that went for $155. However, there were still some West coast swimbaiters who laughed at that, casually mentioning that they paid over $400 for their Roman Made Mother – just kidding guys. But we do have one that will now top all of those – and by a long shot!

Because the V44 Wiggle Wart that just sold, a new-in-the-box and still sealed Blue Mackerel color, one of the rarest regular color pattern Warts made, went for more than $3,300. Go ahead and read that line again, because it’s not a typo. This bait was a limited production color made for the salmon fishermen of the Pacific Northwest. I’m guessing based on the price that it is safe to say that bait won’t be thrown anytime soon over on one of the Ozark lakes by some tourney competitor. Below is a snapshot of the final sale price. I can only hope the seller went ahead and threw in FREE shipping with this one, and didn’t tag the buyer for the extra $5.00 – LOL.

WW_Rare_Final

Monday Trivia – Guido Gitzem at the St. Johns (Dec 22, 2014)

Kevin VanDam. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Kevin VanDam. Photo Bassmaster.com.

It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when a Kevin VanDam top-10 finish was anything other than a routine occurrence, but if you head back to 1991, the 22 year-old Michigan pro was just getting started and not quite yet a household name. Fishing his 8th B.A.S.S. event that February on Florida’s St. Johns River, Van Dam finished second to veteran Guido Hibdon, and just ahead of another legend, Roland Martin.

The 1991 Florida Invitational on the St. Johns marked VanDam’s best B.A.S.S. finish to that point, besting the 3rd-place finish he’d earned the prior September on New York’s St. Lawrence River, a tournament in which he also fell one place behind Hibdon in the final standings. He “finally” earned his first bass victory in December of 1991 at Lake Lanier where he outlasted six former and future Classic winners in the top 10, including Denny Brauer (2nd), Rick Clunn (3rd), David Fritts (4th), Bob Hamilton Jr. (6th), Mark Davis (10th) and – you guessed it – Hibdon (7th). [Read more…]

Casting With (or Without) Castro

2000px-Flag_of_Cuba.svgPrior to Manabu Kurita’s catch of a 22 pound 5 ounce largemouth bass in July of 2009, there was much speculation in the bass world that a new record fish might come from a foreign country, but few guessed that the country to produce such a bass would be Japan. Generally it was assumed that if it did not come from Florida, Texas or California, the next record would be from some country south of Florida. Some argued that it would be a Central American country like Honduras, but most of the attention was focused on the Caribbean island of Cuba, just 90 miles from Key West.

That presented a problem for American record-seeking bass junkies, because for all meaningful purposes Cuba was off limits to them. Subsequent to the revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959, the country took control of property owned by American businesses (e.g., sugar companies) and the relationship between the two countries soured rapidly. In 1961, the Cubans resisted a military effort led by the US government at the Bay of Pigs, and shortly thereafter the Cuban Missile Crisis arguably brought us as close to nuclear war as we’ve ever come. [Read more…]

Smallmouth Magazine – Volume 1 Issue 7

Smallmouth Magazine Newsletter, Volume 1 Issue 7, July 1985 cover page.

Smallmouth Magazine Newsletter, Volume 1 Issue 7, July 1985 cover page.

Today we continue looking at the first year of Smallmouth, this time volume 1 issue 6. It’s a cool issue in that on the front cover, long-time bass fishing writer Darl Black has a feature on Lake Erie smallmouth fishing. Black gives a complete synopsis on the fishery and it’s really interesting to compare to the Lake Erie fishery we have today. For example, gone are the hordes of pelagic smallmouth that used to feed on the schooling herring in 40, 50 and even 60 feet of water. If you’re a Lake Erie enthusiast, it’s a great article to read. [Read more…]