Your Legacy Will Live On Harold

Harold Sharp B.A.S.S. Tournament Director 1970 to 1986.

Harold Sharp B.A.S.S. Tournament Director 1970 to 1986.

Without fail, it seems every year one of bass fishing’s forefathers passes to the great lake in the sky and the sport is left with a gaping hole. In 2012 we lost Homer Circle and in 2013, Doug Hannon. In January of this year we lost lure giant Cotton Cordell and I was hoping that would be it – there just aren’t many of the old-timers left – and from my selfish perspective, they have so much to offer with respect to the history of our beloved sport.

Then last week, we lost a man who helped change the sport of bass fishing to make it what it is today. That man was Harold Sharp. Yes, Ray Scott gets the credit for starting the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society – that fact will never be argued. And, Ray started the sport the right way, by making sure there was a firm set of rules and that every angler adhered to them. But it was Harold Sharp who, along with Ray Scott, wrote the B.A.S.S. rules, regulations and bylaws, started the B.A.S.S. Chapter (what would eventually become The Federation/Nation) and started the Chattanooga Bass Club – all in the same night. (if you’d like to read the story, click on this link from one of Harold’s columns back from March, 2013) [Read more…]

Bass Fishing 1961

Before Charlie Campbell was making waves with the Zara Spook on the Bassmaster Tour, he was making his name in Missouri as a guide. Photo 1961 Don Fuelsch Southern Anglers Guide.

Before Charlie Campbell was making waves with the Zara Spook on the Bassmaster Tour, he was making his name in Missouri as a guide. Photo 1961 Don Fuelsch Southern Anglers Guide.

Bass-specific magazines didn’t come around until the Spring 1968 issue of Bassmaster hit B.A.S.S. members’ mailboxes. Prior to that, bass anglers had to wade through the outdoors magazines of the time in order to get their fix of bass fishing information. Having a good number of vintage outdoors magazines, it was mostly famine rather than feast when it came to learning out to catch bass from periodicals.

One publication that was first published in 1961 did provide a lot of information on the five Ws of bass fishing – the Who, What, Where, Why and When. That publication, and we’ve mentioned it here a number of times, was Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler and Hunters Guide. I’m still trying to figure out exactly who Fuelsch was, that’ll be another story in time, but I can say this with confidence, he put together one of the most complete compilations of fishing information I’ve seen. [Read more…]

Classic Patches – 1981 through 1990

1981 Bassmaster Classic Patch.

1981 Bassmaster Classic Patch.

Back in early May we posted a piece about early Bassmaster Classic patches that Stan Fagerstrom had collected over the years – 23 years to be exact. In that first post we went through the first 10 years of Classic patches, 1971 through 1980. The post got a low of views and interest, especially from BFA contributor and supporter, Harold Sharp.

Harold was really interested in the first Classic patch – from Lake Mead 1971. In an email to me the day after the post, Harold asked where Stan had gotten that patch, because he doesn’t remember a patch ever being made and distributed to the anglers and writers. He had me ask Stan if he remembered how he came about the patch. I did so and Stan didn’t remember how he got it, just assuming he got it at the Classic like he had so many other patches over time. The mystery was on. [Read more…]

Swedish Record Ambassadeur – 1954

Swedish Record Ambassadeur 5000 ad from June 1954. From The Fisherman magazine.

Swedish Record Ambassadeur 5000 ad from June 1954. From The Fisherman magazine.

About a year ago we posted a piece regarding an old Ambasadeur 5000/6000 ad from 1955 and the fact that Garcia wasn’t mentioned anywhere. I contacted Bill Sonnett, who sent me the ad in the first place, and asked him what the deal was and who exactly was Julian A. Wesseler. He sent me to one of the ABU experts of the world, Fred Ribb, who explained to me that although Garcia was given the first shot at representing ABU in the U.S. in 1954, they balked at the chance and Julian Wesseler became the first rep in the states.

Well, tonight as I was reading through a stack of early 1950s The Fisherman magazines, I found not only an early ad but an actual write-up by Art Hutt on the new Swedish Ambassadeur. [Read more…]

BFA Schedule Change

New BFA Logo GMFor the past 3-1/2 years we’ve been posting a new story every weekday that takes us back in the history of bass fishing. With the help of stellar writers such as Pete Robbins, Brian Waldman, Stan Fagerstrom and Harold Sharp, we’ve relived much of bass fishing’s history on a daily basis. We’ve taught a number of people some of the more obtuse history but more so, we’ve learned from our readers too.

Unfortunately, due to schedule, other commitments and responsibilities, we’re going to have to curtail that schedule to a minimum of once per week for the unforeseen future. You’ll see a post by me at least once per week and when Brian and/or Pete have the time or something interesting to share, they’ll provide content. Stan Fagerstrom has committed to continuing his look back on the sport he’s been involved with since 1946 (thanks Stan) in his monthly column, Let’s Look Back. So, at the minimum there will be one new post per week and possibly more. [Read more…]

Battle of the Minnow Lures

Rapala ad from 1966.

Rapala ad from 1966.

Lauri Rapala is rightfully credited with the advent of the contemporary minnow lure, which he first carved out of cork in 1936. Yes, there were other “minnow” lures before that but nothing that could compare to the shape and movement of the Original Floating Rapala.

It wouldn’t be until the mid-1950s that a few of the lures would make their way from Finland to America and for those who had them the results are legendary. Then in 1959 two Minnesota anglers by the names of Ron Weber and Ray Ostrom, came together to import Rapala lures to the U.S. under the name of Normark.

Although the Rapala got its formal introduction in 1960 through Weber and Ostrom’s Normark Corporation, the bait wouldn’t get national recognition until 1962 – specifically in Life Magazine. That was the issue with the recently deceased Marilyn Monroe – the most-sold issue of Life ever. That historic coincidence put Rapala on the map. [Read more…]

Black Bass Fishing: Robert Page Lincoln – Part Three

Black Bass Fishing CoverBack in late 2014 I started the review of this book, Black Bass Fishing by Robert Page Lincoln and never finished the last part. I want to apologize for that upfront (especially to Bill Sonnett). But now that the book has been glaring at me for nearly six months, I can’t ignore it any longer and today we have Part Three of the review of this must-read book.

Over the course of Part One and Part Two we covered chapters one through 17 along with the Foreword and Introduction. Today we’ll finish with Chapters 18 through 24 and the Appendix. For those of you who missed the first two parts of this book and want to read them (and I highly suggest you do) you can find the posts at the links presented in the first sentence of this paragraph. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 4

1978 Ranger Combined 5For the past week we’ve been taking a trip down memory lane with respect to the main tool in any bass angler’s arsenal – the bass boat. Over the year we’ve covered bass boats from the ’50, ‘60s and the ‘70s. Today we’re going to finish with the boats of 1978.

So far we’ve covered everything from the 1978 list of bass boats from aluminum rigs such as Alumacraft, Dura Craft and Fisher Marine along with their glass counterparts, manufacturers like Bass Cat, Champion, Eldocraft, Hydra-Sport and MonArk. Today we finish with upstarts such as Omni and industry leader Ranger. In fact, the number of Ranger ads placed in 1978 is mind boggling. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 3

1978 Fisher Marine ad.

1978 Fisher Marine ad.

We’ve been running Old Bass Boats 1978 for the last week and today we’re looking at the 10 manufacturers that make up Part 3 – from Dyna Trak to MonArk. Within this piece are a couple of historical tidbits that you may find interesting with respect to bass boat companies.

Through the course of researching the bass boats of 1978 we scoured over 100 bass fishing magazines from the time period and came up with 33 manufacturers that advertised that year. Some companies only placed one ad in one magazines while others placed multiple ads in multiple magazines. If there was an ad placed that year, you’ll find it here. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 2

1978 FishMaster ad featuring the "18" Pro Bass Missile.

1978 FishMaster ad featuring the “18” Pro Bass Missile.

In Tuesday’s installment of Old Bass Boats (click here to see Part 1), we covered the tournament organization boats, namely American Bass Fisherman, American Angler, Bassmaster, Bass Casters Association and National Bass Association. Out of those five organizations, we covered nine different boats and five different manufacturers. It’s hard to believe that only a couple years before this, there was only one tournament organization, B.A.S.S., who offered its members boats. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1978 Part 1

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

1978 Sebring Bass Boat ad.

This column seems to be the one most frequented by readers so we’re going to give you more of what you like – Old Bass Boats 1978 style. In Part 1, we’re going to start out with the various tournament organizations’ specialty boats. This phenomena all started with Ray Scott and the 1971 Bassmasterr Classic when he purchased from Rebel 25 identical boats for use by the 24 Classic contenders on Lake Mead. After the event the boats were put up for sale and became another form of income for the fledgling tournament organization. [Read more…]

John-Rude – 1946

Evinrude ad from 1946.

Evinrude ad from 1946.

A few weeks ago we posted a piece about the start of Mercury Motors in the early 40s. Today we have the two main competitors, or should I say Mercury’s competitors not only for the ‘40s but well through the turn of the century, Johnson and Evinrude.

For those of you who remember the Outboard Marine Company, or more commonly referred to as OMC, you remember that Johnson and Evinrude were both part of that conglomeration. But that wasn’t the case prior to 1936. In fact, both companies were competitors up until that time.

Ole Evinrude is credited by some to be the inventor of the outboard motor industry. In 1882, when he was five years old, his family emigrated from Norway to the U.S. and landed in Milwaukee, WI. By the time he was 25, he’d developed his first outboard motor – a 1.5 horsepower model that was introduced publicly in 1909. [Read more…]