The Rise of LCRs Continues

The advance of The Bottom Line, circa very early 90s.

The advance of The Bottom Line, circa very early 90s.

Last year, Terry penned a short piece on the assault of the LCR unit on the early depthfinder market, focusing on the Bottom Line units in particular. Commenting on their shortfalls, Terry wrote, “By 1988 liquid crystal displays were taking over the world, and a lot of anglers weren’t too happy about it. The units had bad resolution and the computing power needed in order to run them just wasn’t state-of-the-art. But that didn’t stop companies from completely bailing on the old tried and true technologies such as flashers and paper graphs.”

Today we feature another Bottom Line ad from just a few years later (very early 90s), and look back at some interesting developments in the world of electronics. [Read more…]

Humminbird – Another Tom Mann Invention

1973 Humminbird ad featuring Tom Mann.

1973 Humminbird ad featuring Tom Mann.

I’ve always wanted to write a piece on the history of Humminbird but I haven’t been too successful with the folks at Techsonic. Seems most people forget that Tom Mann was not only the figurehead of the original organization – but one of the guys that started the company those many years ago. I’ve been accumulating old ads in hope of putting together a complete piece on the subject but I’m not sure when or if that will ever happen. So, until I can find someone who wants to talk about the entire history of the famed electronics company, I’m going to take this opportunity to post this short piece on some of the ads I have from the early years of the company.

The first ads are from the 1973 time frame and nearly all feature Tom Mann in one way or fashion. To open up (the lead-in photo) there’s the 1973 ad featuring the Super Speed depth sounder. The ad states that the unit will read “even the smallest targets” at “Speeds up to 55 mph.” The flasher was also touted to be readable with the sun at your back. Incorporated into the ad was the Fisherman’s Prayer and the opportunity to buy the print in a number of different forms. [Read more…]

Electronic Fishing 1962

A 1962 Ad for Lowrance Electronic Manufacturing Company and their portable depthfinder, the Model 505.

A 1962 Ad for Lowrance Electronic Manufacturing Company and their portable depthfinder, the Model 505.

When I started bass fishing in the mid-‘70s most boats had two depth finders – one on the console and one of the bow. These units were predominantly flashers made by Humminbird, Lowrance or Vexilar. About that same time paper graphs also started to take hold in the industry so by the late ‘70s you’d see boats with a paper graph and flasher on the console and then a flasher on the bow.

Nowadays serious anglers are placing two widescreen GPS/Depthfinder units on their consoles and two on the bow with some anglers even going as far as using iPads for more mapping capability. How times change. [Read more…]

Fish Tales: Florence, Alabama – Part Six

Bill Huntley owner of T&H Marine holds a hefty largemouth. Huntley was instrumental in the advent of the aerated livewell.

Bill Huntley owner of T&H Marine holds a hefty largemouth. Huntley was instrumental in the advent of the aerated livewell.

This installment of Fish Tales, videoed at the Florence, Alabama Chamber of Commerce in November, 2014, is quite timely with respect to this week’s trivia contest. In this video Bill Huntley of T&H Marine talks about his place is the world of catch and release.

When Ray Scott started pushing the Don’t Kill Your Catch rules for his tournaments, he knew there had to be a better way to keep fish alive than keeping them on a stringer. The solution to that problem came in the form of aerated livewells – in some case coolers – in the boats and Bill Huntley ran with it. [Read more…]

An LCD that’s a Flasher

The Bottom Line TBL 210F liquid crystal flasher/graph by Bottom Line. circa 1988.

The Bottom Line TBL 210F liquid crystal flasher/graph by Bottom Line. circa 1988.

By 1988 liquid crystal displays were taking over the world, and a lot of anglers weren’t too happy about it. The units had bad resolution and the computing power needed in order to run them just wasn’t state-of-the-art. But that didn’t stop companies from completely bailing on the old tried and true technologies such as flashers and paper graphs.

Paper graphs and flashers had a stout following for one simple reason – they worked. One of the reasons they worked so well was they were analog, relying only on a signal from the transducer to either light a bulb or heat a stylus. Transmission of information was nearly instantaneous. In the water you dealt with the speed of sound from and to the transducer and once the signal got back to the unit, you were dealing with the speed of electrons (aka the speed of light) to send that signal to the business end of the unit. I’m taking fast. [Read more…]

Interphase – Another Loran Solution

Interphase DC-1000 and DC-2000 Loran/Depthfinder units from 1988.

Interphase DC-1000 and DC-2000 Loran/Depthfinder units from 1988.

We’ve written about the use of Loran in bass fishing here before. It was the obvious solution to finding offshore structure in the saltwater so why not use it in the sweet water? Well, there were a couple of problems. One Loran pretty much only worked in ocean environments due to the fact the Loran stations were all positioned on the coasts and two, the saltwater units were prohibitively expensive.

The other problem was accuracy. Loran was only accurate to within a tenth to a quarter of a mile – maybe okay for the ocean but definitely not okay for the freshwater. [Read more…]

Don “The Doodle King” Iovino – An Era Ends

Don Iovino weighs one of the last fish of his 40-year tournament career at this year's WON Bass U.S. Open. Photo Don Iovino.

Don Iovino weighs one of the last fish of his 40-year tournament career at this year’s WON Bass U.S. Open. Photo Dan O’Sullivan.

The first time I met Don Iovino was in 1978 at a seminar at a tackle shop called Anglers West in Diamond Bar California – I was all of 14 years old and wanted to learn everything I could about bass fishing.

In those days you couldn’t open a Western Outdoor News, Western Bass magazine or SWAB periodical without seeing Iovino’s name within its confines. He was winning or placing high in nearly every event he entered and doing it in a most unorthodox manner – some new thing he’d developed called doodling. [Read more…]

Old Book Reviews: Fish Locators; Babe Winkelman

The cover; The Comprehensive Guide to Fish Locators

The cover; The Comprehensive Guide to Fish Locators

We’ve mentioned a few different books on this site before that dealt with electronics. This one is another, and falls under the heading of that ‘ONE’ book that helped me understand my electronics better. The full title was, “The Comprehensive Guide to Fish Locators” written by Babe Winkelman. Being from the Midwest, a lot of what we learned about bass fishing back in the early days came from those multi-species experts that seemed to be prevalent with the area, as opposed to the more ‘bass only’ culture that was developing south of the Mason-Dixon line . The book was published in 1985, contains 80 pages, and I’d swear came in a package that also included a cassette tape or two, though I can’t for the life of me verify that. I can tell you it was purchased from the sporting goods section of my local Sears store though. [Read more…]

Mercury’s Trolling Motor Debut

Thruster 1In 1977 the Big Black motor company decided it was about time to take a stab at the trolling motor industry. Why not? They had a pretty good market share of the outboard industry at the time – they might as well try and get some of the electric motor market too. 

A first look at the motor and one could see it was different than any other electric motor on the market due to the giant propeller. In fact, the prop was in some cases twice as big as any other trolling motor prop in the industry. The concept was simple, with more blade surface area and pitch, the prop didn’t have to turn as fast as smaller props on the market to go the same distance. Hence, in theory, the motor didn’t have to work as hard and this would save your batteries.  [Read more…]

Northwoods Finders of 1979

1979 Northwoods catalog from the people that brought you Fishing Facts magazine.

1979 Northwoods catalog from the people that brought you Fishing Facts magazine.

This weekend I was looking over a 1979 Northwoods catalog, printed and distributed by the folks at Fishing Facts, and a number of items caught my eye. First off, the entire from half of the catalog was devoted to clothing. Although I’m familiar with the winters of the north, this was there spring/summer issue and one would think they’d want to be selling tackle rather than cold-weather gear. I wondered what the fall issue would look like.

The second item that took me back in time was actually not just a single piece of equipment but an entire list of gear we had available to us that year – depthfinders. Although Northwoods offered a good selection, Lowrance, Humminbird and Fish Hawk, missing was Vexilar, Ray Jefferson and SITEX. [Read more…]

Another Great Idea on Paper

A 1987 ad from Bassmaster magazine for the MONITOR ROD from Shakespeare.

A 1987 ad from Bassmaster magazine for the MONITOR ROD from Shakespeare.

This one falls into that category of something that seems great when you first hear of it, but the more you think about it, the less practical it becomes. What if I told you that I was producing a fishing rod that had a built-in temperature gauge. Sounds cool, but apparently it must not have caught on.

The company was Shakespeare, the year was 1987, and the line of rods was called MONITOR RODS. From the ad; [Read more…]

Trolling Motors 1973

Silvertrol ad circa 1973.

Silvertrol ad circa 1973.

We’ve posted a few pieces here on the bass Fishing Archives related to trolling motors and I suspect we’ll continue to do so until we run out of material on the silent hero of bass fishing. Reason being? Well, all told no one worth his weight in Jelly Worms would dare fish without one these days and it’s nice to look back on where we’ve come from.

Enclosed in this latest edition, the trolling motors of 1973, are by no means all of the trolling motors of that year. We’re missing about 5 more companies. But the six represented are good enough to give you an idea of the technology back in the day.

For example, look at the thrust offerings for each motor. What? You can’t find thrust ratings? Yeah, that’s right. No one was listing how much their motors were rated for thrust wise back then except Silvertrol. At least not in this string of ads. [Read more…]