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…]

Smallmouth Magazine – Volume 2 Issue 1

Smallmouth Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 1, January, 1986, cover page.

Smallmouth Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 1, January, 1986, cover page.

It’s been a few weeks since we put out a piece looking back at the old issues of Tom Rodgers’ Smallmouth Newsletter. The last time we wrote, we finished the first year’s 12th issue (December, 1985). Now we’re on to the second year, volume 2.

The newsletter increased in size from ’85 to ’86 – now going to a full six pages or more for each issue and in some cases eight pages. Over the course of the next few months, you’ll also notice a few new names had been added to the list of authors. [Read more…]

Smallmouth Magazine – Volume 1 Issue 11

J. C. Reel and partner pose with seven smallies from Watts Bar that weighed over 36 pounds. November issue of Smallmouth Newsletter.

J. C. Reel and partner pose with seven smallies from Watts Bar that weighed over 36 pounds. November issue of Smallmouth Newsletter.

Continuing on with the first year of the Smallmouth Newsletters, today we’re talking about Volume I Issue 11, published for November, 1985. This issue starts out with a great piece by the late Billy Westmorland on how to catch smallies in November. As usual, Westmorland gives some great advice on the techniques he uses for late fall/early winter smallmouths – but it seems a little dated for today’s standards. Yes, smallmouths will always be caught on small baits but that myth has been over-shadowed in the last 10 years as anglers move to bigger and bigger baits for smallies – including swimbaits. Still this opening piece offers a lot of great suggestions with respect to fish movement and areas to look for. [Read more…]

Black Bass Fishing: Robert Page Lincoln – Part Two

Black Bass Fishing - Theory and Practice by Robert Page Lincoln. First printing April 1952 Stackpole Company.

Black Bass Fishing – Theory and Practice by Robert Page Lincoln. First printing April 1952 Stackpole Company.

[Editor’s Note – this is Part Two of a three-part series on the book, Black Bass Fishing by Robert Page Lincoln. To read Part One, click here.]

In the first part of this review of the book Black Bass Fishing by Robert Page Lincoln, we delved into a little bit of Lincoln’s life and covered the first eight chapters of the book. In this second part, we’ll continue on with chapters nine through seventeen in order to give you an idea of what he saw the state of bass fishing in the late 40s and early 50s, along with his methods for catching bass and the tackle he used. [Read more…]

Book Review – 20 Years of KVD in Print

The cover of the original 1994 version of KVD's Bass Strategies.

The cover of the original 1994 version of KVD’s Bass Strategies.

While Kevin VanDam’s career has gained steam over time with the addition of Angler of the Year titles and Bassmaster Classic trophies, it’s hard to remember a period in his career when he was a “typical rookie” or an “up-and-coming pro.” That’s because he seemed to jump onto the scene as almost a fully-formed, ready-for-prime-time superstar. I recall veteran outdoor writer Craig Lamb telling me that he interviewed KVD at one of the angler’s earliest B.A.S.S. tournaments (possibly the 1990 New York Invitational on the St. Lawrence, where KVD finished 3rd) and he could already give a superlative interview, unlike most twenty-something anglers. For that matter, he was probably better than most of the veterans. [Read more…]

Black Bass Fishing: Robert Page Lincoln – Part 1

Black Bass Fishing - Theory and Practice by Robert Page Lincoln. First printing April 1952 Stackpole Company.

Black Bass Fishing – Theory and Practice by Robert Page Lincoln. First printing April 1952 Stackpole Company.

A big part of the history of bass fishing is looking back at the old literature to see what the state of the sport was back in time. To date we’ve done a number of old book reviews and today, we continue on that path.

I received my copy of Black Bass Fishing – Theory and Practice from Bass Fishing Archives supporter and friend, Mr. William (Bill) Sonnett. Bill is not just a student of the sport’s history, he’s an authority when it comes to old bass tackle and literature and for years has written a column named Deconstructing Old Ads on Dr. Todd Larson’s website, Fishing for History. It’s nice to have Bill around when we have a question here with respect what happened in the old days. [Read more…]

James A. Henshall – 1883

Century Magazine's July 1883 issue featuring Black Bass Fishing by James A. Henshall.

Century Magazine’s July 1883 issue featuring Black Bass Fishing by James A. Henshall.

If you’re a student of bass fishing there’s no doubt you’ve at least heard of James Alexander Henshall – the father of bass fishing. In 1881, Henshall wrote the first book on the black bass, titled “Book of the Black Bass,” and coined what is without a doubt the most revered quote for the species, “I consider him, inch for inch and pound for pound the gamest fish that swims.”

As stated above, his book was first printed in 1881 by Robert Clarke and Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. Between 1881 and 1900, 13 variants of the first edition were also printed by Robert Clarke and Company. [Read more…]

Book Review – Deconstructing Old Ads

Deconstructing Old Ads by William T. Sonnett.

Deconstructing Old Ads by William T. Sonnett.

Historical book reviews have become a staple here at the Bass Fishing Archives. For the most part, we look at out-of-print books that have had significant impact on the sport. Books like Billy Westmorland’s Them Ole Brown Fish, Lunkers Love Nightcrawlers, Lucas on Bass, etc.

Another thing we post a lot here are old ads. Reason being: old ads give one a snapshot back to the day. While we’ve concentrated primarily on the history of competitive bass fishing and the ads that supported that portion of the industry, Bill Sonnett has been writing a column for the Fishing For History website for years covering ads from the dawn of bass fishing. [Read more…]

Old Book Reviews: Jerry McKinnis’s Bass Fishing

Jerry McKinnis' Bass Fishing

Jerry McKinnis’ Bass Fishing

As promised, I recently completed my reading of this book, which carries the sub-title, “Largemouth & Smallmouth Habits & Habitats. Tackle. Techniques. Maps,” on its cover. The book was published in 1974 (First printing), and features illustrations by Ralph Mark, and a cover credit to Bert O’Neal. Speaking of the cover, it has the somewhat unusual appearance (for a fishing book) of featuring Jerry with a big stringer of bass looking to his then wife, Nan.  She appears a couple other times in the book. The book sold for $3.95 and covered 95 pages.

The book is paperback and actually quite large, more like a magazine or a coloring book. All pictures and illustrations. of which there are plenty, are in black and white. The font is also slightly larger than normal making for a very quick read. You could easily finish this one off in a matter of hours some afternoon. [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…]

Book Reviews: The ABC’s of Trolling With Spoonplugs

Carl Malz on the cover of his booklet, "The ABC's of Trolling With Spoonplugs."

Carl Malz on the cover of his booklet, “The ABC’s of Trolling With Spoonplugs.”

When you spend much time looking at and researching old bass fishing memorabilia and history, you quickly realize that there is just so much stuff out there, one couldn’t possibly collect it all. So in my case, I’ve decided to focus my collections largely on the period of time around the old Fishing Facts and In-Fisherman beginnings from the 60s and 70s, and the “revolution” that occurred in the Midwest.

Terry has been posting some information recently about the old Northwoods mail order company which was tied in with Fishing Facts magazine. This particular book was sold by Northwoods (Item No. SP-1, $1.95). There is no listed publishing date, but I’d have to put it around the mid 70s if I were to guess. It was written by Carl Malz, who was a managing editor for Fishing Facts back in the day. From what I’ve read, Carl (along with Spence Petros) was a member of the Lake Geneva Fishing Club, which was created around 1965. When Bill Binkelman started up his Fishing News magazine, he took an interest in Lake Geneva and started attending some of their club meetings. There he met Carl and Spence, and they became “reporters” for the magazine, and eventually editors. [Read more…]

Introducing Jason Lucas – Sports Afield March 1945

Sports Afield, March 1945. Reprinted with written permission.

Sports Afield, March 1945. Reprinted with written permission.

As we’ve written in the past, Jason Lucas is one of the early pioneers of the sport of bass fishing. His 24 years as the Fishing Editor for Sports Afield along with his book, Lucas on Bass Fishing, have cemented his name in the annals of the sport forever. Unfortunately, not many anglers younger than 40 know of him or his many contributions.

Because of this, there are a number of us bass historians who are dedicated to making sure his name isn’t forgotten and that hopefully someday his name will be as recognizable as Bill Dance, Roland Martin or Jimmy Houston. He’s that important to the history of bass fishing. [Read more…]