Bass Wars – 25 Years Later

Bass Wars; A Story of Fishing, Fame and Fortune

Bass Wars; A Story of Fishing, Fame and Fortune

When you start talking about bass fishing books, especially ones dealing with bass tournaments, one book leaps immediately to the top of most conversations, Bass Wars: A Story of Fishing, Fame and Fortune, by Nick Taylor (1988). This year, 2013, marks the 25th Anniversary of the publishing of this great book, the first by Taylor in what has become a storied career.

The book takes a close – behind the scenes – look at tournament angling back in the late Eighties. It followed the trail and many of it’s participants, including Rick Clunn, who was at the top of the “food chain” so to speak, in professional angling, Randy Mosely, who was a young rookie trying to break into the sport, and Randy Blaukat, who had already been on the trail for a couple years, yet hadn’t secured that first B.A.S.S. victory (that would come in 1989). [Read more…]

The Writers: Paul Prorok

Writer (now photographer) Paul Prorok

Writer (now photographer) Paul Prorok

Do you recognize the man in the picture to your left? If I tell you that his name is Paul Prorok, does that mean anything to you? Chances are, while you might not recall the name right off the top of your head, you’ll certainly remember some of his work in the world of bass fishing. Here’s a quick history of writer Paul Prorok, past and present.

What started this topic for me was an article I just finished reading in the December 1967 issue of ‘Fishing News’ titled, “Chicago Fishermen Chose Warm Air and Plastic Worm to Catch More Than 30 Bass on a Weekend.” Now that’s a mouthful, but such was the way that Bill Binkelman structured his articles when he ran ‘Fishing News.’ [Read more…]

The Writers – George Kramer

George KramerEditor’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 was 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.

For those of you outside the West, the name George Kramer may not ring a bell. For those in the West, though, the name resonates – longtime writer, longtime supporter, longtime critic. He’s the guy that came up with the California Top 40 – a ranking system that gives credit to the West’s best bass anglers each year. [Read more…]

The Writers: Stan Fagerstrom – Part Six

Stan Fagerstrom poses with Kirby – his co-star. Photo courtesy of Stan Fagerstrom.

Editor’s Note: This is the final part of the series on Stan Fagerstrom’s life as a writer and international casting expert. In part five, Stan talked about his experiences in Brazil, New Zealand and a couple of incidents he had doing shows in the U.S. In this part he talks about a couple of funny experiences he’s had over the years, his opinion of the sport today and he also talks about what he feels are his most important contributions. To read other parts of this story, click on the appropriate links. Part one, part two, part three, part four, part five.

A Cup of Beer and a Chimp

Stan will tell you however that he’s had his good moments along with the bad.  He detailed one of them for me. [Read more…]

The Writers: Stan Fagerstrom – Part Five

Life is tough on the road. Here Stan goes over the intricacies of casting with five new students in Brazil. Photo courtesy of Stan Fagerstrom.

Editor’s Note: This is part five of the six-part series on Stan Fagerstrom’s life as a writer and casting expert. In this installment, Stan talks about his trips to New Zealand, Sao Paulo, Brazil and a couple of funny stories that transpired in the United States. We hope you enjoy reading about this man’s amazing life. To read other parts of his story, click on the appropriate links provided here. Part one, part two, part three, part four.

From the U.S. to the World

“My appearances at various cities in the United States sometimes brought invitations from representatives of other countries similar to the one I’d had from the Japanese. One such came from the country of New Zealand. I would eventually be invited to that beautiful country on two separate occasions, each time for a full month. Besides giving the first casting exhibition of its kind ever seen on the single national New Zealand television channel, I met with outdoor clubs, visited schools and gave a performance at the Agradome in the city of Rotorua on the country’s North Island.  That casting show came right after a sheep shearing demonstration. They had to sweep up wool from all over the place before I could do my thing. My audience was almost entirely made up of Japanese tourists. [Read more…]

The Writers: Stan Fagerstrom – Part Four

One of the Japanese flags that Fagerstrom brought home from the South Pacific Theater. This flag was returned to the family of Giichiro Komatsu, a Japanese soldier who fought in the Pacific Islands. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Editor’s Note: In this installment of The Writers, Stan Fagerstrom talks about his first trip to Japan and what it meant for him to step on the shores of the country he was to invade in 1946. Click to read part one, part two or part three.

 

A Return to Japan

“I’ve already mentioned my service in an infantry rifle company in the South Pacific during the war with Japan for just a bit less than two years, Fagerstrom said. “I also mentioned that I was brought home on a stretcher on a hospital plane. The crowded plane didn’t afford me, or anyone else for that matter, much room for ourselves let alone room for any personal effects. [Read more…]

The Writers: Stan Fagerstrom – Part Three

Fagerstrom sits with some children interested in learning how to cast. Photo courtesy of Stan Fagerstrom.

In Parts One and Two Stan talked about his early life, his time in the U.S. Army during World War II, his early writing, the first Bassmaster Classic, and various folks he met in the industry who had an impact on his life as an outdoor figure. In Part Three, Stan will cover how he got into trick casting and how it changed his life.

From Writing to Casting

Although Fagerstrom is an award-winning outdoor writer whose bylines have appeared in most of the bass magazines known to the industry, he’s every bit as well known in another area of the sport – casting. He’s internationally recognized as a casting expert with a variety of rods and reels and during my interview with him, I asked him how this came about. Here’s what he had to say about his experiences casting. [Read more…]

The Writers: Stan Fagerstrom – Part Two

Stan Fagerstrom in an Outdoor Life ad circa 1960s. Photo courtesy of Stan Fagerstrom.

In Part One of The Writers – Stan Fagerstrom, Stan talked about his childhood, his enlistment in the Army in 1942 and his first job with the Longview Daily News. In Part Two Stan talks about the first Bassmaster Classic and his relationships with Jason Lucas, Homer Circle and Ray Scott. To read Part One click here.


Major Impacts in the 60s

“I still couldn’t get bass out of my head and I was doing a whole lot of actual fishing whenever I could get away from the newspaper,” he said. “I kept a pair of coveralls and a pair of boots in the trunk of the first used car I was able to buy and in the evening and now and then when I had extra time at noon I’d run down to fish one of the Columbia River sloughs that was about seven miles away. [Read more…]

The Writers: Stan Fagerstrom – Part One

Stan Fagerstrom on the cover of US Bass Magazine, circa 1988.

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 many writers who have taught us through their words. Some of them have taught us the ways and methods of other anglers, while others have taught us from their own experiences. This installment of The Writers focuses on a person who taught us from his own experience – a lifelong love of bass fishing and casting. That person is Stan Fagerstrom.

Because Stan Fagerstrom has been associated with bass fishing for over 60 years, his experiences couldn’t be told in a single piece. Therefore, we’ve split up his story into a series that covers important parts of his life. We hope you enjoy reading about one of bass fishing’s most accomplished ambassadors. [Read more…]

The Writers – Dave Precht

Dr. Mike Allen, biology professor at the University of Florida, took this photo of Precht and his almost-10 pounder. Fishing with a variety of great people has been a highlight of Precht’s career. Photo courtesy of Dave Precht.

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 was 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.

For nearly 45 years novice and experienced anglers have turned to the pages of Bassmaster Magazine to learn about their craft. And, over the years many gifted writers have blessed the pages of that hallowed magazine, transcribing the words of the pros into something anyone can read and understand. Writers like Steve Price, Matt Vincent, Mark Hicks and the late Tim Tucker have all played a part in relaying information from the boat and on to the pages of Bassmaster Magazine – all in an effort to help us, the angler, get better. [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.

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…]