Recently we posted a piece about The Lunker Hole magazine, Volume 1, Number 4, in which Charlie Bumpas had won a BCAS event on Barkley Lake, Kentucky. We printed the piece in its entirety in order to give readers a look back at the sport at that time but also let the guys who were there reminisce a little. This piece, regarding that same issue, is more about the magazine itself and what its other contents were.
The masthead on the contents page lists all those involved with the magazine/organization. It lists Art Reid as the editor, Bob Mason and Jan Swetz as associate editors, Dick Carter as art director, Barbara Killough as production and Doris Gilbert as circulation manager.
What I find interesting about the contents of this issue are the topics they covered. Out of the seven Feature and five Department articles, five of these pieces were written on the subject of fish conservation. I’ll have to go back into my Bassmaster files to check and see but the timeliness of these articles is pretty dang close to when B.A.S.S. started getting serious about conservation too. Not trying to determine who did it first, just showing how fast things were changing back in the day when many people thought a lake couldn’t be fished out of bass – not to mention the water pollution problem.
For example, the editor’s column, called “From The Editor’s Rig,” takes on the subject of fish conservation and the fact that bass tournaments were coming under fire from “many directions.” The criticism about tournaments was getting so bad that Art Reid said in this piece that “BCAS was going to start replacing fish-for-fish caught in each event.” In other words, if the field caught 1000 bass in the event, BCAS would replace them with 1000 12-inch bass from a local hatchery. Remember folks, this was 1970 and about a year before the livewells came into service in most boats.
Feature articles that looked at the health of the sport were penned by Jan Swetz, “Am I killing My Own Sport,” and Staff, “Temperature Can Kill Bass.”
Readers comments were printed in a section called “From the Member’s Rigs” and started out with another piece by Don Brehm about conservation – which was pretty observant for the time. What I found a bit amusing about this section of the rag, though, was the submission called “Appreciated ‘Deep South’ Bass.” In this small letter the reader talks about his “admiration for men who devote so much time and effort against such odds.” The reader was talking about the men of the north having to deal with “[bass] seasons, ice-ins and lunkers up to three pounds.” What I found funny about this is I dealt with this “southern talk” for many years while talking to my southern brethren when I lived in Idaho. The other thing I found interesting is this submission was written by none other than early bass pro Bobby Meadors.
The next submission in the piece should bring back some memories for those of you who fished the early tournaments in the Midwest. The photo submitted was of two bass caught from Carlyle Lake in Illinois that weighed roughly 6-3/4 pounds each. What will jog your memory is the picture was submitted by Illinois angler Jerry Crowell who won the 1974 Project Sports Inc Champion of Champions tournament. Crowell, sponsored by Bass Cat at the time, was a terror on any lake he went to. Unfortunately he passed away early in his career from a car wreck.
Another bit of nostalgia from this issue is the ad placed on the bottom left of page 6. The ad is from Crain Specialty out of Marion, Ill for “Slip Sinkers Worm Weights.” Crain sold their weights by the 10-pack for 60¢ to 70¢ each plus 25¢ postage. Remember, at this time worm weights for Texas rigging were mostly made by carving an egg sinker into the shape of a bullet or by using a bell sinker with the brass wire taken out of it.
On the subject of ads, there’s also the Fo-Mac ad for their rod holders and the ever famous “Ugh! Button” butt cap. Amazingly the Ugh! Button was really popular back throughout the 70s with anglers who were using the old-style pistol grips before Lew Childre came out with a much better mouse trap.
Another ad, on page 9, though, really caught my eye. Bob Hinman Outfitters was advertising a thermal sweatshirt, polarized sunglasses and, to my surprise, an inflatable life vest that was actuated when the angler fell into the water. In the ad they state that CO -probably more likely CO2 – would inflate the PFD and support a 200-pound person. A search of the internet didn’t provide any clues as to whether or not a patent was ever filed but it sure makes you wonder about S.O.Spenders and the Mustang PFDs we wear today.