Possibly The First Black Bass Association

Bronze Back Guide pulished by Western Bass Club INC in 1968 6th Edition.

Bronze Back Guide published by Western Bass Club INC in 1968 6th Edition.

A few weeks ago after we posted the review of Lunkers Love Nightcrawlers we received a comment from reader Clyde Drury. I wrote him a letter thanking him for his kind words and since then we’ve been corresponding via email. For those of you who don’t know Clyde, he’s a bass fishing historian and has probably the largest library associated with bass fishing ever assembled. He’s also written a number of books on the subject and has written forewords and reviews of nearly every book ever published on the subject.

A couple of weeks ago we posted a piece on Jason Lucas entitled “Finding Bass – a la Lucas” and Clyde again made a comment on the article. In that piece he mentioned a book that I didn’t know of so I emailed him to get more information about it. In our conversation Clyde said he had an extra copy and he would send it to me. Well, on Monday of this week I received a box in the mail from across the country. The box was far too big for just one book and when I opened it up there were 18 books in it along with a letter.

Bronze Back Guide 2As I went through the books two in particular caught my attention. The first was titled “Bronze Back Fishing Guide” by Western Bass Club INC. dated from 1968 and the second was “Twenty Years Hustling – Jumbo’s Life Story As Told To Ed T. Fredrich Mr. Bass,” dedicated to Western Bass Club.

As I opened the Bronze Back Fishing Guide I noticed on the inside cover that it read “Western Bass Club INC. Since 1938.” This intrigued me so I turned the page again. The introduction stated that this book was the sixth edition and had more information on how to catch bass in the west than any of the prior issues printed. I turned the page again.

The next page was titled “History Of The Western Bass Club.” Now I’m hooked. What was written was the history of “The Club” – when it started, who the first officers were and what their motives were. The club was open to anyone who wanted to join. Although the club was based out of western Washington, they had members in Idaho, Oregon and California.

BBG CompWhat intrigues me about this book is that it may be proof of the first association dedicated to the sport of bass fishing and its preservation of the sport. Yes, Ray Scott and the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society are credited with bringing together bass anglers worldwide – there’s no argument of that – and I’m sure there were other clubs or associations prior to that but I’m not aware of any that predated the 1950s or or more so the 40s. Could the Western Bass Club be the first association of its kind? I’ll let you read the history and you can make up your own mind.

I’d like to thank Clyde for his generous gift. Over the next months I’ll be sharing with you what he sent. It’s too precious not to share. First, though, I’m going to read these two books cover-to-cover and write a review for them. I hope you enjoy.

  • Really cool, looking forward to seeing more!