We’re back to Smallmouth Magazine – this time Volume 2 Issue 2 from February, 1986. This issue was the first where Billy Westmorland hadn’t penned an article for the newsletter, now in its sophomore year. In fact, the newsletter only had three feature articles in it, one from Harry n Charlie legend, Don Wirth, a second from columnist Frank Brooks and a third by Greg Matthews (a Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine reprint).
The Wirth article, a piece on where to go for trophy smallmouths, covered a number of Tennessee waters from the time that were producing smallies that broke the mystical 5-pound range – equivalent to the 10-pound mark for largemouth – Dale Hollow, Percy Priest and Woods Reservoir. Back then these waters were hard to beat – today you rarely hear of them producing big fish.
Tom Rodgers continued supporting environmental concerns in 1986 by reprinting an article written by Greg Matthews for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This article brought to light the pesticide and soil erosion problems in the upper Midwest – namely the Coulee Region. Up through the ‘60s, the Coulee Region had some of the best smallmouth fishing in the U.S. After that, the smallmouth population had dwindled so far that they didn’t support a fishery. The article talks about how the Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin fisheries biologists would come together to prove what had and was causing fish kills and the decreased populations.
The final article in the newsletter was a piece written by Frank Brooks on world record smallmouths. Unlike most articles of this type, Brooks concentrated on how the average angler, or angler who didn’t live near a record-class body of water, could catch a world record. He talks about line-class records, both the IGFA and Freshwater Fishing Hal of Fame, and how to care for and submit a fish for consideration.
The rest of the newsletter contained the standard advertising, letters to the editor and the masthead – which I found a bit interesting in that Jerry McKinnis was listed as a chief consultant. I went back a few issues in order to see when that had taken place and evidently McKinnis had taken this position in the November, 1985 issue.
The entire newsletter is featured below. Remember to click on the images in order to see a larger, readable version.