It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve posted a piece on the early issues of Smallmouth so let’s get back to it. In this installment, we’re going to look at issue number five of the inaugural year, which came out in May. 1985.
This issue was the standard four-page newsletter as with previous issues but also came with a bonus page titled Smallmouth Fishing Forecast. Written by Bob Gooch, the article was more of a “State of the Smallmouth” address regarding fisheries throughout North America for 1985. It’s an interesting look back at what were the best smallmouth fisheries at the time.
On the cover of the newsletter, Mike Creel wrote an article that took up most of the newsletter regarding the threat of smallmouth hatcheries being shut down – namely the Mammoth Springs and Tishomingo hatcheries in Arkansas and Oklahoma, respectively. Although the piece is long, it shows Smallmouth’s dedication to conservation.
On page three, columnist Tom Zenanko talks about ice-out smallmouth tactics for those that live in the northern tier. In this article, he states that smallmouth spawn later than largemouths due to the smallmouth preferring to spawn in deeper water. I can’t say I’ve seen this happen after spending 20 years in Idaho but maybe it is the case in states of the upper Midwest. He also states that after ice-out, the fish are more apt to be found deep – another anomaly to my experiences.
On the last page is Billy Westmorland’s column – titled “Correct Lure Size? Always Small!” In this column he deviates from past columns where he talks about seasonal patterns and, instead, talks about lure size. Who can argue with the leading expert on smallmouths of the time. It’s another great article by Westmorland.
Below is the full issue for you to read. Just click on the pictures to see an expanded version.