I don’t know when you saw your first Bass Pro Shops catalog but for me it was in 1976. I got it from an authorized Bass Pro dealership in Roland Heights, CA called Angler’s West, if I’m not mistaken.
Anyway, looking through that 200-plus-page catalog just amazed me. They had everything a bass angler needed and more. Bass Tracker boats, Balsa Bs, Mustad 33637 worm hooks (by the 100 box), Mann’s Jelly worms (by the 100 bag), Uncle Bucks risqué little calendar, you name it.
Because of that 1976 main catalog, I always wanted to go to BPS Central in MO. Unfortunately, I was in California and it was in Missouri. Mom wasn’t going to take me there to drop my $20 worth of lunch money I saved weekly.
In 2008, though, I headed back to Mountain Home, AR to pick up my new Bass Cat and made it a point to stop by the “Original” Bass Pro Shops. By then I’d been to roughly 5 of the super stores but the one in Springfield was always on my bucket list. I wasn’t disappointed. The question here is, is the store shown in the ad the site of the current original BPS or did they change it? Anyone know?
Anyway, I’d always heard Johnny Morris started his business with a $10,000 loan from his father and some wall space in his father’s general store. Definitely an American success story if I’d ever heard one.
Last week I ran across this Spring Sale ad in the 1972 March/April issue of Bass Master Magazine and thought you’d find it interesting. During the months of March and April, Johnny was hosting the first two BASS Anglers of the Year, Bill Dance and Roland Martin along with future legend Billy Murray. Wallace Lea, who was a considerable threat in those early days would also be there to visit.
Also present would be one of the grandfathers of the sport whom we lost earlier this month, Jim Rogers of Rogers World Champion Lures. In the ad, it says he was the “Former World’s Champion Freshwater Fisherman.” Actually he and his wife Babe won the Mr. and Mrs. Category of the World Series of Sportfishing in 1963.
I also noticed a possible typo or maybe Garcia Mitchell was a real dude and not the rod/reel manufacturer? Does anyone remember if he was a real person?