Bass-specific magazines didn’t come around until the Spring 1968 issue of Bassmaster hit B.A.S.S. members’ mailboxes. Prior to that, bass anglers had to wade through the outdoors magazines of the time in order to get their fix of bass fishing information. Having a good number of vintage outdoors magazines, it was mostly famine rather than feast when it came to learning out to catch bass from periodicals.
One publication that was first published in 1961 did provide a lot of information on the five Ws of bass fishing – the Who, What, Where, Why and When. That publication, and we’ve mentioned it here a number of times, was Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler and Hunters Guide. I’m still trying to figure out exactly who Fuelsch was, that’ll be another story in time, but I can say this with confidence, he put together one of the most complete compilations of fishing information I’ve seen.
Although the annual guides were essentially one big advertisement for various fishing and hunting camps – freshwater and salt water, lowland and highland – he also made sure there were informative articles on techniques, tactics and procedures for those of bass fishing ilk. Not only were there articles, there was also tournament reports (World Series of Sport Fishing) and bios for well-known anglers of the time. Top this off with ads of the day and these guides are a wealth of knowledge for fishing historians today.
Recently I was going through the 1961 guide and thought I’d post a few things from it I found interesting. It’s a potpourri of ads and anglers I hope you like.
First off is the angler in the opening picture – none other than a young Charlie Campbell. The article that accompanied these pictures was about fishing newly formed Table Rock Reservoir for bass and walleye. The article made no mention of Campbell but in the picture shown they list him as a guide. There was another picture of three walleye Campbell had caught – all between 13 and 15 pounds.
The next picture is an early Virgil Ward Bass Buster jig ad. It’s not the earliest ad I’ve seen from Bass Buster Lures but it’s close. The ad states they were the original marabou jig makers and offered their jigs in seven different sizes between 1/64 and 1/2 ounce.
Next we have a couple of pictures of an angler who got a lot of press back in the 60s – Dave Hawk. Hawk was originally from Missouri but left the Show Me State for the new reservoirs of Texas to become a guide. He and his father ended up buying the Pico Tackle Company of Corpus Christi – makers of the PICO Perch, a vibration bait. Some credit Hawk with the introduction of the Texas rigged worm, but there isn’t any definitive proof that I can find on the subject.
Next we have an ad from the Creme Lure Company of Tyler, TX. Earlier this year we posted a piece about Creme’s venture into the hardbait arena. This ad also shows that Nick and Cosma weren’t resting on the sales of their worms alone. The spinnerbait shown in the ad closely resembles the old H&H spinnerbait that’s still sold today and has been around since 1959. It was verified that Arbogast OEMd the Creme hardbaits from 1962, I wonder if Creme had H&H make their spinners? Sure looks to be possible.
The final ad I’ll address is the Jamison Tackle Corp ad featuring three different twin spins – the Sparkle Tail Worm, Marabou Twin Spinner Jigs and the Shannon Bucktail Super Twin. As talked about here many times before, Jamison was a heavy hitter from the turn of the 19th century and without a doubt, the company that invented what we know today as the spinnerbait.
Other ads from this 1961 Guide that can be seen below are from Burke Flexo-Products Co., DeLong Lures, Four Rivers Tackle Co., Lucky Day Bait Co., Lutz Pork Bait Company, Owen Jig Molds and Wood MFG. Co. We hope you like this look back into bass fishing 1961 style.