The fishing industry is always changing – new products, new companies, new anglers. I randomly grabbed a Bassmaster magazine sitting on my shelf from 10 years ago (March 2004) and was looking through the ads mostly, when it struck me how much has changed…and how much has stayed the same. Here’s what I found.
Starting off with the cover photo for this issue, a widely grinning Timmy Horton wearing a BOOYAH Baits visor. As best I can tell, it seems Timmy is no longer on their pro staff, a fairly recent event from what I can gather. Next is a big, two page ad for Lucky Craft, where I noticed all the crankbait lines available then are still available now. However, it appears their spinner line has changed, with the current website not showing the BMH and MH-1s from the ad. Looks like they’re sticking mostly with what made them famous, their hi-tech line of hard baits, now expanded and larger than ever. However, a quick look at the national pro staff pics from that ad did reveal a few personnel changes. Still around are Kelly Jordon, Tak, Skeet and Joe Thomas. However, it appears Gerald Swindle, Marty Stone and Mike Auten are no longer part of that team.
Moving on, I come across a full page ad for Lowrance Electronics. Many of the older models in this ad have long been discontinued, though anglers are still using them to this day. There are large screen and small screen units, color and monochrome, handhelds and mapping-specific units. What finally struck me though is not a single mention or picture of a DI or SI unit at the time. Considering the incredible popularity of such units now days, almost a universal standard by most bassin’ anglers, and to think there was no such thing available to us just a mere 10 years ago. That says a lot about the pace of technology in this sport.
Moving into some of the line ads that I came across, the good news is we still have Berkley Fireline and P-Line Spectrex with us. What appears to be missing now days though is Stren Super Braid, though Stren still lists a more generic Braid Superline in their lineup. Can’t say for sure whether it is the same thing or not. Also of interest, the Stren line ad has Shaw Grigsby as the featured pro spokesperson. From looking at Shaw’s website, it would appear he is now with Seaguar line.
Back to baits.
Today we still have Terminator spinnerbaits, Denny Brauer Strike King Premier Pro Model jigs, and Worden’s Timber Tiger DC crankbaits. However, another wire bait casualty seems to be the Bagley Spin’N B. Looking at their website, like LuckyCraft, it appears Bagley’s is back to focusing primarily on their historically core product lines.
Lastly, in the way of boats, all the common lines are still around such as Triton, Nitro, Skeeter and Ranger. Same goes for Yamaha, Evinrude and Mercury engines. One thing I did notice is the Nitro ad was for the older NX Series of boats, the predecessor to the current Z-Series. Their Nitro NX882 in the ad, an 18’2″ boat with a 150hp engine package retails for $17,995. The closest thing now days is the Nitro Z-7, an 18’8″ boat, also packaged with a 150hp engine, but listing out at $26,995. I didn’t bother to go through all the accessories to see if they were comparable.
Anyway, beside the articles that are always fun revisiting such as the initial story on Ike’s Panic Box (hard to believe that concept is already 10 years old), it is pretty interesting to look back and see just what has changed with the industry, both from a product perspective as well as a personnel one. As they say, the only thing that is constant is change.