If you haven’t heard of Buck Perry you’re either very new to the sport or you just don’t read – at which you’re probably not reading this and therefore that comment won’t offend you. For those of you who have heard of him, though, you know he is credited with being one of the forefathers of modern bass fishing and especially credited with the way we all approach deep-water structure fishing.
It’s not my intent to start an argument in regards to who it was that first began to venture away from the shoreline and probe the depths for bass but it’s certain that Perry was one of the first preachers of structure fishing – he actually coined the phrase – and without a doubt the most vocal. Stories of him wrecking bass on fished-out waters throughout the United States can easily be found by doing a simple search of his name in whatever Internet search engine you prefer.
A few days ago I was going through an old set of Fishing Facts magazines and ran into this ad featuring Buck Perry and his spoonplug book, “Spoonplugging – Your Guide to Lunker Catches.” What I found intriguing about the ad is its headline, “The Great Majority of Fishermen are not interested in this ad….. BUT If you believe that fishing should be something more than a lifetime of frustration and a lack of success, this may interest you.”
This ad is from 1974, six years after Ray Scott started the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and Bassmaster Magazine. It was also 12 years after the start of Fishing News – the precursor to Fishing Facts – both of which published numerous articles instructing anglers to venture away from the shoreline cover and fish deeper structure.
In the ad they, it’s assumed that it’s Fishing Facts Editor and Publisher George Pazik talking, talk about Perry’s original booklet, “Spoonplugging For Freshwater Bass And All Gamefish,” and introduce him as the man Fishing Facts calls “the greatest living fisherman.”
They continue on to talk about how much it costs to hire a guide for a day and to compare that to the price of the book, which was $9.90 (plus 40¢ for wrapping and shipping. WI residents must add another 40¢ for state sales tax, no ups no downs no extras). Does it seem like a hard sell? Maybe but what grabs me the most is why they would have had to push people that hard to sell the book. In my eyes, even back in 1974, I want to read anything that had to do with learning more about bass, their habits and where to catch them. You don’t need to make me feel incapable or inept – I already feel that way most of the time – to buy something that’s going to increase my odds of catching more bass.
In the next few months we’ll bring you a review of Perry’s books, many of which are still available for purchase at his website, and shed some light on just how forward thinking he was. In the meantime, do you remember this ad and what did you do after reading it? Did it make you fill out the order form at the back of the magazine and send in your $10.30 ($10.70 for those of you fortunate enough to live in WI) to Northwoods Publishing Company?