It may seem like we’re on a structure fishing kick here at the Bass Fishing Archives – and you may be right. The deal is that structure fishing is such an important part of successful bass fishing that we really feel it’s essential to look back on its beginnings to understand where we’ve come from.
Back in the late 60s and early 70s, a vast majority of anglers would only fish bass in the spring of the year – mainly because the fish were shallow and easily targeted. Come the post spawn, when the fish would move from their shallow haunts, anglers far and wide would either quit fishing or quit catching. The few anglers in the know, though, would move off the banks and continue catching fish throughout the summer, fall and winter.
Anglers like Roland Martin and Bill Dance were heavy hitters when it came to fishing offshore structure having learned from the likes of Buck Perry, Jason Lucas, Glen Andrews and other early pioneers of fishing away from the bank. Because of their success on the tournament trails, by the early 70s a lot of words were written about their tactics of finding and fishing deep water.
Last week we featured the book Lunkers Love Nightcrawlers – the first major treatise on structure fishing. This week we delve into a smaller publication on the subject, published by the Alexandria Drafting Company, called Bass Structure Fishing.
Bass Structure Fishing was more than a book on structure fishing, though. They were a series of publications that concentrated on certain bodies of water, how to fish them and included an entire chart of the lake, river or inland waterway. Each booklet was authored by a resident expert or guide who described the seasonal attributes of the lake, what baits and areas were best and also explained how to find such areas on the enclosed chart. The books also delve into the equipment of the successful bass angler and the copy I have of Kerr Lake even has a section in it entitled The Pattern written by Roland Martin.
I’m not really certain when the Alexandria Drafting Company started making the Bass Structure Fishing series but a search on the Internet shows they started business in 1956. The first advertisement I’ve seen in a bass magazine was from a 1973 Bassmaster Magazine and it featured three Bass Structure Fishing booklets on Gaston, Santee-Cooper and Smith Mountain Lakes. The book on Kerr was authored by Virginia bass angler Larry Compton and was published in 1974.
The amount of information provided in the booklets is pretty amazing. I’m sure the authors didn’t provide all their hot spots and hot baits but for the knowledgeable angler the booklets would be priceless. I’m not sure how many lakes they ended up charting and writing about or when they actually stopped printing the series but from the looks of the booklet I have, every bass angler interested in learning about how to structure fish a certain lake should have owned a copy.
Unfortunately, the Alexandria Drafting Company went out of business in 2010 and there’s no reference I can find on when or if they stopped printing the series. So, do any of you out there know more about the Alexandria Drafting Company and the Bass Structure Fishing series?