MotorGuide 1964

1964 Motor-Guide ad from Don Fuelsch's Southern Angler's and Hunter's Guide.

1964 Motor-Guide ad from Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide.

Back a few months ago we posted a piece on the history of foot-controlled trolling motors and the inventor, G. H. Harris. Well, again thanks to Jack Hall and the book he sent me, Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide 1964, I get to share with you one of the first MotorGuide trolling motor ads along with a lengthy article on why trolling motors are so important in bass fishing.

Although bright, flashy objects have a tendency to distract me, old boats and gear are more my speed. So, when I turned to page 90 of The Guide and saw more old bass boats, I stopped. That’s when I noticed the article was about troll motors and low-and-behold, one was a foot controlled job. I read on.

Electric Motors article from Don Fuelsch's Southern Angler's and Hunter's Guide 1964.

Electric Motors article from Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide 1964.

The author, I presume Fuelsch, talks about how important an electric motor is to quietly sneak up on bass and how they allow for better control of the boat compared to an oar.

The standard convention back then was to mount the trolling motor on the stern of the boat, adjacent to the gas motor. The author discusses how the trolling motor won’t interfere with the gas motor and vice versa along with being able to run the boat backwards in high winds.

Electric Motors article from Don Fuelsch's Southern Angler's and Hunter's Guide 1964.

Electric Motors article from Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide 1964. It appears Skeeter got a lot of press in Fuelsch’s 1964 Guide.

Breaking from convention, though, the author talked about a new device that was just introduced to the market – the foot control and the advent of mounting the motor to the bow of the boat.

As discussed previously, MotorGuide (or Guide-Rite/Motor-Guide, depending on what year we’re talking about) was the first company to develop the foot-controlled trolling motor and the bow-mount concept. According to the advertisement within the article, they offered not only a forward-mounting system (clamps to fit over the gunwale) but also a bow-suspension mount – known today as the bow mount.

Electric Motors article from Don Fuelsch's Southern Angler's and Hunter's Guide 1964.

Electric Motors article from Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide 1964. Lazi-Trol had a penchant for using scantily-clad women in their ads. Although the ad above didn’t have one, the picture on the opposite page did. lso notice the PolarCraft boat she’s removing the trolling motor from.

Since this version of Fuelsch’s book was written for the year 1964, I would presume that a lot of its content was written in the 1963 time frame. This would date the foot-controlled trolling motor back to roughly that year. I don’t know this for fact but at least we’re getting closer to finding out.

We hope you enjoy reading a bit of our past.

  • Bill M

    Amazing stuff. As much as love catching fish, old(er) machinery just fascinates me. One place I fish a bunch of people show up with steam powered small boats occasionally. Fishing and hearing steam whistles echoing through the valley, very cool.