As a continuing follow-up to some of the history behind Lowrance and their early electronic units, and since Terry has been on me to post about the old Lowrance books that were published in the 1960s, today we’ll take a quick book review through the first in what became a small series of published documents, “The Facts of Electronic Fishing.”
I have an original first edition copy of that book which was published in 1961 (opening pic). The company (in 1961) was operating under the name ‘Lowrance Electronics Manufacturing Company,’ or LEMCO for short. At the time, they were still located in Joplin, Missouri. The book is approximately 124 pages long, and broken down into 5 chapters. They are as follows:
- The Sonic Boom – A short introduction that introduces the company and the story to come, and states up front, “Our aim in publishing this book is to provide an entertaining, non-technical guide to better fishing.” This becomes quickly apparent as you read through the book since all the pictures used in the book are hand drawn “cartoonish” diagrams to get the information across.
- From Submarines to Sardines – A brief history of depth sounding and the development of sonar apparatus. How the FISH LO-K-TOR has developed from these beginnings.
- Nature Re-Visited – A digest of the findings of various researchers who have used the FISH LO-K-TOR in the field. Some new and interesting facts about fish and their environs, including a section on several popular game fish.
- The Inside Story – A nomenclature of the FISH LO-K-TOR demonstrating its basic features; and the reasons for its unexcelled performance. Included is a closing section on batteries.
- Seeing With Sound – Using the FISH LO-K-TOR in the field. How to read the dial and interpret the signals. How to mount the transducer. How to spot and recognize fish, and underwater obstructions such as brush, logs, weeds, etc. How to contour and mark a good fishing spot. How to fish through the ice, using a LO-K-TOR.
To a reader now days, the cartoon diagrams that fill the pages take a little getting used to, but the overall content in the book is pretty good. We have to keep in mind that this was likely the very first introduction of the general public to ‘personal’ sonar units, and trying to explain how they work and what their benefits are to the unknowing angler likely wasn’t an easy task. Now days, all this would be taken for granted. The book sold for just $1.00 and provides a great glimpse into the earliest beginnings of portable and compact sonar units for anglers and boaters – a wonderful piece of bass fishing history.
Coming next week in Part II, the 1967 version of this book from Lowrance.