I’ve been wanting to do a piece on Jim Rogers for some time now. Rogers was a major player in the sport back from the late 60s through the 70s, not only with B.A.S.S. but with the other organizations that popped up shortly after Ray Scott held his first tournament on Beaver Lake, AR.
In fact, speaking of the early Ray Scott events, Jim Rogers actually fished the second event held on Smith Lake, AL in October, 1967. Rogers fished 5 full tournament seasons with B.A.S.S. in those early days (1974, 76, 77, 78, 79) and made the Classic once in 1977.
Even though Rogers fished competitively for years, what he was best known for was his tackle company, Rogers Lures. Baits like the Big Jim crankbait, Spring Rat spinnerbait and Craw Pap to name a few. You couldn’t thumb through a bass magazine in the day without seeing at least one ad for Rogers Lures.
Although I’ve wanted to write something on Rogers, I was unsure how to get a hold of anyone that knew him or his family. Then my day job took me to Kansas City, MO this week. In typical fashion, I posted something on Facebook asking if there were any good shops in the area and had a reply to go to Rogers Sporting Goods. Knowing that this is the area Jim had lived, I had hopes it was the family business. As I drove up to the shop, I was pleasantly surprised to see the unmistakable font of the Rogers sign.
I went into the shop, introduced myself to the tackle manager Josh, and asked if the business was still in the family. His answer was yes and he directed me to Jim’s grandson, Steve. I went and introduced myself again and we talked about his grandfather and asked if it would be possible to do an interview with him and/or his father. I got the contact info I needed and proceeded to check out the 10,000-plus square foot shop. Aside from all the clothing and other non-fishing sporting goods, at least half of the place was devoted to fishing. Great place to shop and a great place to feel some of the history of the Rogers family.
In the next few weeks I’ll be in contact with the Rogers family and will post a piece about the life of Jim Rogers, Rogers Lures and Rogers Sporting Goods. Until then, check out these old ads and a picture of Jim Rogers and Harvey Naslund from the Spring 1976 issue of Western Bass.