On Tuesday of this week we posted a piece on Garcia’s Sports Library and the little booklets they used to publish. In that piece I said we’d be posting another later this week and this is it – Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle. On Tuesday we talked about the contents of Rosko’s booklet and also touched on how Garcia used the book to teach anglers how to fish in the hope that they’d buy their product. Today I’d like to discuss the contents of this booklet but spend more time looking at pictures of one of the most recognized names on bass fishing.
The contents of the book are what you’d expect from any bass book of the time. What I found interesting about it was the number of techniques Uncle Homer – as he was referred to in this booklet – talked about back in 1972 that are still utilized today or are the “hot” new revelation in bass fishing. I’ve said it many times here, very little in bass fishing is new.
A good example of this is one of Uncle Homer’s methods of landing a bass without a net. In the picture you see an angler cradling a fish at the side of his boat. This technique has been popularized recently as anglers watch Elite Series pros use it on TV. Prior to that, I wonder how many knew of the technique unless they read this booklet.
Another one of the topics that was discussed was the plastic worm. Circle shows a picture of the numerous ways to rig a plastic worm – on a jig head (when was the shaky head invented?), tandem hooks with a spinner, etc. But his best method for rigging the plastic worm was by the “Slip Sinker” rig. He talks about why this is the best way to rig it and shows a complete rendering of how to rig a plastic worm in this fashion. We’ll talk more about the Slip Sinker rig in tomorrow’s piece. The main thing to take from this is even by 1972, the Texas Rig had still not been given its contemporary name.
Although Uncle Homer didn’t write any words in the body of the book about this fairly new concept, in one of the pictures the caption stated that he cast with his left hand in order to be more efficient. This was written at a time when there were no left-hand retrieve reels on the market. One might wonder if he was left-handed but the fact remains, he stated that this was his casting hand of choice for efficiency.
The rest of the book is filled with good bits of information for the beginning angler even today but some of which is outdated. For example, plastic worms no longer “eat up your tackle box,” “Sounders” are known as Traps or vibration baits, and the bass angler of today doesn’t “buy the biggest tackle box” he or she can find.
Still the concepts of what to use and where to use are still appropriate. Even the short section on electronics sheds some light on how to use it and its effectiveness.
Homer Circle’s life in bass fishing consisted of many jobs. He worked for Heddon Lures (sales rep up to vice president) in the 1950s and ‘60s, he was the Sports Afield fishing editor from 1968 until 2002, starred in two of the most important bass movies of all time with Glen Lau (Bigmouth, 1973 and Bigmouth Forever, 1996), wrote a number of books, an uncountable number of magazine articles and ended his career writing the Ask Uncle Homer column in Bassmaster Magazine. Homer Circle passed away on June 22, 2012 and his last day on the water was five days prior to that with long-time friend Glen Lau.