Let’s Look Back – Abe Schiller Part 3

Abe Schiller checks out some of the lures he's going to show the bass at Lake Mead.  When I fished with him while aboard the big Flamingo Hotel's cruiser back in the 1950s we rarely ran into other bass boats. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Abe Schiller checks out some of the lures he’s going to show the bass at Lake Mead. When I fished with him while aboard the big Flamingo Hotel’s cruiser back in the 1950s we rarely ran into other bass boats. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Any time I take a look back at Las Vegas, Lake Mead and the earlier days of professional bass fishing it brings a mixture of memories – some good and some sad.

I expect many bass anglers will relate both Vegas and Lake Mead to the first Bassmasters Classic in 1971. I was there for that original Classic but my experience with both the city and the lake began well before that event took place. It’s also where some of that sadness I mentioned creeps into my memory.

I touched on some of that in my previous column. I told how I got my first look at Las Vegas in 1952. The beautiful Flamingo was then the only major hotel on what was to become the fabled Las Vegas Strip that we know today. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Abe Schiller Part 2

Abe Schiller was a man I was blessed to meet during my early days of fishing and writing about it.  I had the extreme good fortune to spend time with him on Lake Mead when that big lake was one of the world's best bass and crappie fishing spots. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Abe Schiller was a man I was blessed to meet during my early days of fishing and writing about it. I had the extreme good fortune to spend time with him on Lake Mead when that big lake was one of the world’s best bass and crappie fishing spots. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Does the name Abe Schiller ring any memory bells for you?

It very well might if you’re an old guy who has enjoyed as many birthdays as I have. You might even have known him better by the name “Mister Last Vegas” because that’s what he was often called when he was introduced here and there around the world more than half a century ago.

Much of the time he was called by that Las Vegas handle when he was riding a beautiful horse in parades like the annual Rose Parade in Portland, Oregon or the Tournament of Roses Parade in Los Angeles, California. He did it while majestically garbed in a Wild West outfit that included everything from sparkling boots to an eye-grabbing sombrero wilder than anything you’ve seen on the motion picture screens. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 36

Abe Schiller, just about as well known as "Mister Las Vegas," is shown in this 1952 picture of some of the fish he'd taken from Lake Mead.  At the time Lake Mead was producing some of the best bass and crappie angling in the entire country. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Abe Schiller, just about as well known as “Mister Las Vegas,” is shown in this 1952 picture of some of the fish he’d taken from Lake Mead. At the time Lake Mead was producing some of the best bass and crappie angling in the entire country. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I gave the first casting demonstration that amounted to anything at the old Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles way back in 1952.

Now let’s fast forward to a demonstration I did about 10 years ago at an International Sportsmen’s Exposition in Denver. I didn’t have any of the white whiskers at that early Los Angeles show that I do now. And when I’d been on my feet all day and had given three or four formal presentations, as I had that day in Denver, I was ready to order a cold beer and then head for the barn. [Read more…]