Bass Fishing 1961

Before Charlie Campbell was making waves with the Zara Spook on the Bassmaster Tour, he was making his name in Missouri as a guide. Photo 1961 Don Fuelsch Southern Anglers Guide.

Before Charlie Campbell was making waves with the Zara Spook on the Bassmaster Tour, he was making his name in Missouri as a guide. Photo 1961 Don Fuelsch Southern Anglers Guide.

Bass-specific magazines didn’t come around until the Spring 1968 issue of Bassmaster hit B.A.S.S. members’ mailboxes. Prior to that, bass anglers had to wade through the outdoors magazines of the time in order to get their fix of bass fishing information. Having a good number of vintage outdoors magazines, it was mostly famine rather than feast when it came to learning out to catch bass from periodicals.

One publication that was first published in 1961 did provide a lot of information on the five Ws of bass fishing – the Who, What, Where, Why and When. That publication, and we’ve mentioned it here a number of times, was Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler and Hunters Guide. I’m still trying to figure out exactly who Fuelsch was, that’ll be another story in time, but I can say this with confidence, he put together one of the most complete compilations of fishing information I’ve seen. [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: The 1976 Bassmaster Trail – Part One

Bassmaster Tournament Trail advertisement from 1976. March/April Bassmaster Magazine.

Bassmaster Tournament Trail advertisement from 1976. March/April Bassmaster Magazine.

[Editor’s note: This is Part One of a three-part series on the 1976 Bassmaster tournament trail. Part One will cover the first half of the season, Part Two will cover the second half and Part Three will cover the 1976 Bassmaster Classic. Also to be included are the 1976 Federation Championship and a look into the Classic contenders.]

The announcement of the 1976 Bassmaster Tournament Trail was given first in the November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine and was touted as being the biggest ever with over $400,000 in prizes – the biggest payout in B.A.S.S. history. To start out, there would be six qualifying tournaments that would feature $50,000 in prizes and money paid out plus another $50,000 dedicated to the Federation and another $50,000 towards the year-end Bassmaster Classic. Extra money would be put towards the Bass Research Foundation to take to 1976 total over the $400K mark. [Read more…]

Blakemore Lures – A Look Back

Bert Hall, inventor of the Road Runner and Blakemore lures, hoist a string of walleye. Photo courtesy of TJ Stallings, TTI-Blakemore.

Bert Hall, inventor of the Road Runner and Blakemore lures, hoist a string of walleye. Photo courtesy of TJ Stallings, TTI-Blakemore.

When one thinks of some of the first lures designed for light-line finesse fishing two companies should come to mind. Of course there was the Bass Buster Lures Beetle Spin manufactured by early bass pioneer Virgil Ward. The second that should rattle your memory – especially with the latest number of underspins that have entered the market – is the Blakemore Road Runner.

Blakemore came to life in 1959 when Bert Hall and a fishing buddy started manufacturing the Road Runner in Branson, MO. Back then it was manufactured solely of marabou and was mainly designed for use on local lakes such as Taneycomo, Bull Shoals, Table Rock and the Arkansas River. The bait was designed to catch anything – and that it did. [Read more…]

Inexpensive or Cheap?

Bass Buster ad from 1972

Oh the days when I could go into a TG&Y or Woolworths, head down the tackle isle, pick up five purple Tarantulas, pay the cashier $4.95 plus the 6% California sales tax and head to my local golf course pond for some fishing after school. This was a pretty common affair for me as a 12-year-old kid.

I have no clue how many Bass Buster Tarantulas, Beetle Spins and Scorpions I went through between the ages of 12 and 14 but it was a lot. Then at 14, I started working at the tackle shop and my days of the “cheap” lures were over – I had to buy the “better” Markey spinnerbaits at $2.99 and the Beetle Spin turned into a “crappie” lure. I wasn’t a crappie fisherman – pun intended. [Read more…]