Let’s Look Back: “You Gotta Make ‘Em Talk” – Part 2

The late Blackie Lightfoot travelled all over the United States showing bass anglers how to use lures the people he represented were selling. Out of all the different hard baits he fished, the one he holds here was his favorite. It is a Cordell Red Fin. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

The late Blackie Lightfoot travelled all over the United States showing bass anglers how to use lures the people he represented were selling. Out of all the different hard baits he fished, the one he holds here was his favorite. It is a Cordell Red Fin. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I wish the words I want to share in this column were easy for me to write, but they aren’t.  They will deal with the bass lure I told about in my previous Let’s Look Back column.

The lure, of course, is the Cordell Red Fin.  I detailed how my Texas friend Blackie Lightfoot once traveled the whole country showing writers and guides in different areas how the lures being marketed by the PRADCO people were best used.

As it turned out, after fishing all kinds of baits all over the place, Blackie’s favorite hard bait of the whole bunch was the Cordell Red Fin.  What he personally showed me on fishing trips we made together from Washington State to California wound up revealing why he felt as he did. [Read more…]

BFA Schedule Change

New BFA Logo GMFor the past 3-1/2 years we’ve been posting a new story every weekday that takes us back in the history of bass fishing. With the help of stellar writers such as Pete Robbins, Brian Waldman, Stan Fagerstrom and Harold Sharp, we’ve relived much of bass fishing’s history on a daily basis. We’ve taught a number of people some of the more obtuse history but more so, we’ve learned from our readers too.

Unfortunately, due to schedule, other commitments and responsibilities, we’re going to have to curtail that schedule to a minimum of once per week for the unforeseen future. You’ll see a post by me at least once per week and when Brian and/or Pete have the time or something interesting to share, they’ll provide content. Stan Fagerstrom has committed to continuing his look back on the sport he’s been involved with since 1946 (thanks Stan) in his monthly column, Let’s Look Back. So, at the minimum there will be one new post per week and possibly more. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Two for Your Trouble Answer and Winner (Mar 9, 2015)

The angler on the far left is Elite Series Rookie Brandon Coulter and the angler on the far right in camo is Elite Series angler Ott DeFoe.

The angler on the far left is Elite Series Rookie Brandon Coulter and the angler on the far right in camo is Elite Series angler Ott DeFoe.

Congratulations to JoeMac for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers, please read below.

Today, for the first time in Bass Fishing Archives trivia history, we’re going to require you to identify an old school pic with TWO current pros in it. To make it even easier, we won’t require you to tell us anything else about them, just who they are.

We recognize that the picture is a little bit grainy, but the guy on the far left is a rookie Elite Series pro. In case you can’t tell, he’s pretty happy here, probably because the Pro Craft in which he sits is now his – he won it. The guy in the camo jacket on the far right is also a current Elite Series pro. For what it’s worth, they both call the same state home. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Two for Your Trouble (Mar 9, 2015)

Can you guess the two Elite Series pros (the one on the far left and far right) in this picture?

Can you guess the two Elite Series pros (the one on the far left and far right) in this picture?

Today, for the first time in Bass Fishing Archives trivia history, we’re going to require you to identify an old school pic with TWO current pros in it. To make it even easier, we won’t require you to tell us anything else about them, just who they are.

We recognize that the picture is a little bit grainy, but the guy on the far left is a rookie Elite Series pro. In case you can’t tell, he’s pretty happy here, probably because the Pro Craft in which he sits is now his – he won it. The guy in the camo jacket on the far right is also a current Elite Series pro. For what it’s worth, they both call the same state home. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Guido Gitzem at the St. Johns Answer and Winner (Dec 22, 2014)

Kevin VanDam. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Kevin VanDam. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Merry Christmas and congratulations to Steve Q for winning this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers to this week’s contest, please read below. The next trivia contest will be posted January 5, 2015.

It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when a Kevin VanDam top-10 finish was anything other than a routine occurrence, but if you head back to 1991, the 22 year-old Michigan pro was just getting started and not quite yet a household name. Fishing his 8th B.A.S.S. event that February on Florida’s St. Johns River, Van Dam finished second to veteran Guido Hibdon, and just ahead of another legend, Roland Martin.

The 1991 Florida Invitational on the St. Johns marked VanDam’s best B.A.S.S. finish to that point, besting the 3rd-place finish he’d earned the prior September on New York’s St. Lawrence River[], a tournament in which he also fell one place behind Hibdon in the final standings. He “finally” earned his first bass victory in December of 1991 at Lake Lanier where he outlasted six former and future Classic winners in the top 10, including Denny Brauer (2nd), Rick Clunn (3rd), David Fritts (4th), Bob Hamilton Jr. (6th), Mark Davis (10th) and – you guessed it – Hibdon (7th). [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Lillegard Wins Again Answer and Winner (Dec 8, 2014)

Rick Lillegard. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Rick Lillegard. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Well, again we have no winner for this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! Are we making it too difficult? Well, maybe next week we’ll make it a little easier. For the answers to this week’s contest, please read below.

The 1997 New York Eastern Invitational on the St. Lawrence River was the second of Rick Lillegard’s two Bassmaster wins. A little less than two years earlier, he’d won the Maryland Eastern Invitational on the Potomac by a massive 11 pound 7 ounce margin over second-place finisher Pete Gluszek. In New York, the gap wasn’t quite that large, but he still managed to beat runner up Clark Wendlandt by more than four pounds.

The tournament was only 17 years ago, but while many of the anglers in the field still fish at the highest levels, the only member of the top 10 who fished in Elite Series competition is South Carolina’s Ray Sedgwick, who last fished the Elites in 2008. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Lillegard Wins Again (Dec 8, 2014)

Rick Lillegard. Photo Bassmaster.com.

Rick Lillegard. Photo Bassmaster.com.

The 1997 New York Eastern Invitational on the St. Lawrence River was the second of Rick Lillegard’s two Bassmaster wins. A little less than two years earlier, he’d won the Maryland Eastern Invitational on the Potomac by a massive 11-pound 7-ounce margin over second-place finisher Pete Gluszek. In New York, the gap wasn’t quite that large, but he still managed to beat runner up Clark Wendlandt by more than four pounds.

The tournament was only 17 years ago, but while many of the anglers in the field still fish at the highest levels, the only member of the top 10 who fished in Elite Series competition is South Carolina’s Ray Sedgwick, who last fished the Elites in 2008.

One member of the top 10 continues to attend every Elite Series event, though. It’s fourth place finisher Mark Zona, fishing the fifth of nine B.A.S.S. events in which he competed. His inaugural Bassmaster tournament was on the same waterway in 1995, and he finished a dismal 101st, so the 1997 event marked a substantial improvement in his performance. It wasn’t his best Bassmaster effort, though. In his final event (as far as we know) in 2005, he finished 3rd in a Northern Open on Lake Champlain. If you look down the standings sheet you’ll see that he did not yet call Michigan home – his address was listed as “Homewood, Illinois.” [Read more…]

Smallmouth Magazine – Volume I Number 5

Smallmouth Vol I Issue VIt’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve posted a piece on the early issues of Smallmouth so let’s get back to it. In this installment, we’re going to look at issue number five of the inaugural year, which came out in May. 1985.

This issue was the standard four-page newsletter as with previous issues but also came with a bonus page titled Smallmouth Fishing Forecast. Written by Bob Gooch, the article was more of a “State of the Smallmouth” address regarding fisheries throughout North America for 1985. It’s an interesting look back at what were the best smallmouth fisheries at the time. [Read more…]

James A. Henshall – 1883

Century Magazine's July 1883 issue featuring Black Bass Fishing by James A. Henshall.

Century Magazine’s July 1883 issue featuring Black Bass Fishing by James A. Henshall.

If you’re a student of bass fishing there’s no doubt you’ve at least heard of James Alexander Henshall – the father of bass fishing. In 1881, Henshall wrote the first book on the black bass, titled “Book of the Black Bass,” and coined what is without a doubt the most revered quote for the species, “I consider him, inch for inch and pound for pound the gamest fish that swims.”

As stated above, his book was first printed in 1881 by Robert Clarke and Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. Between 1881 and 1900, 13 variants of the first edition were also printed by Robert Clarke and Company. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Santee in ’97 Answer and Winner (Nov 24, 2014)

Photo Brent Chapman.

Photo Brent Chapman.

[Editor’s note: In observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday, no other features will be posted on today or Friday. Have a great Holiday and we look forward to seeing you next week with a full week of posts!]

Unfortunately no one won this week’s trivia contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For the answers, please read below.

Brent Chapman, the 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, began his B.A.S.S. career at the 1994 Missouri Invitational on Lake of the Ozarks, where he finished 32nd en route to three straight money finishes. Things must’ve seemed easy to the young Kansan, but subsequently things got tougher as he won the grand total of $3,400 over the next 11 events he fished. He earned checks with some frequency throughout 1996 – five in 10 events – but never made it into the top 12 during that period. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Santee in ’97 (Nov 24, 2014)

Photo Brent Chapman.

Photo Brent Chapman.

[Editor’s note: Although Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, Monday Trivia is still going to be played – with the winner being announced Thursday as usual. In observance to the Holiday, though, no other features will be posted on Thursday and Friday. We’ll be back next Monday with a full week of posts.]

Brent Chapman, the 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, began his B.A.S.S. career at the 1994 Missouri Invitational on Lake of the Ozarks, where he finished 32nd en route to three straight money finishes. Things must’ve seemed easy to the young Kansan, but subsequently things got tougher as he won the grand total of $3,400 over the next 11 events he fished. He earned checks with some frequency throughout 1996 – five in 10 events – but never made it into the top 12 during that period. [Read more…]

Old Bass Boats – 1977 Part 2

1977 Arrow Glass Bass Boat.

1977 Arrow Glass Bass Boat.

Yesterday we talked about the 1977 model-year boats from Alumacraft to Glastron. Today we’re going to start with Holiday and end with Rhyan Craft.

As stated yesterday, 1977 had 38 bass boat companies advertising in the magazines we looked through. A huge increase from the years prior. Many of the companies producing boats back then were new, even in 1977. But there are still a few we’re going to show, that are still around today.

Here’s the boats of Part 2. Remember, click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the ads. [Read more…]