Let’s Look Back: A Friend Named Bill – Part 1

Having Bill Norman for a friend meant a great deal to me.  If this picture doesn't show a couple of guys having fun, I don't know what would. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Having Bill Norman for a friend meant a great deal to me. If this picture doesn’t show a couple of guys having fun, I don’t know what would. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

[Editor’s Note: The recent sale of Norman Lures to the PRADCO organization hadn’t yet been announced when Stan wrote the following column. The sale was announced in late November. Stan will bring things that the late Bill Norman started up to date in his Let’s Look Back column for January, 2016.]

Whenever we take time to look back over the high spots along the trail we’ve followed, we’re certain to remember especially well some of the special events that have transpired.

If certain of those events happened to involve special friends, they’re even more certain to be up close to the top of your tackle box of memories. One of mine took place eight years ago in Birmingham, Alabama.

The annual Bassmasters Classic back in 2007 was headquartered in Birmingham. There will be those reading this who undoubtedly were there. I was there too, but it was another event held in concert with the Classic that brought me. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Tackle Industry Friends Part 1

I didn't have any white in my whiskers when I first started corresponding with Homer Circle way back in the middle of the last century.  Over the years he was to become one of my closest friends.  Homer was working for the Heddon Tackle Company when our friendship first developed. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I didn’t have any white in my whiskers when I first started corresponding with Homer Circle way back in the middle of the last century. Over the years he was to become one of my closest friends. Homer was working for the Heddon Tackle Company when our friendship first developed. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

[Editor’s Note: Due to unforseen circumstances, we have not been able to post any stories for the better part of three months.  With this, we will be running two of Stan’s posts from August and September today and tomorrow in order to try and play catch-up with his column. We will also try and get back to posting on a more-regular basis.  We apologize for the lack of articles but the day job had severely hindered the time needed to provide meaningful pieces.]

There’s been a heap of change in this business of marketing baits designed to put bass in the boat since I did my first writing about it.

It was way back in the middle of the last century when I turned out my first fishing columns for a daily newspaper. The exact year was 1946. The way I went about getting details on new products I wanted to write about back in those early days provides one of glaring aspects of the changes I’m talking about.

And even more important, as far as I’m concerned, is how the tackle industry in those early days put me in touch with some lifetime friends. Some of those friends were instrumental in opening doors that led to me eventually having experiences I’d previously not even dreamed about having. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 22

Few men have had a bigger impact on the world of professional bass fishing than my friend Forrest Wood.  He's also a darn good fisherman himself.  Here he's rigs a bait I got to watch him use once while we were both taking a little time away from attending a Bassmasters Classic. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Few men have had a bigger impact on the world of professional bass fishing than my friend Forrest Wood. He’s also a darn good fisherman himself. Here he rigs a bait I got to watch him use once while we were both taking a little time away from attending a Bassmasters Classic. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I started writing about bass fishing a couple of weeks after the Pilgrims found that big rock in the eastern part of the country.

Well, maybe it hasn’t been quite that long but sometimes it feels like it.  My first newspaper fishing columns were written in 1946.  That’s 68 years ago if my Scandinavian arithmetic is reasonably close to being correct.

Write columns for newspapers, do features for magazines and eventually the Internet, plus giving casting exhibitions all over the place for almost the same length of time has brought unexpected bonuses from time to time. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 16

Jason Lucas from his book, Lucas on Bass.

Few, if any, bass anglers have left a greater impact on the sport than Jason Lucas. Jason was the fishing editor of Sports Afield magazine in the middle of the last century. I had the good fortune to get to know him and to spend some time with him.

I’ve got a stack of personal letters in one of my files that mean a great deal to me.

The first one was sent to me was Feb. 10, 1954.  I was still cutting my bass fishing teeth at the time.  If you were to see the signature on that letter, as well as the whole bunch that were to follow, you’d have no problem in understanding why I treasure them as I do.  At least you would if you know anything about the history of bass fishing here in the United States.

Does the name Jason Lucas mean anything to you?  That name belonged to a man who in my opinion qualifies as one of the real fathers of modern-day bass fishing.  Way back there in the middle of the last century Jason was the Fishing Editor of Sports Afield magazine. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Folkestad’s Florida Folly Answer and Winner (August 5, 2013)

Mike Folkestad and Ray Scott talk at the 1992 Florida Invitational event. Photo mikefolkestad.blogspot.com.

Mike Folkestad and Ray Scott talk at the 1992 Florida Invitational event. Photo mikefolkestad.blogspot.com.

Well it took four weeks but we finally have a winner! Congratulations to  Al Hustosky for winning this week’s Bass Fishing Archives Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits! For his efforts he won a $25 e-coupon good for anything on the GYCB website. Monday we’ll have another trivia question for you. For the answers to this week’s questions read below.

The 1992 Bassmaster Florida Invitational  was California pro Mike Folkestad’s lone win with B.A.S.S. in 60 tries. The western legend, who was formally inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame earlier this year, finished in the top 10 on seven other occasions, including a second-place near miss at the 1997 Arizona Western Invitational on Lake Powell. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Folkestad’s Florida Folly (August 5, 2013)

Mike Folkestad and Ray Scott at the 1992 Florida Invitational. Photo mikefolkestad.blogspot.com.

Mike Folkestad and Ray Scott at the 1992 Florida Invitational. Photo mikefolkestad.blogspot.com.

The 1992 Bassmaster Florida Invitational was California pro Mike Folkestad’s lone win with B.A.S.S. in 60 tries. The western legend, who was formally inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame earlier this year, finished in the top 10 on seven other occasions, including a second-place near miss at the 1997 Arizona Western Invitational on Lake Powell.

To some extent, Folkestad’s moment of glory was overshadowed by the overarching negative story about the Harris Chain. The chain of lakes, which had been highly productive previously and would rebound in the future, provided an absolutely miserable tournament experience that January. Folkestad’s three day, 12 fish winning weight of 14-10 (fishing a seven-fish limit) was the primary evidence of the chain’s problems. It was the lowest three-day winning weight in B.A.S.S. history until Kevin VanDam won the 2005 Bassmaster Classic on Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers with 12-15. [Read more…]

The Writers: Stan Fagerstrom – Part Two

Stan Fagerstrom in an Outdoor Life ad circa 1960s. Photo courtesy of Stan Fagerstrom.

In Part One of The Writers – Stan Fagerstrom, Stan talked about his childhood, his enlistment in the Army in 1942 and his first job with the Longview Daily News. In Part Two Stan talks about the first Bassmaster Classic and his relationships with Jason Lucas, Homer Circle and Ray Scott. To read Part One click here.


Major Impacts in the 60s

“I still couldn’t get bass out of my head and I was doing a whole lot of actual fishing whenever I could get away from the newspaper,” he said. “I kept a pair of coveralls and a pair of boots in the trunk of the first used car I was able to buy and in the evening and now and then when I had extra time at noon I’d run down to fish one of the Columbia River sloughs that was about seven miles away. [Read more…]