Thank You Cotton

Left to right: Odis Young, Cotton Cordell and Fred Young compare Big-Os. Photo Todd Long, fishingforhistory.com

Left to right: Odis Young, Cotton Cordell and Fred Young compare Big-Os. Photo Todd Long, fishingforhistory.com

There are lure designers, seems every garage has at least one, and then there are lure designers. In our time there have only been a few true icons in the industry – Jim Bagley, James Heddon, Bill Norman and Lauri Rapala are a few of them that come to mind. All of these designers left an impression on the industry and sport that will live forever, not only in the books but on the local tackle shelves. They all created baits that were just successful back in the day, they’re still successful today.

The list of lure designers above, all have one thing in common – they’ve all passed on to that big pond in the heavens. [Read more…]

From Marilyn Monroe to Ott Defoe

Lauri Rapala - the founder of Rapala Lures.

Lauri Rapala – the founder of Rapala Lures.

Rapala hard baits continue to play a significant role in the efforts of both top-flight tournament anglers and weekend warriors alike. For example, the DT6 contributed to Randy Howell’s winning catch at the 2014 Bassmaster Classic and the DT Series in general has developed a dedicated following. The Shad Rap has been a cold weather staple for three decades. Other lures like the X-Rap and the Husky Jerk continue to fill store shelves and anglers’ boats.’

As a result of these later products, the original Rapala Floating Minnow gets scant attention from the tournament set, many of whom dismiss it as a “pond bait” Occasionally it gets some press, and on the Rapala website Bernie Schultz is quoted as saying: [Read more…]

The Bomber Model A

Bomber Model A ad from 1979.

Bomber Model A ad from 1979.

The 1970s were packed with what was known as the “alphabet” lure craze. It all started with Fred Young’s Big-O and went from there. Norman had the Little N and Bagley had the Balsa B. With all the lure manufacturers introducing their versions, it seemed like the industry was bound to run out of letters to use.

Another one of these alphabet baits was the Bomber Model A – a short, squat plastic crankbait that would eventually come in four different sizes along with shallow and deep divers. The lip of the bait was molded into the body creating a solid lure and also had an internal rattling system. [Read more…]

Cotton’s Crabs – Say What?

1972 Fishing Facts sale ad for Cotton's Crab (click to enlarge)

1972 Fishing Facts sale ad for Cotton’s Crab (click to enlarge)

Alright, so the title alone probably has you wondering just what in the heck this post is going to be about. While it certainly might be fun to see what ideas people could come up with as to subject matter, we are in fact staying on topic and venturing into the realm of crankbaiting today.

The Cordell Tackle Co. is well known for a variety of baits, many of which we’ve mentioned before on the site. Names like Crazy Shad, Red Fin, Boy Howdy, Hot Spot and Big-O. One you don’t hear mentioned much was a diving bait in the style of the famous Hellbender or original Bomber. [Read more…]

In-Fisherman’s First “Ads”

What's special about this particular issue of IF?

What’s special about this particular issue of IF?

I wanted to follow-up more on the earliest In-Fisherman magazines, as I’ve become a bit obsessed lately with this period in bass fishing history. In Tuesday’s piece about the first In-Fisherman magazine ever published, I mentioned their initial trumpeting of being a magazine not beholden to advertisers, as there were none in those early issues. That initial concept lasted less than a year though. In the May 1976 edition, they included the first “ads” to be published in the magazine. However, Al didn’t refer to them as such in his opening editorial. [Read more…]

This Month in Bass Fishing History

Today, a look back at was was happening in bass fishing history for the month of April.

'Fish Chris' of the former "Trophy Bass Only" website

‘Fish Chris’ of the former “Trophy Bass Only” website

10 YEARS AGO: April 10, 2003, and “Fish Chris” Wolfgram, host of the then “Trophy Bass Only” website catches his personal best largemouth weighing 18.4lb from Rancho Seco, California. The bass becomes the new Rancho Seco lake record, but this fish is only the start of a string of giant California big bass catches that is about to go down over the next couple months. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Name that Angler Answer and Winner

A 13-year old John (Crews Missle) Crews with two toads from the Big O.  Photo courtesy of John Crews.

A 13-year old John (Crews Missile) Crews with two toads from the Big O. Photo courtesy of John Crews.

Congratulations to Josh Unruh for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest! For the answer, please read below.

At 13 years old, the current tour level pro pictured here already had the makings of a future star. Not only did he have the proper bend in the bill of his hat, but he wore a neat collared shirt for the photo. Perhaps most importantly, these two big Okeechobee fish demonstrate that he knew what he was doing with a rod and reel.

In order to win this week’s trivia contest, we need you to answer the following three questions? [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Name that Angler

Youth at 13At 13 years old, the current tour level pro pictured here already had the makings of a future star. Not only did he have the proper bend in the bill of his hat, but he wore a neat collared shirt for the photo. Perhaps most importantly, these two big Okeechobee fish demonstrate that he knew what he was doing with a rod and reel.

In order to win this week’s trivia contest, we need you to answer the following three questions: [Read more…]

Season at a Glance: Bass Master Trail 1973 – Part One

1973 BASS Tournament Entry Form. Photo from the May/June 1973 issue of Bass Master Magazine.

This is part one of a three-part series on the 1973 Bass Master 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 1973 Bass Master Classic.

 

The 1973 B.A.S.S. tournament schedule was released in early 1973 and was touted by Ray Scott as, “(T)he greatest in history.” Scott “deliberately set” the February event on the St. John’s River in Florida in order to produce big bags and hopefully break the current B.A.S.S. all-time big bass weight of 9-09.

The season was also scheduled around the hot summer months in order to promote the live-release of fish, something that Scott was adamant about. In the year prior, Scott had implemented the Don’t Kill Your Catch mantra to the world of bass fishing and had had a “bad event” at Ross Barnett where nearly all bass had died due to heat and the fact there was a “problem” with the Mississippi Fish and Game Commissioner. For those interested in reading about that story, see Ray Scott’s book, Bass Boss, pages 164-66 [Read more…]