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…]

The Shannon – Another Look

Shannon Twin Spinner ad from 1919 provided by Bill Sonnett.

Shannon Twin Spinner ad from 1919 provided by Bill Sonnett.

When we posted the story about the Shannon Twin Spinner last week it wasn’t long before we received an email from long-time bass fishing historian Bill Sonnett. Sonnett has been collecting bass fishing tackle and memorabilia probably since before I was born. He’s a self-described cult member of the Jason Lucas fan club and when it comes to the complete history of the sport, there are few who are in his league. He also contributes to a number of historical clubs and websites to include Old Reel Collectors Association (Reel News), Fishing for History and The National Fishing Lure Collectors Club. When Bill Sonnett says something about the bass fishing past, I listen. [Read more…]

There He Is

Bill Dance's There He Is. Published by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, 1973.

Bill Dance’s There He Is. Published by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, 1973.

Those words in the title have been heard by anyone who is a bass fisherman. The phrase signifies to the angler who says it that he (or she) has been bit and is about to set the hook. To the other angler in the boat, it can mean various things:

  1. Get the net
  2. Finally he’s gonna get one
  3. Damn, I’m not net boy today

If you were in the boat with the author of the book in question, you probably muttered the third option.

Yesterday Brian posted a piece on Bill Dance’s book, Techniques of Bass Fishing, and it reminded me of another early book Bill wrote via Bassmaster Magazine Editor Bob Cobb. This one, There He Is, written in 1973 and published by the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society of America was probably the most comprehensive treatise on worm fishing that had ever been written at the time. I need to find this out for sure but it may also be the first book published by B.A.S.S. for its members. [Read more…]

Got Worms?

Creme plastic worms circa mid-1960s still in their packs. Note the two weedless hooks pre-rigged in the bait. Photo Terry Battisti.

Editor’s Note: I’d like to thank Stan Fagerstrom for allowing me to photograph some of his old tackle used in this article.

For those of you out there who are certified worm freaks, here’s a blast from the past with respect to some worm-fishing history. Although Nick and Cosma Creme are rightfully credited with being the first people to develop what is known as the contemporary plastic worm (made out of PVC plastic), DeLong Lures actually started before (1946) the Cremes went into business in 1949. [Read more…]