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…]

Homemade Plastics and Jigs 1962

Photo Don Fuelsch's 1962 Southern Angler's Guide.

Photo Don Fuelsch’s 1962 Southern Angler’s Guide.

Some say it was Nick Creme who invented the modern plastic worm in 1949 – others say it was Dave DeLong. In any event, the new PVC material took artificial worm fishing to an all-new level. Prior to PVC, artificial worms were made out of rubber – the kind your car tires are made of. They were hard, not very lifelike and left a lot to be desired when it came to action. Polyvinyl chloride changed all that.

Having grown up in southern California, hand pours were more the norm than the exception. Yeah, we used Jelly Worms, Diamond Backs and Mister Twisters but if you really wanted to catch fish, the ticket was Jim Smith’s hand poured Smitty Worms. Smith and his wife Carol ran a successful business out of their house in Glendale and supplied baits to nearly every tackle shop in the southland. But, if you ventured out of southern Cal, you were hard pressed to find anything hand poured let alone anyone who knew what a hand poured worm was. [Read more…]

1963 World Series of Sport Fishing

The 1963 World Series of Sportfishing was won by Betty Mangold (women's division) and Ken White (men's division). Photo Don Fuelsch's 1963 Southern Angler's and Hunter's Guide.

The 1963 World Series of Sportfishing was won by Betty Mangold (women’s division) and Ken White (men’s division). Photo Don Fuelsch’s 1963 Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide.

Before the Bassmaster Trail and way before the Bassmaster Classic there was only one fishing event that even came close to determining who the best angler in the world was. That event was Hy Peskin’s World Series of Sportfishing. We’ve talked about the WSOSF here before (a simple search to the right will bring up a few good stories) but only in an overall manner. Today we’re going to look at one specific event, the 1963 WSOSF, as written in Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide. But, before we go there, here are some of the particulars of the WSOSF.

In order to qualify for the event, anglers had to win their state championship – or country championship as this was an international event. The WSOSF wasn’t just a bass event, either. Nearly all fish counted with bass gaining the most points. But, you couldn’t win with only black bass. You had to have fish in multiple species categories in order to ensure the win. [Read more…]

Who Was Virgil Ward?

Virgil Ward (left) and Smokey Falls display a hefty stringer of largemouth bass from Table Rock Lake on Ward's Spider Spins.

Virgil Ward (right) and Smokey Falls display a hefty stringer of largemouth bass from Table Rock Lake on Ward’s Spider Spins. Photo Don Fuelsch’s 1964 Southern Anglers and Hunters Guide.

Many of our “older” readers will certainly recognize the name, and even more so, remember his fishing show. As a pioneer in television fishing shows, Virgil Ward set the standard by which most all modern fishing shows followed when he created “Championship Fishing.” But you can’t be successful in television if you’re not successful on the water. Ward was both. As one of the earliest tournament competitors, he won the 1962 World Series of Sport Fishing, an event created and run by Sports Illustrated photographer and promoter Hy Peskin. He also created the Bass Buster Lure Company, maker of the infamous “Beetle” (Beetle Spin), and put lakes such as Table Rock and Norfork, amongst others, on the map as lunker bass destinations. [Read more…]

Pork: The Forgotten Bait – Part One

A Lutz Pork Ad from 1964. Lutz was one of three pork rind manufacturers from the early part of the 20th Century through the '60s, before anglers quit using the bait or Uncle Josh bought them out.

A Lutz Pork Ad from 1964. Lutz was one of three pork rind manufacturers from the early part of the 20th Century through the ’60s, before anglers quit using the bait or Uncle Josh bought them out.

[Editor’s note: This is a two part series on pork rind and its rise, fall and rise again, fall again pattern in bass fishing.]

Poll 100 bass anglers between the ages of 15 and 30 about pork rind and I’ll bet you get a lot of strange looks. Ask them if they’ve ever used it bass fishing and I bet you’ll get a 100-percent response of “no.” Then take a poll of anglers from 40 to 60 and ask the same question. I would be willing to bet a 100-count bag of Senkos they’d predominantly say “yes.” Then ask them when the last time they actually used it was.

I’d bet few have even had it in their boat for 20 years or more. [Read more…]

MotorGuide 1964

1964 Motor-Guide ad from Don Fuelsch's Southern Angler's and Hunter's Guide.

1964 Motor-Guide ad from Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide.

Back a few months ago we posted a piece on the history of foot-controlled trolling motors and the inventor, G. H. Harris. Well, again thanks to Jack Hall and the book he sent me, Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide 1964, I get to share with you one of the first MotorGuide trolling motor ads along with a lengthy article on why trolling motors are so important in bass fishing.

Although bright, flashy objects have a tendency to distract me, old boats and gear are more my speed. So, when I turned to page 90 of The Guide and saw more old bass boats, I stopped. That’s when I noticed the article was about troll motors and low-and-behold, one was a foot controlled job. I read on. [Read more…]