Bass Facts From Tom Mann

Tom Mann image from the Dec. 1974 Fishing Facts story.

Tom Mann image from the Dec. 1974 Fishing Facts story.

In the December 1974 issue of Fishing Facts magazine, Spence Petros was able to catch up with Tom Mann while he was in Chicago. Tom, of course, was the legendary force behind such baits as the Jelly Worm, the Little George, and the “Pig” line of crankbaits. According to his write-up in the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, “Not content with just manufacturing fishing lures, while the owner of Mann’s Bait Company, he also founded and was the C.E.O. of Allied Sports Company, from 1969-1983. As the manufacturer of the “Humminbird Depth Sounder”, Allied Sports eventually became a stock company and was renamed Techsonic Industries: one of the largest selling depth sounder companies in the world. He also founded Southern Plastics, in 1977, a company that today is the world’s largest private brand supplier of soft plastic lures.”

Below are some of Spence’s questions paraphrased, with Tom’s answers excerpted from the interview. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Classic Contestants 1973

Rayo Breckenridge holds the Classic III trophy and one of his final day's fish as Bill Dance holds Breckenridge's check. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Rayo Breckenridge holds the Classic III trophy and one of his final day’s fish as Bill Dance holds Breckenridge’s check. Photo Bassmaster Magazine.

Back in the early days of the Bassmaster Classic, members of the press got personal invites to attend as writer-observers. In 1973 there were 50 members invited to the event held on Clark Hill Res. in South Carolina. One of those invited was Fishing Facts editor Spence Petros. Spence was to meet in New Orleans on October 22, and the following day he boarded a chartered jet where they flew off to the secret Classic location. After being up in the air for a while, Ray Scott opened a white envelope and announced the location from 30,000 feet. [Read more…]

The Earliest B.A.S.S. Ads

BASS early membership print ad. Fishing Facts, Sept. & Oct., 1969.

BASS early membership print ad. Fishing Facts, Sept. & Oct., 1969.

This post falls in line with the recent early B.A.S.S. stories and interviews that have been posted to the site. As you know, the idea for B.A.S.S. was hatched in 1967, and the organization was officially formed and incorporated in 1968. But like every other group starting out, B.A.S.S. had to initially advertise to try and generate interest and membership, frequently in the more popular sporting magazines already out on the market. The ad pictured in this post is likely one of the earliest in print, dating back to September and October of 1969. It appeared in the pages of Fishing Facts magazine, which at the time had been around for nearly 5 years and was seeing rapid growth in the Midwest markets.

There are several things of note with this early ad for the organization. [Read more…]

1975 Bassmaster Classic by Bob McNally

Harold Sharp (center) weighs Roger Moore's (behind Sharp) fish as Fishing Facts editor Spence Petros (left) looks on. Photo by Bob McNally.

Harold Sharp (center) weighs Roger Moore’s (behind Sharp) fish as Fishing Facts editor Spence Petros (left) looks on. Bassmaster Magazine editor Bob Cobb is in the right bottom corner. Photo by Bob McNally.

I recently received some photos from long-time outdoor writer, videographer and angler Bob McNally. Within the 20 or so photos he sent were five photographs taken at the 1975 Bassmaster Classic held at Currituck Sound, NC. We previously wrote about the 1975 Classic, in which rookie Bassmaster Tour angler Jack Hains won by six pounds over Marvin Baker. [Read more…]

Al (Lindy) Lindner 1970

Photo June, 1970 Fishing Facts magazine.

Photo June, 1970 Fishing Facts magazine.

Recently I was scanning through an old 1970 fishing facts magazine looking for ideas to write about and came across this picture of Al Lindner. At the time “Lindy” was guiding on lakes in Minnesota and Texas as well as running Lindy Tackle with his brother Ron.

We’ve discussed this before, the relationship between the Lindners, George Pazik and Bill Binkelman, and how it changed the face of fishing forever. The group took the knowledge of the past, expanded on it and printed it in a much more reader-friendly manner. They also developed their own techniques, tactics and procedures for locating and catching bass. [Read more…]

Book Reviews: The ABC’s of Trolling With Spoonplugs

Carl Malz on the cover of his booklet, "The ABC's of Trolling With Spoonplugs."

Carl Malz on the cover of his booklet, “The ABC’s of Trolling With Spoonplugs.”

When you spend much time looking at and researching old bass fishing memorabilia and history, you quickly realize that there is just so much stuff out there, one couldn’t possibly collect it all. So in my case, I’ve decided to focus my collections largely on the period of time around the old Fishing Facts and In-Fisherman beginnings from the 60s and 70s, and the “revolution” that occurred in the Midwest.

Terry has been posting some information recently about the old Northwoods mail order company which was tied in with Fishing Facts magazine. This particular book was sold by Northwoods (Item No. SP-1, $1.95). There is no listed publishing date, but I’d have to put it around the mid 70s if I were to guess. It was written by Carl Malz, who was a managing editor for Fishing Facts back in the day. From what I’ve read, Carl (along with Spence Petros) was a member of the Lake Geneva Fishing Club, which was created around 1965. When Bill Binkelman started up his Fishing News magazine, he took an interest in Lake Geneva and started attending some of their club meetings. There he met Carl and Spence, and they became “reporters” for the magazine, and eventually editors. [Read more…]

History In Pics: Pre-Wrap Wraps (Boats)?

Charlie Brewers pre-wrap bass boat from the early 1970s.

Charlie Brewers pre-wrap bass boat from the early 1970s.

I’ve tracked down what I believe is the first professional tournament boat considered to be truly “wrapped”, displaying a sponsor companies logo design over the entire boat. However, this isn’t that boat, as I’m still trying to obtain a picture of that rig. Before wraps though, there have been quite a few instances of “advertising” placed on rigs, much of which looked pretty “tacky” by today’s standards. In the Midwest, being a field editor for a national magazine and displaying that on your boat was one of the earliest concepts in this regard. One of the best looking bass boats I’ve found with such a display was the rig ran by Charlie Brewer, owner of Crazy Head Lures, and then Fishing Facts field editor. Both identities are displayed on his early 1970s rig above.

The Thoughts of Roland Martin, 40 Years Ago

Roland Martin. Fishing Facts, December 1973.

Roland Martin. Fishing Facts, December 1973.

No doubt he’s one of the greatest bass anglers to have set foot in a boat. Was already recognized as one of the best 40 years ago, just 5 years into the new B.A.S.S. circuit, and still a formidable angler today, even. This weekend I was reading an interview he did while in Milwaukee back in 1973 with George Pazik and Spence Petros. I find it really interesting to see just what was already thought in terms of location and patterns that we still read and speak of, even accept, today, along with some of his thoughts on bass spawning and populations, subjects which are still debated to this day.

I’ve assembled a few excerpts from that interview on a variety of subjects covered to share with readers below. [Read more…]

History in Photos: Old Bait & Tackle Shops

Suffice it to say, there’s a good chance that every fisherman of a somewhat “older” age probably had a local bait and tackle shop that is still fondly etched in their memory. The tackle stores of today are certainly nothing like the shops of the past. Here’s a photo in tribute to all those old shops and the memories they created. Feel free to share your favorite old tackle store with our readers in the comments section below.

Judy Wessel and her two young daughters, Jenk's Bait Shop, Hayward, WI. Fishing Facts, August 1972.

Judy Wessel and her two young daughters, Jenk’s Bait Shop, Hayward, WI. Fishing Facts, August 1972.

Jigs Before There Were Jigs

Elmer Thompson's "Doll Fly"

Elmer Thompson’s “Doll Fly”

Fishing the traditional “jig and pig” has become such a standard bass presentation these days that many anglers probably forget that there was actually a time before this great bass catcher came about. Terry and me have talked about some of the early pork days that go back to the 70s, 50s and even back to the beginning of the century. And though pork baits were on the angling scene very early, it wasn’t until the late 70s that living rubber skirts became a reality. The early 80s began that period of tournament bass catching dominated by the living rubber jig coupled with a piece of trimmed pork fat. So the question then is what jigs were bass anglers and others throwing before there were living rubber jigs trailed by pork rinds? [Read more…]

The Writers: Paul Prorok

Writer (now photographer) Paul Prorok

Writer (now photographer) Paul Prorok

Do you recognize the man in the picture to your left? If I tell you that his name is Paul Prorok, does that mean anything to you? Chances are, while you might not recall the name right off the top of your head, you’ll certainly remember some of his work in the world of bass fishing. Here’s a quick history of writer Paul Prorok, past and present.

What started this topic for me was an article I just finished reading in the December 1967 issue of ‘Fishing News’ titled, “Chicago Fishermen Chose Warm Air and Plastic Worm to Catch More Than 30 Bass on a Weekend.” Now that’s a mouthful, but such was the way that Bill Binkelman structured his articles when he ran ‘Fishing News.’ [Read more…]

When Al and Ron Talk, EF Hutton Listens

Ron and Al Lindner's new reprint of their 1974 book Catching Fishing written with Bill Binkelman of Fishing Facts magazine.

Ron and Al Lindner’s new reprint of their 1974 book Catching Fishing written with Bill Binkelman of Fishing Facts magazine.

I don’t know about you but I have been a fan of the Lindners ever since I read my first In-Fisherman magazine sometime in the mid-70s. Their approach to fishing along with that of Bill Binkelman, Buck Perry, Jason Lucas and Homer Circle changed the face of fishing and put all of us on the path to a better understanding of fish, their environments and how to catch them.

In 1974 the Lindner brothers along with Bill Binkelman of Fishing Facts magazine put together a booklet entitled Catching Fish. Actually is was a book containing over 380 pages and a thousand photos, with a number of their works and findings from 1964 to 1974 that were coalesced into a tabular format. As you flipped the page over, the next page was read from the top down. It contained pictures from the era, hand-drawn diagrams and directions on how to master certain techniques and tactics. In all it was an encyclopedia of advanced angling that I must say was the best of its time – without a doubt. [Read more…]