Don “The Doodle King” Iovino – An Era Ends

Don Iovino weighs one of the last fish of his 40-year tournament career at this year's WON Bass U.S. Open. Photo Don Iovino.

Don Iovino weighs one of the last fish of his 40-year tournament career at this year’s WON Bass U.S. Open. Photo Dan O’Sullivan.

The first time I met Don Iovino was in 1978 at a seminar at a tackle shop called Anglers West in Diamond Bar California – I was all of 14 years old and wanted to learn everything I could about bass fishing.

In those days you couldn’t open a Western Outdoor News, Western Bass magazine or SWAB periodical without seeing Iovino’s name within its confines. He was winning or placing high in nearly every event he entered and doing it in a most unorthodox manner – some new thing he’d developed called doodling. [Read more…]

Early SoCal – Lake Henshaw

Lake Henshaw article from the February/March 1974 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

Lake Henshaw article from the February/March 1974 issue of American Bass Fisherman.

Recently I was reading a February/March 1974 issue of American Bass Fisherman magazine and was surprised when I saw a couple of articles about the west. What surprised me about them was; 1) ABF – or better known as the American-Florida Bass Fisherman – was based out of Florida, a continent away from the fledgling California bass scene and 2) one of the articles was penned by BFA contributor Bill Rice, while the other was about a pretty obscure reservoir just north of San Diego. This piece is about that reservoir, Lake Henshaw. [Read more…]

Burke’s Dedly Dudly – Buzzbait or Spinnerbait?

The 1972 Burke catalog, featuring their new "Dedly Dudly."

The 1972 Burke catalog, featuring their new “Dedly Dudly.”

A couple weeks ago, Terry posted a piece on the Harkin’s Lunker Lure, one of the first true buzzbaits on the market, and probably the one that put such baits and the technique on the bass fishing map. That generated an offline discussion among Terry and myself, along with George Kramer and Rick Clunn, about some of the earlier versions of similar baits. One that got mentioned was the Dedly Dudly, which actually came out a couple years earlier than the Harkin’s bait and was created by the famous Burke Fishing Lures company.

Here’s what we found out on this particular bait. [Read more…]

Past Technology – Lost Art

Topo Map CropI was at Walmart the other day to pick some stuff up and, as always, had to go by the fishing section to see if the Walmarts here in North Carolina are any better than the ones I used to frequent in Idaho. As I was looking at the Strike King KVD crankbaits and other paraphernalia I don’t need, I came across a couple pegs of topo maps – one of Shearon Harris and the other of Jordan, two lakes that are now only about 30 minutes from where I live.

As I was looking over them in the store, the thought occurred to me, “does anyone even buy these things anymore with all the electronics we have on our boats?” I bought the maps, went home and started looking at them in detail. [Read more…]

The Writers – George Kramer

George KramerEditor’s Note: This series is dedicated to those people who penned the many articles we read in order to learn more about our sport and become better anglers. Sure it was the anglers who developed the techniques, lures and equipment we use today but it was the writers’ job to make sure these bits of information got to the masses. Without the writers to communicate this, the world of bass fishing would be very different today.

For those of you outside the West, the name George Kramer may not ring a bell. For those in the West, though, the name resonates – longtime writer, longtime supporter, longtime critic. He’s the guy that came up with the California Top 40 – a ranking system that gives credit to the West’s best bass anglers each year. [Read more…]

Bass Club News via the May 1974 CLC

May 1974 California Lunker Club Magazine Bass Club Reports. Courtesy of Dave Coolidge.

I know this is really southern California-centric but I’m posting it for two reasons. One, I want to put out some old material for my friends in California and two, it’s a calling card for any of you readers who may have similar reports stashed away in your closet.

For those of you who reside in Cal (or lived there) and fished during those early years of competitive bass fishing, I hope you enjoy reading these club reports. Not many of these clubs exist today, if any, but I’m sure you’ll recognize a lot of the anglers, some of which are still competing. [Read more…]