Your Legacy Will Live On Harold

Harold Sharp B.A.S.S. Tournament Director 1970 to 1986.

Harold Sharp B.A.S.S. Tournament Director 1970 to 1986.

Without fail, it seems every year one of bass fishing’s forefathers passes to the great lake in the sky and the sport is left with a gaping hole. In 2012 we lost Homer Circle and in 2013, Doug Hannon. In January of this year we lost lure giant Cotton Cordell and I was hoping that would be it – there just aren’t many of the old-timers left – and from my selfish perspective, they have so much to offer with respect to the history of our beloved sport.

Then last week, we lost a man who helped change the sport of bass fishing to make it what it is today. That man was Harold Sharp. Yes, Ray Scott gets the credit for starting the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society – that fact will never be argued. And, Ray started the sport the right way, by making sure there was a firm set of rules and that every angler adhered to them. But it was Harold Sharp who, along with Ray Scott, wrote the B.A.S.S. rules, regulations and bylaws, started the B.A.S.S. Chapter (what would eventually become The Federation/Nation) and started the Chattanooga Bass Club – all in the same night. (if you’d like to read the story, click on this link from one of Harold’s columns back from March, 2013) [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Tackle Industry Friends Part 1

I didn't have any white in my whiskers when I first started corresponding with Homer Circle way back in the middle of the last century.  Over the years he was to become one of my closest friends.  Homer was working for the Heddon Tackle Company when our friendship first developed. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I didn’t have any white in my whiskers when I first started corresponding with Homer Circle way back in the middle of the last century. Over the years he was to become one of my closest friends. Homer was working for the Heddon Tackle Company when our friendship first developed. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

[Editor’s Note: Due to unforseen circumstances, we have not been able to post any stories for the better part of three months.  With this, we will be running two of Stan’s posts from August and September today and tomorrow in order to try and play catch-up with his column. We will also try and get back to posting on a more-regular basis.  We apologize for the lack of articles but the day job had severely hindered the time needed to provide meaningful pieces.]

There’s been a heap of change in this business of marketing baits designed to put bass in the boat since I did my first writing about it.

It was way back in the middle of the last century when I turned out my first fishing columns for a daily newspaper. The exact year was 1946. The way I went about getting details on new products I wanted to write about back in those early days provides one of glaring aspects of the changes I’m talking about.

And even more important, as far as I’m concerned, is how the tackle industry in those early days put me in touch with some lifetime friends. Some of those friends were instrumental in opening doors that led to me eventually having experiences I’d previously not even dreamed about having. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back-Part 32

On one of my early trips to a Mexican lake the guide had us troll 10-inch worms way behind the boat.  It paid off. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

On one of my early trips to a Mexican lake the guide had us troll 10-inch worms way behind the boat. It paid off. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

You darn well better learn to listen to what the fish are trying to tell you if you expect some of them to join you for dinner.

I made a comment like that once while doing a casting exhibition years ago at the annual outdoor show held in connection with the Bassmasters Classic. There was a collective snort of sorts from my audience. “When,” asked a bearded old guy in the front row, “did fish start talking? I ain’t never caught any that did.”

I endeavored to explain what I was trying to say. No, of course fish don’t “talk” in the usual sense, but they certainly will show you their likes and dislikes if you’ll simply give them the opportunity. I guess the best way to explain it is simply to say it’s a situation where actions do indeed speak louder than words. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 23

I've always felt richly blessed to have had opportunity to spend a little time with the beautiful couple you see here.  They are Forrest and Nina Wood, the founders of Ranger Boats. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I’ve always felt richly blessed to have had opportunity to spend a little time with the beautiful couple you see here. They are Forrest and Nina Wood, the founders of Ranger Boats. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

In my previous Let’s Look Back column I had opportunity to share a few memories of a valued friend.  He’s one that has played a tremendous role in professional bass fishing almost since it the day started.

If you read that column you know the man I wrote about was Forrest Wood, the founder of Ranger Boats and one of the most respected men you’ll ever find in this business of bass fishing for bucks.

That previous column just detailed one of my memories where Forrest is concerned.  There are many others and I’d like to share a couple more this time around. [Read more…]

Uncle Homer via Garcia

Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle. Published 1972.

Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle. Published 1972.

On Tuesday of this week we posted a piece on Garcia’s Sports Library and the little booklets they used to publish. In that piece I said we’d be posting another later this week and this is it – Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle. On Tuesday we talked about the contents of Rosko’s booklet and also touched on how Garcia used the book to teach anglers how to fish in the hope that they’d buy their product. Today I’d like to discuss the contents of this booklet but spend more time looking at pictures of one of the most recognized names on bass fishing. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 11

Stan Fagerstrom holds a hefty Silver Lake Largemouth. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Stan Fagerstrom holds a hefty Silver Lake Largemouth. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I never will understand for sure why the Heddon Tackle Company quit selling a wonderfully effective lure called the Basser.

As I mentioned in the first column I did about the wonderful old lure, my friend Homer Circle was working with Heddon when that decision was made.  That Homer let it happen surprised me.  Homer was just as hooked on bass fishing himself as you and I are.

All this transpired, of course, long before the Heddon Tackle Company was purchased by a larger tackle company. [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…]

Let’s Look Back – Part Seven

I lived right on the shore of Western Washigton's best bass lake for many years.  The Heddon Basser took more than its share of the thousands of bass I caught during the time I lived there. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I lived right on the shore of Western Washigton’s best bass lake for many years. The Heddon Basser took more than its share of the thousands of bass I caught during the time I lived there. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

The only thing that doesn’t change is change itself.

And brother, if you don’t really believe that familiar bit of wisdom you haven’t been watching what’s happened in the field of bass fishing lures over the past half century.  Furthermore, if you’re an old timer like me there are instances where you just can’t understand why some of those unwelcome changes ever took place.

It was one of those lure changes that brought me together with a wonderful guy who was eventually to become one of my best friends.  That man was Homer Circle.  Anybody who knows beans about the bass fishing world knows who Homer was.  Among other things, he nailed down almost every award a writer in the outdoor world can get. [Read more…]

BBM – Before Bassmaster Magazine

Cover Sports Afield Magazine May 1956.

Imagine life without bass-centric magazines, bass-centric websites or even your ability to peruse Facebook and YouTube for bass fishing information. Imagine the only place to glean information for bass fishing was your local liars club – i.e. the local Ma-and-Pa Tackle Shop – or a monthly periodical, such as Sports Afield, which may only have one piece related to bass fishing in an issue. Seems foreign, huh?

Well, that’s the way life was during the pre-Ray Scott age. There was no Bassmaster Magazine, no bass fishing websites and no YouTube to teach you the latest and greatest techniques on how to catch your favorite gamefish. All there was were three magazines – Sports Afield, Outdoor Life and Field and Stream – and they were dedicated to the outdoorsman in general. [Read more…]

The Writers: Stan Fagerstrom – Part Two

Stan Fagerstrom in an Outdoor Life ad circa 1960s. Photo courtesy of Stan Fagerstrom.

In Part One of The Writers – Stan Fagerstrom, Stan talked about his childhood, his enlistment in the Army in 1942 and his first job with the Longview Daily News. In Part Two Stan talks about the first Bassmaster Classic and his relationships with Jason Lucas, Homer Circle and Ray Scott. To read Part One click here.


Major Impacts in the 60s

“I still couldn’t get bass out of my head and I was doing a whole lot of actual fishing whenever I could get away from the newspaper,” he said. “I kept a pair of coveralls and a pair of boots in the trunk of the first used car I was able to buy and in the evening and now and then when I had extra time at noon I’d run down to fish one of the Columbia River sloughs that was about seven miles away. [Read more…]

The Writers: Stan Fagerstrom – Part One

Stan Fagerstrom on the cover of US Bass Magazine, circa 1988.

Editor’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 may have been 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.

Over the course of time there have been many writers who have taught us through their words. Some of them have taught us the ways and methods of other anglers, while others have taught us from their own experiences. This installment of The Writers focuses on a person who taught us from his own experience – a lifelong love of bass fishing and casting. That person is Stan Fagerstrom.

Because Stan Fagerstrom has been associated with bass fishing for over 60 years, his experiences couldn’t be told in a single piece. Therefore, we’ve split up his story into a series that covers important parts of his life. We hope you enjoy reading about one of bass fishing’s most accomplished ambassadors. [Read more…]

The Writers – Dave Precht

Dr. Mike Allen, biology professor at the University of Florida, took this photo of Precht and his almost-10 pounder. Fishing with a variety of great people has been a highlight of Precht’s career. Photo courtesy of Dave Precht.

Editor’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 nearly 45 years novice and experienced anglers have turned to the pages of Bassmaster Magazine to learn about their craft. And, over the years many gifted writers have blessed the pages of that hallowed magazine, transcribing the words of the pros into something anyone can read and understand. Writers like Steve Price, Matt Vincent, Mark Hicks and the late Tim Tucker have all played a part in relaying information from the boat and on to the pages of Bassmaster Magazine – all in an effort to help us, the angler, get better. [Read more…]