College Bassin’ Back in My Day

The front cover of the Bass Fishing Institute manual.

The front cover of the Bass Fishing Institute manual.

If you read and follow any of the major Tours or media outlets covering the sport, you know that college bassing has started to take on a life of its own. When you mention “growing the sport”, this and the high school level is where it’s going to happen. But before the current crop of college level competition came to be, and well before the Bass University (Ike, Gluszek) was around, there were other college bass fishing programs in place, sort of. Here’s a couple I was involved in that were right here in Indiana. [Read more…]

Black Bass Fishing: Robert Page Lincoln – Part Three

Black Bass Fishing CoverBack in late 2014 I started the review of this book, Black Bass Fishing by Robert Page Lincoln and never finished the last part. I want to apologize for that upfront (especially to Bill Sonnett). But now that the book has been glaring at me for nearly six months, I can’t ignore it any longer and today we have Part Three of the review of this must-read book.

Over the course of Part One and Part Two we covered chapters one through 17 along with the Foreword and Introduction. Today we’ll finish with Chapters 18 through 24 and the Appendix. For those of you who missed the first two parts of this book and want to read them (and I highly suggest you do) you can find the posts at the links presented in the first sentence of this paragraph. [Read more…]

Smallmouth Magazine – Volume 2 Issue 2

Photo Smallmouth Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 2, Feb 1986.

Photo Smallmouth Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 2, Feb 1986.

We’re back to Smallmouth Magazine – this time Volume 2 Issue 2 from February, 1986. This issue was the first where Billy Westmorland hadn’t penned an article for the newsletter, now in its sophomore year. In fact, the newsletter only had three feature articles in it, one from Harry n Charlie legend, Don Wirth, a second from columnist Frank Brooks and a third by Greg Matthews (a Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine reprint).

The Wirth article, a piece on where to go for trophy smallmouths, covered a number of Tennessee waters from the time that were producing smallies that broke the mystical 5-pound range – equivalent to the 10-pound mark for largemouth – Dale Hollow, Percy Priest and Woods Reservoir. Back then these waters were hard to beat – today you rarely hear of them producing big fish. [Read more…]

More Cuba – The 1978 ABF Bass Tournament

Anglers flew to Mexico in order to get to Cuba. Read the original caption from the Mar/Apr 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman to see who was signing up. Photo American Bass Fisherman magazine.

Anglers flew to Mexico in order to get to Cuba. Read the original caption from the Mar/Apr 1978 issue of American Bass Fisherman to see who was signing up. Photo American Bass Fisherman magazine.

Last week when Pete posted the piece on the relaxing of political ties between the U.S. and Cuba – and the renewed possibilities of U.S. anglers being able to fish the mythical lakes on the island – it jogged my memory of the first (maybe the only) bass tournament ever held on the island. That event was sponsored by the now-defunct American Bass Fishing organization who used Dan Snow as the conduit for getting a number of American anglers from the U.S. to Cuba via a tortuous path through Mexico. [Read more…]

Old Book Reviews: Jerry McKinnis’s Bass Fishing

Jerry McKinnis' Bass Fishing

Jerry McKinnis’ Bass Fishing

As promised, I recently completed my reading of this book, which carries the sub-title, “Largemouth & Smallmouth Habits & Habitats. Tackle. Techniques. Maps,” on its cover. The book was published in 1974 (First printing), and features illustrations by Ralph Mark, and a cover credit to Bert O’Neal. Speaking of the cover, it has the somewhat unusual appearance (for a fishing book) of featuring Jerry with a big stringer of bass looking to his then wife, Nan.  She appears a couple other times in the book. The book sold for $3.95 and covered 95 pages.

The book is paperback and actually quite large, more like a magazine or a coloring book. All pictures and illustrations. of which there are plenty, are in black and white. The font is also slightly larger than normal making for a very quick read. You could easily finish this one off in a matter of hours some afternoon. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – With a Twist Answers & Winner (August 4, 2014)

Jerry McKinnis, Host of "The Fishin' Hole"

Jerry McKinnis, Host of “The Fishin’ Hole”

Congratulations to Rich Johnson for winning this week’s Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers, read below, and come back for next week’s edition.

A slight change of pace this week with the Monday trivia question. I’ve finished reading Jerry McKinnis’ bass fishing book and will be doing a review on that next week. As many of you know, Jerry is the current boss over at B.A.S.S. He is also probably more recognized as the host of “The Fishin’ Hole,” a long running television fishing show that ended in 2007. For all the Yamamato’s (or at least $25 worth), we’ll need to test your McKinnis trivia knowledge.

In order to win this week’s contest, be the first to correctly answer the following four questions: [Read more…]

Smallmouth Magazine

Smallmouth Magazine published by Smallmouth Inc, began in 1987 and lasted five years. Photo cover of the March/April 1990 issue.

Smallmouth Magazine published by Smallmouth Inc, began in 1987 and lasted five years. Photo cover of the March/April 1990 issue.

When Ray Scott founded B.A.S.S. in 1967, the “B” stood for “Bass” – not specifically largemouth bass. It was meant to be inclusive, certainly with smallmouths and spotted bass under its umbrella. Later, long after he’d sold the organization, they expressly embraced bass diversity to include the so-called “B.A.S.S. Slam” of nine different species. Nevertheless, for a majority of bass anglers, in the early years the de facto meaning of the “B” was largemouth, since green bass were generally more readily available nationwide. There was certainly coverage of the other species of bass, but it was limited, and B.A.S.S. did not hold a major tournament on a traditional northern fishery until 1977 when Jim Rogers won the New York Invitational on the St. Lawrence River (Terry previously discussed Roger Lures and the associated tackle store here). [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – With a Twist (August 4, 2014)

Jerry McKinnis, Host of "The Fishin' Hole"

Jerry McKinnis, Host of “The Fishin’ Hole”

A slight change of pace this week with the Monday trivia question. I’ve finished reading Jerry McKinnis’ bass fishing book and will be doing a review on that next week. As many of you know, Jerry is the current boss over at B.A.S.S. He is also probably more recognized as the host of “The Fishin’ Hole,” a long running television fishing show that ended in 2007.  For all the Yamamato’s (or at least $25 worth), we’ll need to test your McKinnis trivia knowledge.

In order to win this week’s contest, be the first to correctly answer the following four questions: [Read more…]

History in Photos: Jerry McKinnis

The below picture is a teaser from the 1974 book named, simply enough, “Jerry McKinnis’ Bass Fishing.” This picture featured Jerry, now head of B.A.S.S., and Cecil Pedigo, probably most famous for the Pedigo Spinrite, but really made his money with pork rind. Look for the coming review of this book on the site in two weeks.

Jerry McKinnis (l) and Cecil Pedigo (r) from the book, "Bass Fishing."

Jerry McKinnis (l) and Cecil Pedigo (r) from the book, “Jerry McKinnis’ Bass Fishing.”

Bass History in Photos – A Quartet of Smallmouth Greatness

Editors Note: The old adage is that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So many times while looking through old books and magazines, we’ll come across photos that seem to just reach out and grab our attention for one reason or another. Oftentimes, there really isn’t a story or post ready or needed to go along with these shots. As such, we’ve decided to add a new category to the Bass Fishing Archives site titled ‘History in Photos.’ These posts will simply be a picture with a caption, no story attached. Hopefully you’ll find these old photos as interesting as we do, and perhaps you, our readers, can be the ones to lend some storyline to them via your comments.

(l to r) Jerry McKinnis, Charlie Brewer, Inky Gilmore and Billy Westmoreland. "This was a Lake Cumberland, Kentucky catch; the temperature was 9 degrees and the wind was strong." - December 1973, Fishing Facts

(l to r) Jerry McKinnis, Charlie Brewer, Inky Gilmore and Billy Westmoreland. “This was a Lake Cumberland, Kentucky catch; the temperature was 9 degrees and the wind was strong.” – December 1973, Fishing Facts

The Fishin’ Machine

Ricky Green holds his second 1st-place Bassmaster trophy from his win on Sam Rayburn in 1974. Photo May/June 1974 issue of  Bassmaster Magazine.

Ricky Green holds his second 1st-place Bassmaster trophy from his win on Sam Rayburn in 1974. Photo May/June 1974 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

In 1985 one of the most-respected boat companies came out with a new-concept boat that rocked the bass boat industry. The boat had all the amenities needed for high-level competition. They were fast, offered a passenger rod trough, rod locker ventilation and a console that looked more like it should be in an F-16 than a boat. The boat was the Cajun Ricky Green Fishin’ Machine.

By 1985 Ricky Green had been fishing as a full-time professional for a dozen years. He fished his first tournament at the age of 24 – the 1968 Arkansas State Championship at Greers Ferry – and won it. In that event he met Jimmy Houston, Larry Nixon and Jerry McKinnis. [Read more…]

Them Ol’ Brown Fish – Billy Westmorland on Smallmouths

Them Ol' Brown Fish - Billy Westmorland on Smallmouths as told to Larry Mayer. Published in 1976 by The Parthenon Press.

Them Ol’ Brown Fish – Billy Westmorland on Smallmouths as told to Larry Mayer. Published in 1976 by The Parthenon Press.

Editor’s Note: We’ve redone the way we post book reviews on the site to make it easier to find. In the upper menu bar, you’ll notice that we took away the Historical Links tab and replaced it with Historical Book Reviews. On this page you will be able to see each book we’ve reviewed and if you click on the picture, you’ll be taken to that review. Also, on the sidebar, you will notice a category for Old Book Reviews. This link will take you to old books we’ve reviewed but that list of links isn’t complete as of this time. We will continue to work on those links and the site in general to bring you all the history of our sport and in a way it’s easy for you to find.

If you’ve been around bass fishing for a while, I’m sure you’ve heard of the book, “Them Ol’ Brown Fish.” Written by legendary angler Billy Westmorland (as told to Larry Mayer) and published in 1976, at the time it was the only book written solely on the ways of the smallmouth bass. Prior to this, you might have been able to find small tidbits of information in articles or other bass books about the smallmouth but they were few and far between. [Read more…]