Pork: The Forgotten Bait – Part Two

Al Foss was a major pork rind manufacturer amongst other lures of the day. In this ad from 1923, they're showcasing their lures made specifically for pork rind, not to mention their pork itself.

Al Foss was a major pork rind manufacturer amongst other lures of the day. In this ad from 1923, they’re showcasing their lures made specifically for pork rind, not to mention their pork itself.

In Part One of this series on pork rind, we talked a bit about the back-and-forth history of the bait and its importance in the annals of bass fishing. Today we’re going to take a look at more of its history and dive even deeper into some of the old articles, catalogs, books and even some more contemporary pieces on the bait.

The first piece of early literature I’d like to share is from a 1923 Al Foss ad. It’s hard to miss the kid holding the giant bass caught from Florida’s Kissimmee River. According to the ad, the fish weighed in at 15 1/2 pounds and was caught on an Al Foss Shimmy Wiggler tipped with a piece of Al Foss pork rind. The claim from the customer goes on to say they also had a 12 3/4-pound bass amongst others.

To the right of the text Al Foss has a display of Wigglers available at the time along with a bottle of pork rind (cost 45¢). Archaic by today’s standards in baits, the Wigglers emulate a contemporary in-line surface buzzer that would use pork as the body. I wonder how many years it’s been since a bass, any bass, has seen the likes of a bait such as these? [Read more…]

Wigglers and Dancers – Fred Arbogast

A 1946 Arbogast ad featuring the new Hula Dancer.

A 1946 Arbogast ad featuring the new Hula Dancer.

It isn’t well known, unless you’re a vintage tackle collector, that it was Fred Arbogast who invented the flat rubber skirt. If you read Part One of the book review, Black Bass Fishing by Robert Page Lincoln, Lincoln reports in Chapter Seven that he tied up a bass fly with rubber band legs that, when on a trip with the Arbogasts, Fred grew especially keen with the rubber leg idea. The year of this trip isn’t mentioned but Lincoln wrote that that winter Fred Arbogast took the idea back to Ohio and fashioned what we know today as the flat rubber skirt. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 28

You're looking at an Uncle Josh Pollywoggler attached to a Johnson Silver Minnow.  The combination was one of my best early day lures for fishing pad cover.  Note the red yarn that sticks out of each side of the Pollywoggler's head. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

You’re looking at an Uncle Josh Pollywoggler attached to a Johnson Silver Minnow. The combination was one of my best early day lures for fishing pad cover. Note the red yarn that sticks out of each side of the Pollywoggler’s head. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Every time I start looking back – as the name of this column suggests – sooner or later I wind up thinking about the pork of a pig. If you’ve been reading these recent columns you know what I’m talking about.

I’ve told how I caught my first bass away back in 1936 on a self carved piece of pork that I’d hung behind a dime sized spinner. I’ve also detailed how I fell in love with the plain old Pork Chunk the good folks at Uncle Josh came up with.

I’ve been asked several times just when the different kinds of pork rind first came on the angling scene. Evidently it all got started around 1920. A guy named Alan Jones and one of his fishing buddies got the pork rind ball rolling then in the State of Wisconsin. [Read more…]

Northwoods Slop Baits 1979

Slop baits offered in the Northwoods catalog from 1979. Artwork by Wiley Miller.

Slop baits offered in the Northwoods catalog from 1979. Artwork by Wiley Miller.

Earlier this week we featured a piece on electronics from the 1979 Northwoods catalog. One of the comments we received from that post was in regards to the artwork in the catalog depicting how a bass might attack the lures featured on a page.

The artwork throughout the catalog was that of wildlife artist Wiley Miller and I thought it would be good not only to look back on gear from the past but also the give some credit to the artwork.

Today we’re looking at what Northwoods had to offer for fishing the slop. You turn to this page and what meets your eyes is a bass about ready to engulf a Bill Plummer Super Frog. If that vision wouldn’t get you to buy one of those frogs, I don’t know what would. It’s a nice piece of art depicting what might be going on under the surface of the water. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Shearer Answer and Winner (Jan 13, 2014)

Photo May/June 1982 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Photo May/June 1982 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

There were two people that submitted answers for this week’s Bass Fishing Archives Monday Trivia Contest sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. One of them had a more correct answer and that was John Karbowski. Congrats John on winning! For the answer read below.

Today Kentucky angler Ron Shearer may be best known for his TV endeavors, but in the 1980s he was a solid competitor on the B.A.S.S. trail, with two wins to his credit and five Classic appearances. In fact, he made the Classic five times in six years between 1980 and 1985, missing only the 1983 championship.

His rise in the sport was quick – according to an article by Bob Cobb, in the mid-70s Shearer quit his job in a factory after reading an article about Roland Martin’s career. He started fishing B.A.S.S. events in 1978, and two years later led a tournament on Guntersville before faltering on the final day and finishing 6th in the first of Basil Bacon’s two career B.A.S.S. victories. [Read more…]

Tackle 1949

Al Foss Shimmy Wiggler ad circa 1949.

Al Foss Shimmy Wiggler ad circa 1949.

By 1949 the sport of bass fishing was starting to morph into its own. World War II was over and the Korean conflict was still someone elses problem. Veterans of the war had come home, started careers and many of these people looked to the outdoors as a way to relax. Although the outdoors had always been there, in the late 40s fishing started to become more about the sport than that of putting dinner on the table. [Read more…]