Let’s Look Back: Just Let it Sit

She's beat up a bit and some of her paint I gone but this old girl started catching bass for me a long, long time ago - and she still does. Note the sizeable double hook on the rear of the lure instead of the usual treble. One barb of the belly hook has also been clipped off. One of the workers at the Arbogast factory made these changes for me early on. I love it! Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

She’s beat up a bit and some of her paint I gone but this old girl started catching bass for me a long, long time ago – and she still does. Note the sizeable double hook on the rear of the lure instead of the usual treble. One barb of the belly hook has also been clipped off. One of the workers at the Arbogast factory made these changes for me early on. I love it! Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Some experiences just don’t fade away.

This applies every bit as much – maybe more – to fishing as it does to anything else. It’s certainly true where certain of my wondrous old lures are concerned.

If you read my last column you’ll recall I promised to tell about an experience that finally got me on the right track to get my Hula Poppers to do the job for me.

Goodness knows I’d had plenty of advice from experts regarding these old Arbogast baits. That advice was almost always much the same. It consisted of two words – slow down!

Maybe, like me and lots of other bassin’ men, you want to get your lure out there exactly where it needs to be but then you want to do something with it. What good is it gonna do just to let it set there? Why not start it dancing its way back to the boat and maybe get one of those bass you know is out there excited enough to smack it? [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Pork Rind Part Two

This is the  Pork Chunk bait the Uncle Josh people once produced.  How I loved this old bait!  Be assured the bass did too. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

This is the Pork Chunk bait the Uncle Josh people once produced. How I loved this old bait! Be assured the bass did too. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

[Editor’s Note: Part One of this story can be viewed here]

The sudden big boiling swirl quite a ways back in the pad field grabbed all my attention.

“Surely,” I thought, “that can’t be a bass. Whatever the hell tore up those pads is feeding like a shark!” My actual thought was that the surface ruckus had probably been made by a whopping big carp.

There were some really big carp in the lake I was on. I’d caught a few of them myself. They didn’t, however, usually create the surface disturbance back in the pads like the one I’d just seen.

It was mid-July and I had been fishing some of my favorite spots on Southwest Washington’s Silver Lake since daylight. I had just moved into the outer edge of the pad field I’ve mentioned. I’d caught bass there before from time to time. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part Nine

I didn't have white whiskers when I started catching bass with a Heddons Basser back out of Washington State's Silver Lake way back in the middle of the 1900s.  Largemouth loved that old lure then. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I didn’t have white whiskers when I started catching bass with a Heddons Basser back out of Washington State’s Silver Lake way back in the middle of the 1900s. Largemouth loved that old lure then. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

That beautiful old bass lure I’ve been writing about in these columns lately was a hefty piece of hardware.

If you’re one of the old timers fortunate to have a Heddon Basser in your lure collection, you’re aware the Basser is made of wood and is four inches in length.  It weighs 5/8th-ounce.

The lure has a distinctive “V” shaped metal plate held to its face by a couple of small screws.  Some of the early models of the lure were beautifully made with realistic glass eyes and a great looking finish. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part Eight

As you can see from the background in this picture, Washington's Silver Lake was filled with pad cover during the time I lived there.  It was also loaded with yellow perch.  The Heddon Basser was one of the best lures you could tie on to catch the lake's largemouth.  Provided, that is, you had it in the right finish and knew how it had to be handled.

As you can see from the background in this picture, Washington’s Silver Lake was filled with pad cover during the time I lived there. It was also loaded with yellow perch. The Heddon Basser was one of the best lures you could tie on to catch the lake’s largemouth. Provided, that is, you had it in the right finish and knew how it had to be handled. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

My love affair with one of the bass lures the Heddon Tackle Company used to market was undoubtedly impacted by the habitat and forage of the lake I lived on for more than 35 years.

When my family moved from North Dakota to Washington State in 1936 we settled in the city of Longview.  Longview is located in the southwest part of the Evergreen State 50 miles down the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.

Longview sets right on the Columbia.  As I’ve pointed out in my recent Let’s Look Back columns, I cut my bass fishing molars fishing the Columbia River’s backwater sloughs.  These sloughs were often used for log storage for the city’s big lumber mills. [Read more…]