Don Iovino – Western Doodle King

Don Iovino Bassmaster Classic XLV. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

Don Iovino Bassmaster Classic XLV. Photo/Video Brenda Serrano.

Not many people outside of the west know about Don Iovino – but you should. Iovino may not have been the angler who invented finesse fishing but in the west he was the guy who was the major proponent of light-line fishing and the use of electronics. Iovino was the guy who wasn’t just talking about fishing in deep water – and folks in the south, we considered deep water anything over 45 feet – but also fishing with lines as light as 6-pound test. [Read more…]

If it’s Good Enough for Billy – JW Lures Sweet Willie

1977 JW Lure Inc Sweet Willie.

1977 JW Lure Inc Sweet Willie.

They may not have been as big as Mister Twister, Creme or Mann’s Jelly Worms but the J.W. Lures Company was definitely on the map back in the early to late ‘70s. In 1973 their 13-inch Hawg Hunter worm set a record for the largest bass ever weighed in at a B.A.S.S. tournament, a 12-13 monster caught by Bob Tyndall out of Rodman Pool. A couple years later their 4-inch Ding-A-Ling was one of the first worms Don Iovino used to develop his Doodling technique prior to having Jim Smith of Smitty worms make one that would eventually display the Doodle King name.

One that you may have forgotten, though, was the Sweet Willie, backed by smallmouth bass expert Billy Westmorland. The worm was supposedly designed because of the increasing use of light line and rods – or what they still hadn’t defined as finesse fishing. [Read more…]