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…]

Monday Trivia – Name That Writer

Can you name this famous writer?

Can you name this famous writer?

Once again I’ll take a slightly different path with our weekly contest just to keep everyone on their toes. Here at the Bass Fishing Archives, we’ve covered a lot of books and articles from some pretty famous writers. In this week’s contest, sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits, we’re going to turn the tables a bit. The picture above is of another famous outdoor writer/journalist. As a bit of a hint, this picture dates back to 1971. And, this person’s work has been featured in some of the most popular bass and outdoor magazines of the past 30 years. To win this week’s contest, simply answer the following three questions: [Read more…]

Introducing Jason Lucas – Sports Afield March 1945

Sports Afield, March 1945. Reprinted with written permission.

Sports Afield, March 1945. Reprinted with written permission.

As we’ve written in the past, Jason Lucas is one of the early pioneers of the sport of bass fishing. His 24 years as the Fishing Editor for Sports Afield along with his book, Lucas on Bass Fishing, have cemented his name in the annals of the sport forever. Unfortunately, not many anglers younger than 40 know of him or his many contributions.

Because of this, there are a number of us bass historians who are dedicated to making sure his name isn’t forgotten and that hopefully someday his name will be as recognizable as Bill Dance, Roland Martin or Jimmy Houston. He’s that important to the history of bass fishing. [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 19

Fishermen were hungry to learn more about bass fishing back in the middle of the last century. Jason Lucas, the fishing editor of Sports Afield magazine at the time, did a tremendous job with his book "Lucas on Bass."  The book had three printings.  The first was done in 1947, followed by others in 1949 and 1962.

Fishermen were hungry to learn more about bass fishing back in the middle of the last century. Jason Lucas, the fishing editor of Sports Afield magazine at the time, did a tremendous job with his book “Lucas on Bass.” The book had three printings. The first was done in 1947, followed by others in 1949 and 1962.

Anybody who has been involved in fishing and writing about it for the better part of a century, and I have, is well aware of the importance of having access to good pictures to illustrate your work.

I’ve been so blessed in that regard.  My wife has shot thousands of pictures for me.  So have fishing partners like Jim Ewing and Mike Pedersen, both of Longview, Washington.  Oftentimes in the different magazines, I’ve been credited with pictures they’ve actually shot.  I’ve provided the cameras and related equipment and explained exactly what I wanted – but they’ve actually taken the pictures.

Usually the higher you climb in the writing ranks the greater the need for quality photography.  How then are you going to get that done if you insist on always fishing by yourself and there’s no one there to help out when you put a whopper in the boat? [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 16

Jason Lucas from his book, Lucas on Bass.

Few, if any, bass anglers have left a greater impact on the sport than Jason Lucas. Jason was the fishing editor of Sports Afield magazine in the middle of the last century. I had the good fortune to get to know him and to spend some time with him.

I’ve got a stack of personal letters in one of my files that mean a great deal to me.

The first one was sent to me was Feb. 10, 1954.  I was still cutting my bass fishing teeth at the time.  If you were to see the signature on that letter, as well as the whole bunch that were to follow, you’d have no problem in understanding why I treasure them as I do.  At least you would if you know anything about the history of bass fishing here in the United States.

Does the name Jason Lucas mean anything to you?  That name belonged to a man who in my opinion qualifies as one of the real fathers of modern-day bass fishing.  Way back there in the middle of the last century Jason was the Fishing Editor of Sports Afield magazine. [Read more…]

Finding Bass – a la Lucas

Jason Lucas teaches how to find and catch bass. Photo April 1958 issue of Sports Afield.

Jason Lucas teaches how to find and catch bass. Photo April 1958 issue of Sports Afield.

We’ve mentioned Jason Lucas here at the Bass Fishing Archives a number of times as being the father of contemporary bass fishing and will continue to do so as time progresses. For those of you who don’t know, Lucas was made angling editor of Sports Afield magazine in the late 40s and penned the first real book on bass fishing in 1947, which was reprinted two more times, first in 1949 and again in 1962. [Read more…]

Thank You Bass Professor

This is the cover shot of the first article ever written about Doug Hannon in Bassmaster Magazine. January 1978 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

This is the cover shot of the first article ever written about Doug Hannon in Bassmaster Magazine. January 1978 issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Since we started the Bass Fishing Archives in March of 2012, a number of legends have passed. It’s one of those things we expect as people get older but it’s also something that still surprises us when it happens. Last year when Uncle Homer went to that big lake in the sky, we all were surprised but not shocked as he was pushing the century mark. This week, though, I would venture to say we all were startled when we started hearing rumblings of Doug “The Bass Professor” Hannon passing away.

I personally refrained from the internet jabber about the event. First off, Hannon was too young and secondly, you can never believe what’s said on the internet unless it comes from a solid source. I sent out emails to some friends in the industry who would know of the unfortunate event – yet I didn’t get any replies. This can both be good and bad. [Read more…]

Bass Boats 1956

The boat used by Sports Afield Fishing Editor and bass fishing legend Jason Lucas. Photo May issue of Sports Afield.

The boat used by Sports Afield Fishing Editor and bass fishing legend Jason Lucas. Photo May 1956 issue of Sports Afield.

Is it bass boat or just boat?  Looking at the picture on the left I’d venture to guess that any angler today would call this boat a boat. But to anglers of the 40s, 50s and even through the mid- to late-60s, this would have been a bass boat. Maybe more correctly, a boat owned and operated by a bass fisherman.

The boat you see here was owned by none other than Jason Lucas, fishing editor for Sports Afield. We mentioned Jason earlier in the week in an article called BBM – Before Bassmaster Magazine. At the time there was no one who could hold a candle to Lucas on the water and he was and still is, among the few who know of him, considered the person who championed bass fishing over all other forms of fishing from the 40s through the late 60s. [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…]