Let’s Look Back – Tackle Industry Friends Part 2

When I found lures that would catch fish for me it was great to be able to share a boat with the guy who was bringing those baits to the tackle shelves.  The late Bill Norman was a friend of mine.  I learned a good bit about his baits on the fishing trips I made with him. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

When I found lures that would catch fish for me it was great to be able to share a boat with the guy who was bringing those baits to the tackle shelves. The late Bill Norman was a friend of mine. I learned a good bit about his baits on the fishing trips I made with him. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I miss those days. If you’ve been around as long as I have, I expect you do too.

What days am I talking about? I miss those days when if you had a question about a specific item of fishing tackle you could usually go right to the guy who had his name on it to get the answers. Even if he didn’t actually have his name on it, it wasn’t hard to find out who he was.

I didn’t, of course, have a chance to meet all of them back there 69 years ago when I first started writing but by golly I did get to meet quite a few. I’m talking about guys like Bill Norman, Cotton Cordell, Dick Kotis, Jim Bagley, Gary Loomis, Tex Reeder, Phil Jensen and a number of others.

One of the lure manufacturers I’ve always wished I’d had opportunity to meet was Fred Arbogast. That didn’t happen because Fred was already producing the first of his famous to be line of bass lures about the time I came into the world away back in 1923. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 15

Al Foss really started something when he came out with the Number 5 Shimmy Wiggler.  The bass went nuts over it the first time they got a look at it.. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Al Foss really started something when he came out with the Number 5 Shimmy Wiggler. The bass went nuts over it the first time they got a look at it.. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

It didn’t take long to realize just how much I didn’t know about putting bass in the boat.

I had just watched my companion hook a pair of dandy bass by racing his lure back through the lake’s pad cover in a fashion that should have scared any sensible bass to the other end of the lake.

But as I detailed in my previous column, just the opposite happened.

Within the next 15 minutes a couple of sizeable largemouth came busting through the pads to knock the hell out of the Hawaiian Wiggler my new friend Tex Reeder was using.

I had an Al Foss Shimmy Wiggler on my own line.  That lure had come on the bass fishing scene long before the Hawaiian Wiggler Tex was throwing.  I’d not, however, ever tried using it with the rapid, hell raising fashion old Tex had demonstrated. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 14

We weren't practicing catch and release back when I first got into bass fishing.  With the light pressure that then existed it wasn't really necessary.  Once tournament fishing caught on big time that situation changed in a hurry. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

We weren’t practicing catch and release back when I first got into bass fishing. With the light pressure that then existed it wasn’t really necessary. Once tournament fishing caught on big time that situation changed in a hurry. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

The lure might be the best you’ve ever tied on – provided you know how to use it so the fish find it of interest.

If you read my last couple of columns you know I’ve been writing about an old lure called the Al Foss Shimmy Wiggler.  I’ve also said I planned to tell more about the great guy who was to show me what I had to do with it to get the kind of results I was after.

As I’ve detailed, we were about to make our first trip together on Silver Lake in Southwest Washington State.  This lake, about 40 miles as the crow flies west of Mount St. Helens, is one of the best bass and panfish lakes in the Pacific Northwest. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 13

I always rigged my Al Foss Shimmy Wigglers with a 5-inch Uncle Josh pork rind strip.  The combination left me with some of my most treasured bass fishing memories. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I always rigged my Al Foss Shimmy Wigglers with a 5-inch Uncle Josh pork rind strip. The combination left me with some of my most treasured bass fishing memories. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Writing about the ancient Al Foss Shimmy Wiggler, as I did in my last column brings some other thoughts to mind. I probably should have said more about these thoughts when I first started these Let’s Look Back columns.

If you got out on your local bass water at daylight last weekend it probably didn’t surprise you to find a swarm of other bass boats already there.  Some of them were undoubtedly right smack on that area of the lake you’d planned to fish first.

Now stop and ask yourself how you’d like to have been the only boat out there?  Chances are your heart will pick up its cadence a tad just pondering what that would have meant to you.

Well, my friends, that’s how it was when I first began hammering largemouth bass before the middle of the last century.  Now that Homer Circle is gone, I know I’m certainly one of if not the oldest of the outdoor writers who has devoted most of his columns and features as well as his fishing time to those hard-to-figure beauties we call largemouth bass. [Read more…]