Electronic Fishing 1962

A 1962 Ad for Lowrance Electronic Manufacturing Company and their portable depthfinder, the Model 505.

A 1962 Ad for Lowrance Electronic Manufacturing Company and their portable depthfinder, the Model 505.

When I started bass fishing in the mid-‘70s most boats had two depth finders – one on the console and one of the bow. These units were predominantly flashers made by Humminbird, Lowrance or Vexilar. About that same time paper graphs also started to take hold in the industry so by the late ‘70s you’d see boats with a paper graph and flasher on the console and then a flasher on the bow.

Nowadays serious anglers are placing two widescreen GPS/Depthfinder units on their consoles and two on the bow with some anglers even going as far as using iPads for more mapping capability. How times change. [Read more…]

Northwoods Finders of 1979

1979 Northwoods catalog from the people that brought you Fishing Facts magazine.

1979 Northwoods catalog from the people that brought you Fishing Facts magazine.

This weekend I was looking over a 1979 Northwoods catalog, printed and distributed by the folks at Fishing Facts, and a number of items caught my eye. First off, the entire from half of the catalog was devoted to clothing. Although I’m familiar with the winters of the north, this was there spring/summer issue and one would think they’d want to be selling tackle rather than cold-weather gear. I wondered what the fall issue would look like.

The second item that took me back in time was actually not just a single piece of equipment but an entire list of gear we had available to us that year – depthfinders. Although Northwoods offered a good selection, Lowrance, Humminbird and Fish Hawk, missing was Vexilar, Ray Jefferson and SITEX. [Read more…]

More Electronics – Garcia Corp

Garcia electronics ad from 1977

Garcia electronics ad from 1977

The year was 1977 and anyone in the fishing industry was looking to take advantage of the fast-growing population of bass anglers wanting to improve their ability to catch fish. As we’ve covered a number of times here at the Bass Fishing Archives, lure companies got in the business of making boats, boat companies got in the business of making rods and reel companies got in the business of making depthfinders. Seems logical when you think about it quickly but when you really ponder the thought, it seems ridiculous.

So far there’s really only been one company that capitalized and was successful on a crossover venture and that was Tom Mann and his crazy invention of the Humminbird depthfinder. Lord knows Lowrance had the market share at the time and why Mann would think he could build a better less-expensive mouse trap is beyond me. But the proof is in the pudding –Humminbird is one of two successful freshwater electronics manufacturers today and pretty much all other have gone by the wayside – except for those who still fish with Vexilar through the ice. [Read more…]

Ban The Graph, Side Scan, Structure Scan ANYTHING THAT SCANS!

Photo Bassmaster Magazine February 1976.

Editor’s Note: A couple weeks ago in an article titled, “Can Someone Get Me a Roll of Paper,” I mentioned a movement started by a MN Rep to Ban the Graph. Well, because of that I felt it might be interesting to look deeper into that subject. Here’s the story from the ‘75/’76 time frame.

A few years ago Hummingbird rocked the fishing world with their Side Imaging® technology and people went nuts – in two completely different ways. In one camp, people were in awe of the fact you could ‘peer’ into the water from side-to-side – seeing fish, structure or even stolen cars you’d normally have missed with a contemporary unit. Although the cost of the units was on the high side of high, many anglers flocked to the new technology knowing it would bring more fish to their livewells. [Read more…]