Let’s Look Back – Part 35

Two time Bass Classic winner Bobby Murray gets his share of fish on a Zara Spook.  And he didn't have to have quiet water to do it. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Two time Bass Classic winner Bobby Murray gets his share of fish on a Zara Spook. And he didn’t have to have quiet water to do it. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

America’s most popular sports fish doesn’t “always” do anything.

If you’ve read some of the millions of words I’ve written about largemouth bass over most of the past century you’ve undoubtedly seen me make that comment before. It’s my contention an angler can count on “usually” and “often” in their approach to this business of bass fishing. But stuff your “always” thinking where the sun don’t shine!

I’ve reached these sentiments after almost three quarters of a century of trying to put bass in the boat myself or watching and then writing about others trying to do the same. I hate to admit the number of times I’ve had things all figured out and then had those big mouthed buggers kick me and some of my bass fishing “facts” clear down to “Helen Gone’s” barn. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 34

It didn't take Bobby Murray long to show the bass fishing world his talents.  He brought this beautiful stringer to weigh in one day at the first Bassmasters Classic held at Lake Mead in 1971.  Bobby won the event.  He also took the Classic crown again 10 years later. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

It didn’t take Bobby Murray long to show the bass fishing world his talents. He brought this beautiful stringer to weigh in one day at the first Bassmasters Classic held at Lake Mead in 1971. Bobby won the event. He also took the Classic crown again 10 years later. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

As I detailed in my previous column, the “Dog Walker” rod Gary Loomis was marketing for a time in the early days of his rod building business was designed especially for fishing a Zara Spook.

He named these rods “Dog Walker” because it’s a technique called “Walking the Dog” that has kept Zara Spooks on the market ever since they were introduced by the Heddon Lure Company way back in 1939.

Did these lures start getting results right off the bat? They must have. The records show that the Spook was the first of the Heddon lures to top one million in sales. I’d also be willing to bet that this wondrous old lure has probably had as much or more written about it than any other bass bait. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back Part 33

The Zara Spook has been one of my favorite surface baits for a long, long time. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

The Zara Spook has been one of my favorite surface baits for a long, long time. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

One of my best friends in the high country of Arizona is as big a bass fishing nut as I am.

There are differences, of course, and one of them is that like most of the other bass men I meet these days he’s a heck of a lot younger. I was reminded of that a couple of years ago when this good friend came to me with a request.

“Stan,” he said, “I’ve read some of the stuff you’ve written about fishing a Zara Spook. I’ve just never gotten around to throwing those things. Any chance I could get you to show me how you use one?”

I could, as the name of my column here at the Bass Fishing Archives indicates, look back over a whole lot years of personally getting these wondrous old baits to do their thing. Along with a handful of other old lures that came along decades ago, they’ve provided me with more than their share of spine tingling memories. [Read more…]

Let’s Look Back – Part 23

I've always felt richly blessed to have had opportunity to spend a little time with the beautiful couple you see here.  They are Forrest and Nina Wood, the founders of Ranger Boats. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I’ve always felt richly blessed to have had opportunity to spend a little time with the beautiful couple you see here. They are Forrest and Nina Wood, the founders of Ranger Boats. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

In my previous Let’s Look Back column I had opportunity to share a few memories of a valued friend.  He’s one that has played a tremendous role in professional bass fishing almost since it the day started.

If you read that column you know the man I wrote about was Forrest Wood, the founder of Ranger Boats and one of the most respected men you’ll ever find in this business of bass fishing for bucks.

That previous column just detailed one of my memories where Forrest is concerned.  There are many others and I’d like to share a couple more this time around. [Read more…]

Monday Trivia – Zell on Top Answer and Winner (September 9, 2013)

Photo Bassmaster.com

Photo Bassmaster.com

Although the two readers that commented on this week’s trivia contest were close, they both missed the last question, “who won big bass and what did he catch it on?”Come back next week for a chance to win a $25 e-coupon from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. For the answers, read below.

Texan Zell Rowland earned his first B.A.S.S. victory at the 1986 Super-Invitational, weighing in 27 bass over the course of four days that totaled 39 pounds 6 ounces and thereby beating 225 other pros. Since that time he’s won four more, including two wins at Alabama’s Lake Guntersville. The most recent B.A.S.S. trophy on his mantle came in 2005.

Rowland’s average of just under 10 pounds a day may seem paltry, but it looms large when viewed in the context of others’ catches – stars including Jack Chancellor (1 pound), Ken Cook (1-11) and Roland Martin (2-06) all failed to crack the code of Chattanooga’s Chickamauga and Nickajack Lakes. [Read more…]