The Western Bass Pro Shops of the ’80s

Fangard Catalog ad from 1982 Western Bass Fishing Association magazine courtesy of Bill Rice.

Fangard Catalog ad from 1982 Western Bass Fishing Association magazine courtesy of Bill Rice.

Bass Pro Shops came out with their first flat-bound catalog in 1974 and featured everything that the bass angler needed when it came to bass fishing – right? Well, for the most part that could be true. Problem is every region or even lake has its own hot bait and even if Johnny Morris based his fledgling BPS from the concept of “having all the hot local stuff” it was literally impossible to do so. There ws no way that they could know what hot baits or techniques were being used all over the United States.

This is where small local mail order companies started popping up in all the local magazines and papers. We’ve talked about a few of them here on the Bass Fishing Archives before (here and here) and today we’ll touch on another one, this time western-bent Fangard.

Not only did Fangard sell stuff like Bobby Garnald’s Spider Jigs, skirts and trailers, they sold a number of other western baits such as Cato Lures and their own brand of Fangard lures along with nationally recognized products. They had a decent catalog and had decent success through the years they were in business and also acted as a jobber for many of the companies they sold product for.

Yeah, Bass Pro was great for things like reels, rods and Mister Twister, but if you needed those Spider-jig heads, 3/8-ounce football heads or a White Tornado, you had to get them through Fangard.