Here is part four and a continuation in the series of previous Bass Fishing Archives posts taken from the 1970 Tom McNally’s Fisherman’s Bible and one of its stories titled, 150 Bass Fishing Tips from 15 Experts. The idea was that we would periodically post several of these tips from the “experts” of 1970 until we had posted all 150 tips.
Before delving into these additional tips, just a reflection on how much bass fishing has changed since these tips were offered way back in 1970. Any internet search on bass fishing today is rife with the “controversy” swirling around forward-facing sonar. While this posting is not to weigh in or take sides with where current technology is leading bass fishing, it is interesting to reflect on just how much has changed since 1970, especially with regard to technology.
The “mystery” of fishing is slowly disappearing. Unlike hunting, fishing historically involved an unseen adversary. For many fishermen, the anticipation and unknown timing of the strike and subsequent battle was always part of the appeal. When a lunker bass unknowingly slurped down your topwater bait or when you felt that long awaited telltale tap as you crawled a plastic worm along the bottom was always a large part of the fascination of our sport.
This mystery and excitement is slowly eroding with new technology. This is no more apparent than when watching current tournament pros whose boats often sport six total sonars, three at the bow and three at the console. Now you can see the bass and watch how they respond and hopefully attack your offerings. GPS guided trolling motors and dual rear “power pole” anchors that drop and hold at the touch of a button are also commonplace. Rods, reels and lures have all advanced greatly as well.
However, the real beauty of bass fishing is that all of this equipment (and expense) is not required to participate successfully and enjoyably. Perusing the tips presented in this post is evidence of a much simpler and quieter time when bass fishing was a true leisure activity. We hope these tips are not only a reminder of that time, but offer you some inexpensive and timeless advice to improve your bassin’ game.
Our first tips come from Bill Cullerton, an industry executive from this time who represented Johnson reels and Rapala lures. Despite his angling prowess across multiple species, he was described as a “bass fisherman’s bass fisherman.” Next up is Charley Elliott who was a field editor for Outdoor Life magazine. He also had an extensive outdoor public service background and was the author of several fishing books. Lastly, we have tips from Harold Ensley who if you are of a certain age and from the Midwest, will remember fondly as “The Sportsman’s Friend”. Besides radio shows, he was also an early pioneer in televised fishing programming. Enjoy!