Bass-specific magazines didn’t come around until the Spring 1968 issue of Bassmaster Magazines hit B.A.S.S. members’ mailboxes. Prior to that, bass anglers had to wade through the Big Three outdoors magazines in order to get their fix of bass fishing information. Having a good number of vintage outdoors magazines at my disposal, I can say with confidence that it was mostly famine rather than feast when it came to learning how to catch bass from periodicals.
One publication that was first published in 1961 did provide a lot of information on the five Ws of bass fishing – the Who, What, Where, Why and When. That publication, we’ve mentioned it here a number of times, was Don Fuelsch’s Southern Angler and Hunter’s Guide. I’m still trying to figure out exactly who Fuelsch was, but I can say this with confidence, he put together one of the most complete compilations of fishing information I’ve seen.
Although the annual guides were essentially one big advertisement for various fishing and hunting camps – freshwater and salt water, lowland and highland – he also made sure there were informative articles on techniques, tactics and procedures for those of bass fishing ilk. Not only were there articles, there was also tournament reports (World Series of Sport Fishing) and bios for well-known anglers of the time. Top this off with ads of the day and these guides are a wealth of knowledge for fishing historians today.
Recently I was going through the 1961 guide and thought I’d post a few things from it that I found interesting. It’s a potpourri of ads and anglers I hope you like.
Next, we have a couple of pictures of an angler who got a lot of press back in the 60s – Dave Hawk. Hawk was originally from Missouri but left the Show Me State for the new reservoirs of Texas to become a guide. He and his father ended up buying the Pico Tackle Company of Corpus Christi – makers of the PICO Perch, a vibration bait.
Some credit Hawk with the introduction of the Texas rigged worm, but there isn’t any definitive proof that I can find on the subject. Those who give him that credit are Bill Dance, Bobby Murray, and Glen Andrews, pretty credible anglers.
Next, we have an ad from the Creme Lure Company of Tyler, TX. This ad also shows that Nick and Cosma weren’t resting on the sales of their worms alone. The spinnerbait shown in the ad closely resembles the old H&H spinnerbait that’s still sold today and has been around since 1959. I wonder if Creme had H&H make their spinners? Sure, looks to be possible.
The next ad is from the Jamison Tackle Corp featuring three different twin spins – the Sparkle Tail Worm, Marabou Twin Spinner Jigs, and the Shannon Bucktail Super Twin. As talked about here many times before, Jamison was a heavy hitter from the turn of the 19th century and without a doubt, the company that invented what we know today as the spinnerbait.
The other worm company in the mix was DeLong out of Cleveland, OH. DeLong was known for making rigged and unrigged worms but this ad was featuring their new Jigging Squirm. The jigging squirm was intended to be used as a dappling, doodle socking, or tule dipping bait. Anyway you call it, this was the first form of flipping which utilized a long 12- to 16-foot cane, bamboo or glass rod with a fixed length of line. The angler sculled his canoe or skiff close to the shore and cover and just dipped the bait into the water.
Pork seems to be making a comeback if the price doesn’t deter too many so how about a 1961 pork ad. The Lutz Pork Company was based out of Kansas City, MO and was one of the oldest pork companies in the day, Pedigo and Uncle Josh being the other two. Here we see some old-school pigskin in the Lutz Black Rascal. Back in the day this bait wasn’t tipped on a jig but fished on a weighted, weedless hook.
The final three ads I’ll leave to our readers to discuss. These are companies I either do not recognize or don’t have enough information on. So, if anyone out there knows of Four Rivers Tackle Co., Lucky Day Bait Co., and Wood MFG. Co, please let us know in the comments section.
We hope you liked this look back into bass fishing 1961 style.
Brilliant! Very cool that someone – Mr. Fuelsch – had the creative and entrepreneurial energy to publish a magazine like that. Love looking at those old ads. Sidestepping the nostalgic value I think you can learn as much or more about a time and mindset of an era from the ads just as much as you can from the articles written. There’s a small bait company in Wisconsin – the name escapes me just now – that also makes double-winged spinnerbaits like those in the Jamison Company ad.
David, it wasn’t actually a magazine but a 400 to 600 page guide for anglers and hunters covering the entire Midwest and South, fresh and saltwater. They’re amazing books!
I own several of these guides from the early to mid sixties and they are chock full of great old photographs of lunker bass from the heyday of many famous Ozark impoundments like Norfork, Bull Shoals and Table Rock. Don’t have a lot of information on Don Fuelsch, but the 1961 Guide has a brief bio describing him as a “ well-known freelance outdoor writer and photographer, with an extensive background in advertising.” He lived in Hot Springs, Arkansas on the shores of Lake Hamilton. His later guides were more focused on his home state- I have an Arkansas Angler’s Guide he produced in 1983. He also published a Freshwater Striper Guide.
I know you did a separate piece on these guides previously and for anyone interested in bass angling history, I highly recommend searching these out. You can often find them on used bookseller sites for less than $20…..
Mike, I think I have every book he ever published except the Striper Guide. He had the Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guides for 1961, 62, 63, 64, 65/66. The he had the Arkansas Angler’s and Hunter’s Guides for 1983, 84/85 and 87. That’s what I have in my library. If he had any for the years 1967, 68 and 69 I’m really interested in them because he covered the World Series of Sport Fishing in them.