Before Charlie Campbell was making waves with the Zara Spook on the Bassmaster Tour, he was making his name in Missouri as a guide. Photo 1961 Don Fuelsch Southern Angler’s and Hunter’s Guide.

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.


The next picture is an early Virgil Ward Bass Buster jig ad. It’s not the earliest ad I’ve seen from Bass Buster Lures but it’s close. The ad states they were the original marabou jig makers and offered their jigs in seven different sizes between 1/64 and 1/2 ounce.

Bass Buster's Original Marabou Jig. 1961 Don Fuelsch's Southern Angler's and Hunter's Guide.


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.

Dave Hawk circa 1960.
Left to right. Captain Hawk, Dave Hawk and Bailey Ervin with some nice Lead Hill bass.


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.

1961 Creme ad featuring what could be an OEMd H&H spinner from the day.


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.

Jamison Tackle Corp with three twin spins.


Recently we posted a full catalog of 1968 Burke Flex-O Products. The next ad in this string is a 1961 ad from the same company. It features the Jig-a-Do head, Jig-a-Do Crawler and Jig-a-Do Bucktail as well as the Siamese Crawlers. Great ad and the only color ad in the bunch.

1961 Burke Flex-O Products ad.


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.

DeLong's 1961 Jigging Squirm ad.


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.

1961 Lutz Pork Ad


The final ad I’ll talk about is the Owen Jig Molds company. This ad features a standard head of the day, a banana head. But the ad also states they sell a number of special molds including molds for plastics.  Do it yourselfers were alive and well back in the early ‘60s too.

1961 Owen Jig Mold Ad


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.

1961 Four River Tackle Co Ad
1961 Lucky Day Ad
1961 Wood's MFG Ad

We hope you liked this look back into bass fishing 1961 style.