It might be hard to believe, but this year technically marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the publishing of the book Bass Wars, Nick Taylor’s firsthand account of life on Tour following a handful of professional bass anglers around the country back in the mid-1980s. The book lists 1988 as the copyright date, but it was released to the public in late 1987.
I dug through the archives to pull up a handful of book reviews that were published in newspapers across the country at the time (Nov. 1987) and share those below. I was also able to track down and converse with Nick Taylor a decade ago on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the book, and published a piece on the book that we will republish to the site tomorrow.
Here are the reviews:
“The perfect book for fishing enthusiasts, Bass Wars is not another how-to, but a unique behind-the-scenes look at the high-stakes tournaments of the colorful sport of bass fishing – the intense competition, the personalities and fans, and more.”
– Chicago Tribune
“It won’t rival Jim Bouton’s Ball Four or Pete Gent’s North Dallas Forty and the reception these books received from the baseball and football establishments, but Nick Taylor’s Bass Wars: A Story of Fishing Fame and Fortune is worth keeping.
“Taylor’s book, recently published by McGraw Hill, offers the first inside peek at America’s newest big-money sport – professional tournament fishing.”
– Tim Tucker, The Palm Beach Post
“This nicely-written, thoughtful little book scrutinizes critically but not unkindly the sport of professional bass fishing and its players.
“Two pros, top-of-the-heap Rick Clunn and Missourian Randy Moseley, a rookie, are followed closely through the tournament season of 1986.
“This is the first behind-the-scenes look at this sport, at founding-father Ray Scott and at personalities such as Clunn, Roland Martin, Jimmy Houston, Missourians Denny Brauer and Randy Blaukat, etc., and the result is absorbing.
“All anglers who nurse dreams of bass fishing professionally should read this book. So should their wives.”
– St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Taylor’s book is more than just an outsider’s look at the tournament game. He delves into the curious thinking of ordinary men who see themselves in a different light. Fishing tournaments give every bass buff a chance to be a hero. Imagine how the applause of 10,000 people sounds to a bricklayer from Broken Bow, OK. For that – and more money than most weekend anglers have ever seen – bass fishermen are willing to gamble their very lives in sudden storms and shotgun starts. Taylor tells it like it is.”
– Covey Bean, The Daily Oklahoman