1977 Norman ad featuring the Norman Prostaff and the Scooper series crankbaits. Bassmaster Magazine.

1977 was a big year for Bill Norman Lures.  Out of five different bass magazines I have in my library, I was able to find nine different Norman Lure ads.  This doesn’t count duplicate ads placed in these same magazines which there were plenty.  Today in Bill Norman Lures 1977 we’ll take a look at these ads and discuss some of them.

The magazines these ad came out of were American Angler, American Bass Fisherman, Bass News, Bassmaster, and National Bassman.  Each of these magazines was dedicated to bass fishing and all were pretty impressive for the time.  Of course Bassmaster had the most money behind it but American Angler, American Bass Fisherman, and National Bassman weren’t far behind on quality.

This was a time of great competition between brands and the more ads you placed the more baits you sold.  Norman was one of those companies that dedicated a good amount of their budget to ads and top anglers on their prostaff.  A good example of their prostaff at the time is shown in the lead-in image.  From left to right Norman had Woo Daves, Dick Busby, Marvin Baker, Jimmy Houston, Basil Bacon and Billy Primos.  These may not be household names today but they were stars back in the 1970s.

Not only did that ad feature most of the prostaff, it featured Norman’s Scooper series of baits.  Fashioned after the Rebel Humpy he designed for George Perrin, this was a great bait in its day and would still catch fish today if it was thrown.

1977 Norman ad featuring Roger Mhoon, Jimmy Houston, and the Deep N series. Bass News magazine.
1977 Norman ad featuring Roger Mhoon, Jimmy Houston, and the Deep N series. Bass News magazine.

The next ad came in two forms, the only difference being in Roger Mhoon’s picture.  This ad was celebrating both Mhoon and Houston’s 1976 Angler of the Year awards on their respective trails as well as showing off the Deep Little N and Deep Baby N.

Next on the ad parade was the ever-famous Jimmy Houston Redman Spinnerbait, the first spinnerbait to incorporate a double cupped blade.  For the decades of the 70s through 90s, this was my go-to spinnerbait until I ran out.  Today it’s manufactured by Lucky Strike complete with a barrel swivel, just like Houston insisted on back in the 1970s.  Reason:  he claims it makes more vibration due to the swivel not being so smooth.

1977 Norman ad featuring Jimmy Houston, Woo daves, Gerry Kennedy, Roger Mhoon, and the N-series crankbaits and Redman Spinnerbait. American Bass Fisherman magazine.

Ad number five was another ad featuring some of the prostaff, this time Gerry Kennedy was added to the mix.  Kennedy had won the 1976 Bass Casters Association Grand National Championship, which was BCA’s take on the BASS Masters Classic.  Also present was Woo Daves, Roger Mhoon, and Jimmy Houston in his “pre-wrapped boats” MonArk.

Now let’s take a break from the crankbaits and look at Norman’s lone soft plastic bait, the Snatrix.  We’ve talked about this bait in the past and even though it won the 1979 BASS Masters Classic, sales were low enough that Norman removed it from their line about five years later.

1977 Norman ad featuring the Norman Snatrix soft plastic snake. American Angler and Bassmaster magazines.

This bait was a disappointment in my eyes.  It was nothing more than a ribbon tail worm.  Yeah, ribbon tails work great in certain circumstances, but this bait was supposed to be fished on top like a snake slithering on the water.  At least that’s how it was billed mostly in the ads.  Let’s just say I caught some fish on it but never anything by reeling it on the surface.

1977 Norman ad featuring the Scooper Series. Bass News magazine.
1977 Norman ad featuring the Deep N series. National Bassman magazine.
1977 Norman ad featuring the Little N but the ad talks about the Deep Little N. American Angler magazine.

The final three ads were 1/4-page ads that featured the Deep Little N, Deep Baby N, Little N, and the Scooper Series.  They were simple ads that were placed in nearly all 30 magazines I searched through along with at least one full-page ad.