Original Caption: Elwood Buck Perry, the guy who took Governor Luther Hodges fishing in Kerr Lake last week, grins over a nice string of largemouth bass he landed while showing the governor a few tricks with a rod and reel. June 1956, Durham Morning Herald, Staff Photo by Tripp.

In today’s historical photo, Bucking the System, we have “the Daddy of Structure Fishing,” E.L. “Buck” Perry from back in 1956.  This photo is of him and a stringer of bass he caught with then North Carolina Governor Luther Hodges from Kerr Reservoir.  According to Wikipedia, Hodges was “Elected as lieutenant governor of North Carolina in 1952, he succeeded to the Governor’s office in 1954 after the death of the incumbent.  He was elected in 1956 to a full four-year term, serving in total as the 64th governor of the state of North Carolina from 1954 to 1961.”

A quick search also revealed that Kerr Reservoir was formed in 1952.  All of this would have been in the early days of Buck’s Spoonplugging promotions, having patented the lure in 1946.  It never caught on in the south despite widespread catches and publicity in local newspapers across the country.  But in 1957, Buck was encouraged to go up north, and so began a series of fishing and speaking engagements in the Chicago-Milwaukee area.  Success was immediate, and he sold tens of thousands of the lures at major promotions, garnering enough attention to get a mention in Sports Illustrated.  It even spawned the creation of Fishing News in 1963, which later became Fishing Facts magazine, one of the major fishing-only publications which had a huge run in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s.

Also click the link to check out this previous story and video about Buck and his “Spoonplugging” book on our website.