Tricky Dick ad from the 1976 Bass Pro Shops Christmas catalog.

……………..I’ll let you all fill in the blank.

Because my passion is going through old bass fishing magazines to archive where we’ve been in the bass fishing world, I find myself frequently coming across items that make me scratch my head. Mostly it’s because of some crazy idea or concept with regards to technology, but there are also the ads of the past that really show their time.  Recently I came across an ad and was reminded of something I’d forgotten about long ago. It made me shake my head, not from disgust but from what “they” could get away with in the 60s and 70s.

Although the moral majority (in the 70s, 80s and 90s they were a majority) may not want to hear this, there’s a big history of sex in bass fishing ads. Be it in a 1972 Bassmaster Magazine where a bikini-clad woman is posing in a new hooty-do bass boat or the same “lady” posing with a Heddon Zaragossa (hooks applied), trying to sell goods to the bass man. In fact, back in the 70s and 80s, there was a ton of sex in our magazines – every one, mind you.

This ad, though, takes the cake, in my humble opinion. Not only was it sexual, it had to be censored for the masses. Makes me wonder if they ever sold any of these and if they did, what the demographic for sales was. Was it the supportive wife of an angler who bought it as a joke, the father of the boy shown on the back of the first Bassmaster issue trying to get his son to fish, or a fishing widow who wanted it to…. I have no clue.

The other thing I wonder is if anyone ever tried it on the water? Was this the bait Jimmy Houston used to make his career on? Did it catch, “Trophy Female Bass,” as it states in the ad? Did any other lure, “beat it,” and is there documented proof to that claim?

There are just too many puns (and nightmares) to go with this ad. But I hope you had a good laugh at this ad that was in the 1976 Bass Pro Shops catalog.



Past Reader Comments:

Mindy:  I have 1981,82,83,84, and 85 Uncle Buck’s Bassmate Calendars. Can anyone tell me more about them as I can’t find any information readily online. What years were they in production ect. I really like them and would love to know the history. Where were the pics taken?

Terry to Mindy:  Hi Mindy, from my recollection, the calendars were made from 1976/7 through the mid to late 80s. I’m pretty sure they didn’t go much past 1985, so you may have one of the last ones. If you go down this list of comments, you’ll see one from Kim who states the models were local MO models.

Kim to Mindy:  Those calendars were made in Springfield, Mo. Had local girls as models. Racy but not nude. A family member was a model in early eighties curious to the years made and would like to see the pics if possible.

Scott Goble:  Hey Terry I’m new to this site and so far I’m liking what I’m seeing! But anyway my question for you is which Bassmaster magazines are worth the most and why?  Is there anyway I can send you some pictures of what I have?

Terry to Scott:  Hi Scott, Thanks for visiting the site! We’re glad you’re enjoying it. As for what BASS Masters are worth more, it’s the older ones from 68 through about 75. Obviously the older the more expensive. The reason? They didn’t print that many and there aren’t many around anymore.

Scott Goble:  Hey Terry sorry its taken me so long but I’m not a computer genius. That’s what the wife and my kids are for. I’m just the outdoorsman! But I took some pictures and ill send them to you. Thanks for your time and patience.

fish_food:  I didn’t come across that one until the 1980 edition catalog (I was around 13 years old). Remember the Uncle Buck’s nudie “Bass Mates” calendar? I managed to find one (and a set of matching thermal beer mugs) on ebay about ten years ago!

eddie to fish_food:  Yes I remember those Calendars I still have the ones I bought and I remember the last year I tried to order one along with the playing cards. And the female CSR told me they no longer carried any of those items. And she was glad but me not so much I have never bought anything from bass Pro since. I guess eventually everyone caves to political correctness. But those pictures were tame compared to what you can see for free on the internet today. I tried searching the web but I can’t find anything on them but I know they were real because I still look at them every now and then.

fish_food:  Terry, I don’t remember how explicit the mugs are compared to the calendar (the calendar isn’t all that naughty to begin with). You might be able to post a pic with strategically placed black squares just to be safe. Neither are very explicit by today’s standards though.

I’ll try to take them out of storage and take a photo of the set. And I’ll try to make scans of the calendar as well. I still haven’t forgotten about scanning that Field & Stream article about Dee Thomas–I just need to remind myself to bring the mag in to work .

Terry to fish_food:  Yes fish_food, I remember it well. LOL. Hmmm….. is that mug too explicit to post on here?

Joe J:  Recall that one of President Nixon’s nicknames back in the 70’s was ” Trickie Dickie”. Love the website and the articles.

Terry to Joe J:  Thanks Joe! Appreciate it a lot. Yes, Nixon’s nickname was Tricky Dick. 🙂