Today’s historical photo, Grits Gresham 1969, comes from the November 1969 issue of “Fishing Facts and Secrets” and features Grits Gresham. A noted outdoor celebrity in the 1970s and 1980s, Gresham was also a long-time outdoor writer for many Louisiana newspapers and nationally published outdoor magazines. The caption that went along with the picture was this:
“Grits Gresham in action (looks like a spinner jig doesn’t it?). Anyway, we wanted you to see what he looks like. His book, Bass Fishing, which of course applies to all species, is a country wide best seller. It’s a ‘must’ for George and me – and for everyone that I know of that has read it. It’s so good, so helpful to our cause ‘helping you catch fish,’ that we unhesitatingly guarantee it. We have exactly 26 copies left at $5.95 as of this date. After that it’s $6.98. Publisher’s new price. NOT OURS.”
The book referred to in ‘Fishing News’ was, “Complete Book of Bass Fishing” by Grits Gresham, published in 1966. If you browse through the book, you’ll find a series of pictures that appear to all be taken as part of the same series as this one. The details in the book mention that the boat is “a 15-foot Terry Bass Boat made of fiberglass, with a 20-hp Johnson outboard on the stern and a Motor-Guide electric motor on the bow.” It also mentions elsewhere that the trailer was “a heavy-duty Tee-Nee.”
A closer look also makes it appear to be what we refer to here in the Midwest as a “stick-steer” bass boat, that type largely being banned from many tournament circuits in this area for more than 40 years due to safety concerns. If I’m not mistaken though, I believe Billy Phillips ran a stick steer all the time down on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes, so there may be some regional applicability in regards to use in competition.
Another interesting side note on the book – it details the probable first use and origin of the “Kneel and Reel” technique, well before the most recognized angler to do so, Paul Elias, popularized the technique on the Bassmaster tournament trail. It depicts and explains how Bill Adcock of Baton Rouge, LA, does this as part of his “Notching” technique used with lures like the River Runt.
I have read the and enjoyed it. Very good read for anyone, Jim.
Wow, might be one of the first photos I’ve seen of Grits Gresham without his trademark cowboy hat! Nice work!