Original Caption: Everything and then some - Mr. Lucas sees that his tackle box holds plenty to attract bass. The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, UT, June 1949, no photo credit.

For today’s Friday Finale historical news photo, I went in search of Jason Lucas, former angling editor for Sports Afield.  Not surprisingly, I found thousands of references to him in articles from throughout the country. A lot of the stories didn’t have any pictures, but I found some great ones in a June, 1949 issue of the Deseret News out of Salt Lake City, UT.  The story was titled, “Mr. Bass Moves Up: Popularity of this fighting fish grows as sportsmen learn how to appreciate it,” and it was penned by Hack Miller, Desert News Sports Editor.

Part of what made this interesting is the story promoted the up-and-coming popularity in bass fishing in the western states.  How about this for an opening paragraph:

“The bass, fiend for food that he is, too often is a victim of his own appetite.  And because he likes to eat anything from wrappers off a tomato can to a floundering field mouse, he has become one of the most prominent game fish in today’s sporting picture.”

The article focused heavily on the bass fishery at Lake Mead, which was also the location for all the photos of Jason.  At the time, Lake Mead was a very new reservoir, the dam being built from 1931-1936, and officially dedicated September 1935. This write-up took place just over a dozen years later, as the bass fishing was just starting to take off there.

There was little mention of tackle or techniques, but the pictures alone make up for it. We have written about Jason numerous times on the website. You can see a couple of the more dedicated ones at the following links:

For those of you who don’t know, Lucas never allowed anyone to fish with him.  This made photographing his fish a challenge.  So, he rigged a wire that he would run through his tripod from the camera to where ever he would pose.  The wire would actuate a lever that would then start the timer and snap the shot.  Nearly every image of Lucas was shot by himself in this manner.  Impressive.

Original Caption: Mr. Lucas pulls in a big one at Lake Mead. The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, UT, June 1949, no photo credit.

Another fact about Lucas was he would head to Lake Mead every winter to fish and write.  He had a large 20-foot cabin cruiser that he towed his smaller fishing skiff behind.  He’d camp on the lake until he ran out of provisions or gas.  He fished every day and never missed a deadline for his column.

Original Caption: Landing a big one! Mr. Lucas, angling editor of 'Sports Afield,' lives in Boulder City, Nev. The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, UT, June 1949, no photo credit.