Rich Zaleski patiently fishing a plastic worm most likely. Image 1976 Fishing Facts.

Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo takes us back to 1976 and writer Rich Zaleski.  The picture came from the first of a two-part story on “Facts to help you become a better plastic worm fisherman.”  I’ve copied a couple of interesting quotes from the story in regards to tackle and lure selections, and perhaps Rich will see these and chime in with his thoughts on what has, or hasn’t, changed in his tackle philosophy nearly 50 years later.

But first, one thing of note.  This article specifically mentions the “Texas rig.” Though the rig had been around since the late 1960s, at least, the name didn’t catch on until later, and this is one of the earlier references I’ve found. Previously, the name often used was “slip sinker rig” or “Self weedless rig.”

Now, on to the excerpts:

  • “I am of the opinion that the sproat hook design is the most efficient in terms of hooking ability.” Once upon a time, there really was nothing much other than a good old sproat worm hook. All the pros used and recommended them. Do you remember the blue metallic Mustad worm hooks? Those, and the Stanley bronze sproat worm hooks were about all I used, the latter being one of the first “cone point” (needle) sproat worm hooks available.
  • “I believe that the plastic worm is most attractive to the fish when it is SINKING. I feel that the SLOWER I can make the worm sink, and the longer it is sinking, the better my chances are.”
  • “I have a strong preference for a casting rod with a much slower action than that which is commonly found on commercially available worm rods.” In fact, Rich goes on to say his favorite rod was built off a shortened 9 ft. saltwater fly rod blank. This rod style was very common for a lot of techniques of the day, everything from Nightcrawlers Secrets to Slider fishing.
  • “After much trial and error, I have settled on 14 lb. test Stren Mod II Fluorescent monofilament as my ‘Standard’ worming line. This is the line that I use for most all NORMAL conditions. By ‘normal’ conditions, I mean fishing in depths of 5 to 25 feet, and light to moderately heavy cover, at least a little bit of color to the water, and a plastic worm of 6 to 10 inches in length.”
  • “…I use an Ambassadeur 5000D on this rod, and find no problems with it handling light line…The reason for this is simply that I just don’t like using a drag, preferring to BACK REEL when a fish is taking line. The ability to back reel quickly and smoothly is even more important when using light line, so the ‘direct drive’ feature of this reel is IDEAL for the light tackle baitcaster.”
  • “The colors in which I have the most confidence are dark grape, black, purple and a sort of olive green or Cordell’s Chameleon green.”