Original Caption: Catching a big string of bass like this takes more than being 'lucky.' Knowledge of fish habits and interpretation of existing conditions is the only way you can do this consistently. Dec. 1973, Fishing Facts, No photo credit.

He’s “The Great American Fisherman,” though that title was still just around the corner a bit from when today’s historical photo was taken back in 1973.  Then 33-year-old professional bass angler Roland Martin had made a swing through the city of Milwaukee, stopping at the offices of Fishing Facts magazine, one of the largest and most popular fishing magazines in the Midwest at the time.

There he ran into George Pazik, editor and publisher, along with Spence Petros, managing editor.  The crew sat down, turned on a tape recorder, and talked for hours, well into the night, to compile a wide-ranging story that was broken into two parts, the first appearing in the December 1973 issue of the magazine.

In “Tips From a Top Tourney Pro,” they covered topics such as spawning bass, structure fishing, depth finders, and a new term Roland said he had coined just three years previous that he called “pattern fishing.”

This photo, which appeared in the story, is a great one.  Roland Martin’s holding a big string of bass while standing in front of his Ranger boat outside a local sporting goods store.  The boat, a Ranger TR3, most likely, looks to be hooked up to an old station wagon as the tow vehicle.  Other memorabilia of note are the large B.A.S.S. decal visible right next to the registration numbers and the 1971 BASS Masters Classic patch on his right shoulder.  The patch that is at belly level is the patch from the 1970 Toledo Bend Invitational held in January 1970.  It was the first event Roland fished with B.A.S.S.