It’s been a few weeks since we last covered Smallmouth Magazine so I felt is best we pick up right where we left off. Smallmouth Magazine Volume 2 Issue 3. This issue, as would become standard in year two of the magazine, was six pages in length and filled with great advice on targeting the smallmouth bass.
The magazine starts off with a new Al Agnew print available to Smallmouth subscribers. I wish the magazine was in color at this stage because Agnew’s artwork was in a league of its own. The black and white image doesn’t do the print justice, I’m sure, and I wonder if this would have had an effect on how well it sold.
Tom Rodgers, president/publisher/editor of the magazine, was quoted as saying, “The four print series was produced for several reasons. The primary goals of the program are to raise funds to help develop the Smallmouth bass Foundation.”
Rodgers then goes on to say that the Foundation would be to help expand and improve smallmouth fishing while fighting to keep the smallmouth hatcheries open.
Agnew painted the original and Rodgers had the painting gone over by the smallmouth experts of the day before it went into the print phase. The print, duly called SMALLMOUTH!, was offered as a 14-inch by 21-inch color print with only 950 being released. Each print was signed and numbered for the collector. The retail price of the print was $95, but subscribers could get a copy for $47.50. Subscribers could also bid on the original painting.
Page two of the issue featured Billy Westmorland’s column titled, “Pork Rind Jigs and Smallmouth.”
The column starts off with Westmorland talking about his biggest smallie to date, a 10-pound, 1-ounce fish he caught in march 1972. The fish had succumbed to what Tennessee smallie fishermen referred to as the Fly ‘n Rind.
Westmorland goes on to talk about the pork he uses, preferring the Uncle Josh Leech, US, E2, and the Spin Frog 101. He says that these trailers coupled with a 1/8- to 3/8-ounce jig are his most reliable lures of all. His three techniques for fishing the bait are also listed and you can read those at your leisure.
Also on page two is a short piece on Westmorland’s VHS Library available from Lew Childre and Sons. It was an eight-tape collection, all featuring Westmorland fishing for everything from bluegill to bass. Rental fees were $5 to cover postage.
Showing the time is page three and an article on an angler who caught a 6-pound smallie from Michigan. The first paragraph stunned me because of the statement. “Hooking and landing a six-pound trophy smallmouth in Michigan is a rare occasion…” That isn’t the case today and is a possible sign that smallmouth fishing, not just in Michigan, is better today then ever.
The angler, Ron Brugger, was fishing Wixom Lake near Midland in April when the big fish was caught. He and his partner were targeting largemouth on a late winter migration route and the smallies just happened to be there.
Page four of the magazine features an article by Mike Sawyers about getting kids involved in the sport of smallmouth bass fishing. The article talks of small lures, light gear, and small streams where a kid can learn the intricacies of lure fishing. It’s advice still applicable today and for anyone with small kids interested in learning to fish, a good article to read.
Tom Zenanko authored a piece on page five about smallmouth fishing in Iowa. It’s a short piece on the type of water one would expect to find in the state and some of the better tactics as given by local Iowa angler Bob Jensen. Iowa still isn’t noted as a hub for bass fishing, but small streams did offer the angler a good chance to tangle with the old brown fish.
The back cover of the magazine featured new sponsors as well as a couple letters to the editor. Blakemore and Silver Buddy were the newest sponsors to support the publication.
Also on the page was a short piece about Coleman’s new canoe. I can’t help but think if this were today, there would be an image of a kayak.
That’s about it for this issue of Smallmouth. I hope you enjoyed this look back and we’ll have another issue up in no time.
If you’d like to read the entire newsletter, see the gallery below. Click on the first image and scroll through with the arrows.