Smallmouth Magazine, Volume 1, Number 5, May 1985.

We haven’t posted a piece on Smallmouth newsletter since May so let’s get back to it. In this installment, we’re going to look at Smallmouth Magazine – Volume I Number 5, which came out in May. 1985.  Prior to this issue, the first four had all been four-page newsletters.  This may issue was six pages long and I think I know why.

This issue was the standard four-page newsletter as with previous issues but also came with a bonus page titled Smallmouth Fishing Forecast. Written by Bob Gooch, the article was more of a “State of the Smallmouth” address regarding fisheries throughout North America for 1985. It’s an interesting look back at what were the best smallmouth fisheries at the time.

On the cover of the newsletter, Mike Creel wrote an article that took up most of the newsletter regarding the threat of smallmouth hatcheries being shut down – namely the Mammoth Springs and Tishomingo hatcheries in Arkansas and Oklahoma, respectively.  While writing this piece, I checked to see if either hatchery was still open, and they are still in operation.  The Mammoth Spring hatchery is still producing smallmouths, but the Tishomingo hatchery has stopped rearing smallmouths.  Although the piece is long, it shows Smallmouth’s dedication to conservation.

On page three, columnist Tom Zenanko talks about ice-out smallmouth tactics for those that live in the northern tier. In this article, he states that smallmouth spawn later than largemouths due to the smallmouth preferring to spawn in deeper water. I can’t say I’ve seen this happen after spending 20 years in Idaho but maybe it is the case in states of the upper Midwest. He also states that after ice-out, the fish are more apt to be found deep – another anomaly to my experiences.

On the last page is Billy Westmorland’s column – titled “Correct Lure Size? Always Small!” In this column he deviates from past columns where he talks about seasonal patterns and, instead, talks about lure size.  If you’ve ever read his book, Them Ol’ Brown Fish,” you know Westmorland preferred small baits.  Who can argue with the leading expert on smallmouths of the time.

I wonder if Westmorland’s thoughts would have changed with the discovery of the really giant fish that are coming out of California and Idaho, in lakes were the landlocked Kokanee salmon thrive to become dinner for giant smallmouth bass.  Although it’s kept very quiet, trophy smallmouth anglers in those states rely on swimbaits to fool fish in the 8-pound class and above frequently.  Personally my best swimbait smallmouth is over five pounds and it ate a 6-inch Huddleston 68 swimbait and just about jerked the rod out of my hand when it attacked the bait.

Below is the full issue for you to read in the gallery. Just click on the first picture to scroll through each page..