As promised last week, we are posting the first two years of Smallmouth. At this point in time, it wasn’t much of a magazine, being that it was only four pages long and printed on rough paper. But the quality within those four pages sated the smallmouth jones of its readers. So today we continue with Smallmouth Volume 1 Issue 2 from February 1985.
In this issue, famed smallmouth angler Billy Westmorland talks about how he goes about targeting giant smallies with one of his favorite baits, the Silver Buddy. Although the Silver Buddy is his favorite bait, Westmorland’s biggest tip within this article is to fish deep – specifically 20-feet or deeper. And if you’re not sold on Westmorland’s name alone, the photo pinned to this article is sure to sway you. It’s the man himself holding two giant smallmouths, 10 and 10-1/4 pounds each.
The article itself is full of great information and still applicable today. For example, he talks about how to fish the blade bait, how to follow a depth contour, as well as line size. It’s a must read for anyone wanting to learn how to target big smallies anywhere.
The second page of the rag features a new contributor, Tom Zenanko. In this piece, Zenanko introduced himself, gives his qualifications and discusses what to expect from him in the future with Smallmouth. Zenanko, hailing from the north, admits upfront he can’t help the southern anglers with winter fishing tips but he’s sure his northern tactics will help every smallie chaser in the end.
Page two also supplied a couple of short reports. The first one was about the Texas State record smallmouth, a 6-02 caught out of Canyon Reservoir in 1982 by David Vorwerk. The current record for Texas is 7.93 pounds caught in 1998 from Meredith Lake.
On page three, Peter Kaminsky continues his two-part article on The Gamest Fish. The second half of the article has a lot of the history of the smallmouth, when it was first discovered, and the tackle first used. You’ll also notice maybe the first mention of the drop-shot rig – prior to the 20th century. This is a must read for you bass history nerds.
Page four features an announcement for the Save Dale Hollow Committee, started by Westmorland the same year. And at the end, there’s a pretty good forum entry by a gentleman named Bob Denike, from Ontario, Canada. Denike was obviously one of Canada’s most noted smallmouth anglers and lived on Lake Simcoe. His story of his lost PB is a humorous end to another great issue of Smallmouth.