The BFA copy of Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle. Published 1972 by Garcia Corporation. This copy must be the second edition as opposed to Andy Williamson's copy to the right. Obviously the booklet was a big hit back in the early 1970s or they wouldn't have changed the cover. Do any of you readers have another copy?
A second cover for the Garcia booklet, Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle was sent into us by long-time Bass Fishing Archives supporter Andy Williamson. Since his booklet cost $1.00 compared to the cover we have, I would have to say Andy's copy is older. Photo courtesy of Andy Williamson.
This past Wednesday we posted a piece on Garcia’s Sports Library and the little booklets they used to publish. That post got a couple of great comments as well as a recommendation for another of their booklets, Worming and Plugging for Bass by Homer Circle. Bass Fishing Archives supporter, Mike Orzell was the person who recommended we post it and even sent an eBay listing to get one. Well, it just so happened I had that booklet, so today we’re going to look at Homer Circle through Garcia Corp.

Last Wednesday when we talked about the contents of Rosko’s booklet, we touched on how Garcia used the book to teach anglers how to fish in the hope that they’d buy their product. In my opinion it was a soft sell advertising wise, with Garcia more interested in teaching anglers how to fish rather than cramming a bunch of gear down their throats. Today what I’d like to discuss is the contents of this booklet but spend more time looking at pictures provided by one of the most recognized names on bass fishing, Homer Circle.

The contents of the book are what you’d expect from any bass book of the time. It’s full of really solid information on baits, rigging, electronics, and other important topics for the beginning angler.  Throughout the information that Circle shared in this booklet, most of it is still relevant today, which, if you think about it, is quite amazing. I’ve said it many times here, very little in bass fishing is new.

A good example of this is on page 37 of the booklet. In this shot, Uncle Homer describes his preferred method of landing a bass without a net. In the picture you see an angler cradling a fish at the side of his boat. His description of this method in the text is:

“This last method is the safest way to land a big bass if you have no net, especially if a plug full of hooks is hanging outside the bass’ mouth.  You simply lead the bass, after you’ve played it out, alongside the boat.  Then just slide your hand under the bass’s belly and slowly lift it into the boat.

“You’ll be amazed the first time you do it because the bass will lie docilely in your hand. It lies there because its own weight is pressing its stomach against the central nervous system in the spine.  The effect is akin to paralysis.  Once you have it in the boat, then grasp the lower jaw and remove the hook with safety.”

Uncle Homer says that if you gently cradle a bass he’ll become immobilized. Printed with permission from ABU Garcia.
This technique has been popularized recently as viewers watch pros use the technique on TV.  I wonder how many know it was a fish landing technique from the early 70s or before?
Another one of the topics that was discussed was the plastic worm. Circle shows a picture on page 40 of the booklet with several ways to rig a plastic worm. The first is on a jig head (when was the shaky head invented?), then the exposed tandem hooks with a spinner. But his best method for rigging the plastic worm was shown on page 33 and was described as the “Slip Sinker” rig.  He talks about why this is the best way to rig it and shows a complete rendering of how to rig a plastic worm in this fashion. We’ve talked before about the Texas Rig and its origins as the Slip Sinker Rig and if you’re interested in going back to read that piece, click here. The main thing to take from this picture and its caption is even by 1972, the rig had still not become known formally as the Texas Rig.

Although Uncle Homer didn’t write any words in the body of the book about this fairly new concept, in one of the pictures, the caption stated that he cast with his left hand in order to be more efficient. This was written at a time when there were no left-hand retrieve reels on the market. One might wonder if he was left-handed but the fact remains, he stated that this was his casting hand of choice for efficiency, not because he was right- or left-handed.  Today, smart anglers teach themselves how to cast with both hands, giving them the upper hand on the perfect casting situation no matter the angle. I have to say, I’m not one of these “smart” anglers as I am stuck in my ways of always casting with my right hand.

How to rig the “Slip Sinker” rig. Printed with permission from ABU Garcia.
The rest of the book is filled with good bits of information for the beginning angler, even today.  Some of the information is outdated, but most is still solid. For example, plastic worms no longer “eat up your tackle box,” “Sounders” are known as Traps or vibration baits, and the bass angler of today doesn’t “buy the biggest tackle box” he or she can find.  Thank God those problems have been solved.

Still the concepts of what to use and where to use are appropriate. Even the short section on electronics sheds some light on how to use it and its effectiveness.  I don’t care how sophisticated electronics get, they are still governed by the same laws of physics.

Homer Circle’s life in bass fishing consisted of many jobs. He worked for Heddon Lures (sales rep up to vice president) in the 1950s and ‘60s, he was the Sports Afield fishing editor from 1968 until 2002, starred in two of the most important bass movies of all time with Glen Lau (Bigmouth, 1973 and Bigmouth Forever, 1996), wrote a number of books, an uncountable number of magazine articles and ended his career writing the Ask Uncle Homer column in Bassmaster Magazine. Homer Circle passed away on June 22, 2012 and his last day on the water was five days prior to that with long-time friend and ground-breaking underwater videographer Glen Lau. Lau, an IGFA inductee as well, passed on June 5, 2021.
A little Uncle Homer humor? Printed with permission from ABU Garcia.
As with the other Garcia Corporation booklet we posted last week, we’ll be scanning this entire booklet for all to read and posting it soon under Book Reviews.  I would like to sincerely thank John Schlosser and ABU Garcia for giving us permission to share these little bit of bass fishing history with you all.