Original Caption: Gotcha!! This is the fun way to land a bass providing you don't lean over the boat too far. By pressing down on the lower jaw, you can temporarily paralyze the bass. This in no way will harm him, and he can be returned to the water seconds later in perfect condition. August, 1973, Fishing Facts, no photo credit

While we’re still on the pages of Fishing Facts magazine, I have this observation I’ll pose to readers.  I’m always on the lookout for “firsts” – the earliest or oldest examples or uses of terms, baits, or whatever else might tie into bass fishing history.  As such, today’s historical photo caught my attention immediately upon seeing it.  Here’s where I’m going with this.

You know “the shot” – some bass pro lying on the deck, hanging over the side of the boat, reaching to grab a bass fresh from the water, the more sprawled and contorted, the better.  You probably know immediately what I’m referring to, as you’d be hard pressed to find a serious bassin’ magazine that doesn’t have “the pose” by some pro featured somewhere in its pages…oftentimes right on the cover.  These are obviously staged photos, incredibly popular the past several years, maybe even longer, and unique enough that somebody had to have had the idea first.  Perhaps I’ve found that “first” example.

When I flipped the page and saw Jim Wrolstad in this 1973 photo in the August issue of Fishing Facts magazine, I immediately recognized “the shot.”  Jim was Editor At Large, and known primarily as a walleye/live bait type of guy.  He was even the founder of Walleyes Unlimited, USA, and received induction into the Freshwater Hall of Fame in 2007.

Despite that, there was always a B.A.S.S. patch or two on the front of his jackets or jumpsuits, and he even owned a Ranger bass boat at the time.  And it was in that Ranger boat that you can clearly see Jim sprawled on the deck, arm extended while he leans out over the gunnel and grabs a bass he just caught on a spinnerbait (the subject of the article), water still dripping from off the fish – “the shot.”

In all honesty, I haven’t gone searching through the old bass magazines that might predate this, looking for another earlier example.  Perhaps Terry will immediately pull something from his vast collection and prove me wrong – lol. But in the meantime, I’m pegging this 1973 example as perhaps the earliest, or one of the earliest, of a shot we all are so accustomed to seeing these days, we likely barely take notice.

NOTE from Terry:  “Challenge accepted!  Where’s my Jason Lucas book……”