Bass fishing has come a long way over the last fifty years. The sport has evolved from its rural origins into a mainstream spectator event, replete with bigger than life heroes, televised competitions and cheering fans. The rags to riches transformation is best exemplified through an old-time fishing tactic called ‘tule dipping’, something to which I bear witness.
Today’s young anglers remain clueless about bass fishing in the 1950’s and 60’s, and even two decades ago, of how an old-time rural past time leapt to sudden fame. The motivation for fishing and the methods used back then remain unthinkably different than the modern version.
Farm families and those who recognised bounty from the land made up a major portion of the angling community. But, there was another contingent of fishermen, self-identified as ‘sportsmen’. They decried the use of live bait, preferred the use of a solid, wooden rowboat and paid others to fillet their catch. The difference, perhaps, more income generated than philosophical.