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clh121787

Pre electronics bass fishing

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Before sonar was really good and developed how did the pros fish offshore structure especially unfamiliar waters. Was reading maps and depth changes that effective?did they have maps that identified creeks humps road beds and such like today? Because I reckon the detailed maps of today are a byproduct of technology advances in sonar. Did they even have detailed maps that we have now? Or was everybody beating the bank or throwing at some visible structure that continued underwater. Reason I ask is I'm going to be with out sonar. while I save up. For new units. The old lowrance small units were very basic anyway. And I still want to fish offshore as much as I can 

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I started fishing off-shore structures back in the late 70's for smallmouth. We didn't have a sonar but we knew the bass were out there on humps in deeper water. So, we used old topo maps of the res before it was flooded and, most importantly, a hand line. Simply a heavy weight on a line, with knots and ribbons set at 10', 15', 20', etc.. We'd triangulate the visible land marks and hone in on the structures using this hand line (or depth line if you rather) to pinpoint the areas we knew were productive.

A few years later, I got my first "Green Box" which was truly an eye opener. Things progressed quickly after that. :)

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The first multi-sheet topographic map series of an entire country, the Carte géométrique de la France, was completed in 1789.

 In the United States, the national map-making function which had been shared by both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior migrated to the newly created United States Geological Survey in 1879, where it has remained since.

I have topographical maps of Toledo Bend from the 1950s with 1' contour line. These maps are more detailed than modern maps because they were made as the lake was being built. It shows where boat lanes were bulldozed & where they piled the trees. 

I started fishing offshore structure in the early 60s using a map & chart plotting instruments. We fished structure 100-150 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

I bet there aint a hand full of people here that know how to plot a course with out electronics.

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They used the Little Green Box .

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Often the Corp O E would  and still does the winter draw downs sometime as much as 50' on flood control lakes. That is a good time to collect lures and information on structure. We used to take pictures which had to be developed to hard copies on paper. Wow how far have we come. 

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2 hours ago, Catt said:

The first multi-sheet topographic map series of an entire country, the Carte géométrique de la France, was completed in 1789.

 In the United States, the national map-making function which had been shared by both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior migrated to the newly created United States Geological Survey in 1879, where it has remained since.

I have topographical maps of Toledo Bend from the 1950s with 1' contour line. These maps are more detailed than modern maps because they were made as the lake was being built. It shows where boat lanes were bulldozed & where they piled the trees. 

I started fishing offshore structure in the early 60s using a map & chart plotting instruments. We fished structure 100-150 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

I bet there aint a hand full of people here that know how to plot a course with out electronics.

Plot a course - what's that ?

:)

A-Jay

nautical-chart-divider-5754253.jpg

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3 hours ago, Catt said:

The first multi-sheet topographic map series of an entire country, the Carte géométrique de la France, was completed in 1789.

 In the United States, the national map-making function which had been shared by both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior migrated to the newly created United States Geological Survey in 1879, where it has remained since.

I have topographical maps of Toledo Bend from the 1950s with 1' contour line. These maps are more detailed than modern maps because they were made as the lake was being built. It shows where boat lanes were bulldozed & where they piled the trees. 

I started fishing offshore structure in the early 60s using a map & chart plotting instruments. We fished structure 100-150 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

I bet there aint a hand full of people here that know how to plot a course with out electronics.

Catt, ive been meaning to ask you this for some time, can you give us some pointers on how to effectively fish offshore?  It a technique that i have no experience in but i want to learn. 

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Lowrance offered the first portable Fish Lo K Tor for sale about 1960 followed by Tom Mann's Humming Bird early 70's,  the 2 brands are popular today. The old flashers didn't have the ability to record a history, they were accurate and showed the bottom depth with flashes of anything between the top and bottom. Paper graphs came out in the mid 70's and were very accurate recording everything your transducer passed over when the unit was on.

Using a topo or sounding maps with flashers followed by paper graphs and fished isolated structure, humps, channels, ledges, thermoclines, everything we fish today with modern sonar units.

Being a off shore tuna and Marlin fisherman we know how to plot a course. Loran C in the 80's helped, GPS makes it a lot easier, but everyone who ocean fishes should know how to use a compass when the electrical power or batteries die!

You don't need the most expensive sonar unit to fish away from the bank, you do need to know how to read sonar units.

Tom

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Since nobody else has mentioned it yet, you'd have to throw out the name Buck Perry and his spoonplugs/spoonplugging. Buck is credited with coining the term "structure" along with several others still commonly in use. The spoonplug, which was developed and patented back in the mid 1940s, were a series of metal crankbait equivalents for lack of a better description, each designed to run in a very specific depth range regardless of speed. The smallest size ran as shallow as 2 feet, while the largest ran up to 25' on a pre-stretched monofilament line called "No-Bo." If you ran them on wire line, which Buck also made for his lures, you could easily reach 40'-60' of depth. By following a defined protocol of fishing from the shallows to deep, you could find all types of structure such as ledges and channels, points, humps, roadbeds, etc. This was also all before there was what we consider "pros," at least if you define pros as organized and recognized tournament angling which arguably began in 1968-1969 with the formation of B.A.S.S. and their national tourney circuit. By then, flashers were well popularized and available, and paper graphs were soon to follow.

-T9

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German inventor Alexander Behm was granted German patent No. 282009 for the invention of echo sounding (device for measuring depths of the sea and distances and headings of ships or obstacles by means of reflected sound waves) on 22 July 1913.

A fishfinder is an echo sounding device used by both recreational and commercial fishers.

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Being a Destroyer sailor (and radarman) in the ship's CIC, I do know how to plot a course and Catt is absolutely correct in his assessment of early plotting techniques. Folks have it too easy these days! LOL!

And, of course, who could forget the venerable Buck Perry. Thanks for flashbacks Team9nine. :)  I have 3 complete sets of spoonplugs we used to "verify" our depth sounding discoveries. Perry was the "Man" (and still is!).

Sometimes it's amazing to me to witness the blazee attitude of the newer fishing populace, with regards to all the work that has preceded them. Buck Perry, Bill Binkleman, Al Lindner.....those are the folks that truly paid their dues. Hopefully we will never forget.

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I knew people who would sink brushpiles or gutted appliances at night. Then they'd return to fish the new cover/structure with T-rigged worms. Once you located the fish attractor, you just make note of the landmarks and mark your map. That would be hard without GPS, so they were usually close to shore, but not on the bank.

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Not sure about from a boat, but I know shore guys that look at topo maps before going to new lakes.  If you go to the local city hall they should have topo maps of the local lakes/reservoirs.

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Today's bass anglers think trolling is cheating partly because it is during organized bass tournaments. Buck Perry developed his skills and lures during a time period when trolling was the norm and sonar units were not common for fresh water fishing.

Before sonar units became available for the general fishing public we used maps and visual landmarks to triangulate our position away from lake shores by dropping a anchor or sounding weight. We had small buoys with about 50' of cord and weight to mark spots when we found them. Still use bouys at times to use as a visual marker for off shore bass fishing, especially at night by rubber banding a small glow stick to the buoy. With GPS way points fishing off shore is a lot easier today, still doable with a simple flasher unit.

Pro bass tournament fishing started about the same time as flasher and paper graphs became popular. Bass fishing off shore today is still relegated to a very small percentage of bass anglers. The vast majority of bass anglers fish within a casting distance from shore over 90% of the time. I will add most of those bass anglers own state of the art sonar units and don't know how to use them effectively. 

Tom

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This was a good read. All I can add is that my grandfather told me he used to fish the mouths of all the major feeder creeks buy trolling cranks back and forth all day long

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Dare I say the majority of pros and amateurs alike are bank beaters so your question is moot?

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7 hours ago, Crestliner2008 said:

And, of course, who could forget the venerable Buck Perry. Thanks for flashbacks Team9nine. :)  I have 3 complete sets of spoonplugs we used to "verify" our depth sounding discoveries. Perry was the "Man" (and still is!).

Sometimes it's amazing to me to witness the blazee attitude of the newer fishing populace, with regards to all the work that has preceded them. Buck Perry, Bill Binkleman, Al Lindner.....those are the folks that truly paid their dues. Hopefully we will never forget.

Sadly many have already forgotten the pioneering efforts of some of these men and their colleagues, especially Binkelman, the most underrated of the bunch. I'm a bit of a historian and collector of all things related to those guys and what Ron Lindner refers to as "the modern angling revolution." For those interested in learning and reading more about that great time period, and as my small effort to make sure their story is not forgotten, see my profile listing.

-T9

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3/4 oz jig

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My man, I live in Mexico, that's third world country for you, there ain't no friggin maps of 99% of the lakes I fish and for the better part of my life I've fished without electronics, so how do I "read" a lake I have never been too and manage to catch fish ? I WATCH, I watch the terrain above the water level, I watch the vegetation above water level, I watch the vegetation that was there when the place was flooded, I watch the aquatic vegetation. Do I need electronics ? ------> NO.

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Raul I can appreciate your perspective and have repeated many times to look at the surrounding terrain, what is above the water is below the water, it's not rocket sceince.

Sometimes knowledge of what was in a valley before it was flooded and became a lake can be priceless and that is where old topo maps come into play if you weren't around back then.

Sonar can make a difference if you know how to use it. Example a friend of mine (Don Iovino) was asked to take customers out on El Salto several years ago and he had never been to the lake. He took his sonar units and his tackle. When got down to El Salto the first thing he did was survey the lake looking for outside underwater structure that the local guides didn't fish. He found several humps surrounded by deep water that topped out around 15' to 25' loaded with big bass. Don put his clients onto to those un fished areas and loaded the boat with DD size bass. The local guides without sonar couldn't find those fish for over 2 years because they never looked for them, always fished the shoreline cover.

Sometimes you don't know what your are missing.

Tom

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There is way to much emphasis put on tackle & not emphasis placed on the anglers!

Buck Perry, Al Linder, Bill Binkelman, & others don't teach us tackle; they taught us how locate & catch fish by getting off the bank.

I spent 5 days sitting at a desk across from Buck, I went on break twice a day with Buck, & I ate lunch each day with Buck. Not once did he tell us what rod we needed, what reel we should buy, or who made the best line.

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8 minutes ago, Catt said:

There is way to much emphasis put on tackle & not emphasis placed on the anglers!

Buck Perry, Al Linder, Bill Binkelman, & others don't teach us tackle; they taught us how locate & catch fish by getting off the bank.

I spent 5 days sitting at a desk across from Buck, I went on break twice a day with Buck, & I ate lunch each day with Buck. Not once did he tell us what rod we needed, what reel we should buy, or who made the best line.

Cool - but what was for lunch ?

:)

A-Jay

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5 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Cool - but what was for lunch ?

:)

A-Jay

Balogna a sandwich.?

Tom

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11 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Cool - but what was for lunch ?

:)

A-Jay

 

4 minutes ago, WRB said:

Balogna a sandwich.?

Tom

Actually guys the seminar was at a small community college in downtown Houston, Texas & we ate at the cafeteria.

I can't tell y'all the name of the college or what was on the menu but I can tell y'all what he said about structure, reading maps, & catching bass!

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