The relics of the forefathers of bass fishing to modern-day finesse

The relics of the forefathers of bass fishing to modern-day finesse

For decades In-Fisherman has recommended versatility as a piscatorial attribute.  And on September 14, Brent Frazee ofParkville,Missouri, exhibited an extraordinary tribute to the art of versatility.  In the eyes of some bass anglers, however,  Frazee's versatility will look a touch odd and way out of date.

The out-of-date piece of Frazee's day began slightly after the first ghost light of dawn, when Warren Platt of Kansas City and Bill Sonnett of Jackson, Michigan, climbed into Frazee's boat at Riss Lake, Missouri, carrying two 1933 Heddon Pal seamless tubular steel rods fitted with either a Pflueger Supreme reel or Shakespeare Marhoff reel and a True Temper seamless tubular steel rod fitted with a Pflueger Nobby reel. The reels were spooled with 12-pound-test braided nylon line and a four-foot 12-pound-test monofilament leader. Each outfit sported a vintage topwater lure, such as an Arbogast Jitterbug, Creek Chub Baby Injured Minnow, Creek Chub Plunker, and Heddon Chugger.

Except for the line and leader, all of their tackle was more than a half of a century old.


Since the late 1990s, Frazee, who is the outdoors editor for the Kansas City Star, has fished with Platt, 72, and Sonnett, 67, a number of times and written several newspaper stories about them.


For instance, one of Frazee's recent stories on Sonnett appeared in the August 11 edition of the Kansas City Star, which featured Sonnett fishing Stony Lake, Michigan, wielding antique baitcasting equipment in his old-fashioned boat, which was powered by a 7.5 horsepower outboard motor and a pair of oars. On this outing, Sonnett tangled with an impressive array of bass, and the story about his catch can be seen at http://www.xploreutah.net/story/angler-proves-antique-fishing-equipment-still-works.

Platt and Sonnett are nationally known collectors of antique fishing tackle. Both have become exceedingly proficient at wielding these old wares and catching bass with them. They also compete in tournaments, such as the Missouri Old Time Tackle Tournament, at which anglers must employ tackle, including the line,  that was manufactured before 1940. The Missouri tourney combines distance and accuracy casting competitions, as well as a bass fishing contest.

When Platt and Sonnett joined Frazee on their September 14 crack-of-dawn outing, they inveigled 27 largemouth bass, including one that almost weighed six pounds that Platt allured to his ancient Baby Injured Minnow.

Later that day, about three hours before the hot, late summer sun was setting on the western horizon and cutting apricot- and raspberry-colored ribbons out of a massive bank of stratus clouds, Frazee made a 180-degree turn in his approach for catching largemouth bass atRissLake. On this twilight outing, he became a finesse angler, working with a six-foot, light-powered St. Croix Premier spinning rods. His spinning reels were spooled with four-pound-test monofilament. To his line, he tied a 1/16-ounce black jig. Each jig sported Z-Man's 2 ½-inch ZinkerZ in either an PB&J or a Junebug hue, a Z-Man's  four-inch Finesse ShadZ in a green pumpkin shade, a Kalin grub in a bluegill pattern, and  a Gene Larew Lures' smoke-and-silver-flake Swimming Minnow.


On his evening outing, he and Bruce Cochran of Kansas City tangled with 23 largemouth bass, but these bass were considerably smaller than the ones that Platt and Sonnett caught with their antique tackle on their morning outing.

Across the past decade, Frazee has become a devotee to finesse angling for bass, and at the same time, he finds that wielding antiques lures for bass is an intriguing way for the serious recreational bass anglers to develop an appreciation of the history of this great sport.

In Frazee, Platt and Sonnett's eyes, an understanding of how the forefathers of bass fishing, such as Jason Lucas, dealt with the mysterious ways of their quarry will help contemporary anglers become more knowledgeable and perhaps more proficient at pursuing their quarry.


Consequently, Frazee acknowledges that his antique outings with Platt and Sonnett have mysteriously made him a better practitioner of finesse tactics for catching largemouth bass

What's more, Frazee notes that antique and finesse tactics prove that serious recreational anglers don't need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on state-of-the-art equipment to catch their beloved quarry.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Giant Walleyes According To Calendar Periods

Giant Walleyes According To Calendar Periods

The search for big walleyes begins with an understanding of their nature, keying on prime locations during specific times of the year.

Bug-Repellent Clothing from L.L. Bean

Bug-Repellent Clothing from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean No Fly Zone and Insect Shield apparel won't let bugs ruin a fishing trip. With Jeff Miller of L.L. Bean and Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles


Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at catching Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you can Other Fish

Must-Have Striped Bass Tackle

Rick Bach - May 04, 2017

It was an August evening and I was wading the flats in Brewster, MA with my cousin. Here you...

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

See More Trending Articles

More Midwest Finesse

Here is what we discovered about the 2.75- and 3.75-inch Essential Swimmer. Midwest Finesse

Venture Lures' Essential Swimmer

Ned Kehde - May 19, 2020

Here is what we discovered about the 2.75- and 3.75-inch Essential Swimmer.

The Tour Swim Worm's posterior section, including its unique paddle-style tail, is three inches long. Midwest Finesse

Big Bite Baits' Tour Swim Worm

Ned Kehde - June 12, 2020

The Tour Swim Worm's posterior section, including its unique paddle-style tail, is three...

The tail is flat and thin with a thickness of less than one millimeter. Midwest Finesse

Lunkerhunt's Finesse Swimbait

Ned Kehde - May 29, 2020

The tail is flat and thin with a thickness of less than one millimeter.

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 18 logs. Midwest Finesse

Midwest Finesse Fishing: June 2020

Ned Kehde - July 06, 2020

Our June guide to Midwest finesse fishing contains 18 logs.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now