I dug out these interesting quotes from some of the most famous fishing tackle merchants of the post-World War II era from an early 1970s trade journal. All of the men were asked to respond to the question of Why Do People Go Fishing? The answers, I believe, illustrate much about the nature of the tackle industry ca. 1970. Many of the answers are still relevant today.
"Of one thing I am sure, it is not for the fun of pulling in a fish...I think I go fishing because of the challenge of trying to catch fish, and the mild excitement of not knowing whether this cast or the next will bring a strike. I fish to get away from the pressures of our modern world and back to nature."
-- Berkley Bedell (Berkley & Co.)
"What better way to say it than to quote a placard Dick Kotis sent me: "Fish often to find yourself...it is so easy to get lost in the world!"
-- Glen Simms (Plano Molding Co.)
"Fishing is more than just relaxation, it combines the opportunity to get outdoors, to enjoy the water, the scenery, and the wildlife. And fishing presents a challenge."
-- Kel Krotzer (Gladding-South Bend Tackle Co.)
"Though sportsmen like to catch lunkers and trophies, and many meat fishermen may be motivated by an overweight stringer, there is little question in my mind that the real universal appeal of fishing is just the sheer enjoyment of our great outdoors--fresh air, sunshine, and water. For relaxation? Of course. To think? Without a doubt. Though catching fish as a shore dinner is part of the thrill, is is the outdoor therapy that makes fishing the world's largest participator sport. All other reason, though valid, are secondary."
-- Ralph Lafferty (Zebco Division, Brunswick Corporation)
"Relaxation is important...but just the fact that you've escaped from those everyday doldrums and problems--small though they may be--is a big help."
-- Ben Gentzen (Lawrence Electronics Corporation)
"I have heard of people dropping dead on tennis courts, on the golf course, at baseball games, etc., but have you ever read of anyone dropping dead while he was fishing? I feel the tackle industry should adopt as its slogan 'Live a Longer and Better Life: Go Fishing Regularly!'"
-- Ed Maguire (True Temper Corporation)
"The great love of the outdoors where one can reelax is, in my opinion, probably the greatest reason for individual fisherman. After all, with our air pollution, noise pollution from telephones, cars, etc., can you think of a better reason to slip out on a quiet laike or stream to get your thoughts oriented?"
-- Dave Morrison (Woodstream Corporation)
"There is no other sport that can appeal to as many individual motivations as fishing. A person can be as super-competitive or as low-key as they want to be. They can gamble (who hasn't made a first, largest, and most fish-type bet), compete in tournaments for big money and prestige, or they can simply wet a line and bird watch...The options are, indeed, endless--and many fishermen follow the catch-and-release credo, simply eliminating the need to kill."
-- Bing McClellan (Burke Flexo-Products Co.)
Next week we will look at answers from eight more tackle titans of the post-war world.
-- Dr. Todd