Saturday, April 17, 2010

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett

Splashing Around with Al Foss and My Barber

Sometimes ads strike you as funny, quirky or ironic. This one from the June 1934 edition of National Sportsman has all those bases covered. If we think back to the first Heddon catalog in 1902 they made a big deal out of the fact that their bait splashed water into the air and then went on to criticize underwater baits that relied on spinners. Here thirty two years later Al Foss is talking down lures that splash on the surface and saying that, "Fish appreciate a square deal and a sportsmanlike fisherman" ---- that is one that uses Al's baits with the single hook and spinner and that travel underwater.

After reviewing the Al Foss line of baits, it is apparent that Al was not a surface fisherman at heart. This is probably why when trying out old baits, I have not spent much time using Al Foss lures. Though not a purist, I get far more enjoyment catching bass on the surface than underwater. Here I am reminded of my old barber who began cutting my hair when I was 6 and was still cutting my hair when he passed away over 50 years later. He loved to hunt and fish and would often say that when it came to bass fishing, if he couldn't catch them on top, he just wasn't going to catch them at all.

-- Bill Sonnett

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