Bass fishing back in 1967 was more enjoyable than it is today because there was less boat traffic, and a lot fewer fishermen. I think the bass were bigger, and there were more of them.
Our lakes were in worse condition then, however. I did most of my fishing on Raystown Lake and Loyalhanna Lake in Pennsylvania in those days. While the fishing has gotten worse, thanks to Bassmaster and other fishing groups the lakes have gotten a lot better in terms of water quality and launch areas. I'm sure the quality of fish has been helped some by stocking and size limits Thanks to BASS, too, for teaching the catch-and-release attitude this generation has.
I am not sure how I heard about BASS. Back in the 1960s, I would read any magazine about fishing I could get my hands on. I also helped out at a local tackle shop, making handmade rods and flies. I must have heard about it that way, and of course I joined right away.
The reason I stayed with BASS all these years is because Bassmaster is the only magazine that teaches everything you need to know about the art of bass fishing. I learned a lot of things from the magazine about fishing over the years, and one of the most important was how to use a fish locator.Another benefit from my BASS membership was the friendships I have made with other members who enjoy bass fishing as much as I do. I was involved with the Pennsylvania Bass Federation for more than 10 years and served as district tournament director for one year and club president for six years. One of the highlights of my career was fishing the Federation state tournament two years in a row.
(Terry Crawford, 57, lives in Latrobe, Pa., where he works as a maintenance manager for a private estate.)