A 12th century quote credits Bernard of Chartres as the first to note that even a dwarf sees farther on the shoulders of a giant. Buck Perry has been the giant on whose shoulders many notables in the fishing world have perched.
If Perry's theories weren't dead on accurate, they were at least like Newtonian physics — close enough for subsequent generations of analytic anglers to "straighten out the math." While many Spoonplugging devotees adhered strictly and exclusively to Perry's teachings and tools, others used them as steppingstones, incorporating biological studies and rapidly evolving techniques in the mainstream bass fishing world into the framework Perry had offered.
Bass fishing legends like Bill Dance and Roland Martin have credited Perry for his breakthrough understanding of structure fishing and the language to describe it. Wisconsin angler Bill Binkelman refined live bait techniques and applied them to Perry's Spoonplugging theories to catch a variety of gamefish species and help launch what many regard as the modern walleye fishing era.
Al and Ron Lindner, who first embraced Perry's teachings and methods while growing up in northern Illinois, were field editors for Fishing Facts before launching In-Fisherman in the mid-1970s. In the 1970s, Carl Malz and his Fishing Facts co-managing editor, Spence Petros, bridged Perry's teachings to emerging techniques and lure categories like crankbaits and spinnerbaits and expounded on new jig, soft plastics and livebait techniques.
Bill Murphy, pioneer in deep water tactics for monster California bass, employed structure theory and language very similar to Perry's to describe his techniques. The co-author of Murphy's book Giant Bass was Paul Prorok, an avid Spoonplugger taught by Perry's top staff instructor, Terry O'Malley.
As for the stars of bass fishing in the Bassmaster Elite Series today, there may not be a well-rounded angler on the circuit who does not know the importance of fishing ledges, weedlines, dropoffs, points and creek channels for consistent success.
Harold Allen notes that, while trolling a metal lure like a Spoonplug through the drowned timber of Toledo Bend — the lake on which he long guided — was impractical, he learned from anglers who had learned to fish other lure types — such as floating crankbaits and Texas rigged worms — along the type of structure Perry had revealed as routes for bass to travel and hold upon. "
Whether they use his terminology properly or not, most pros who have become successful have integrated Buck's teachings on structure and how fish relate to it into their fishing," said Malz.