I’m a treasure hunter. A junkie for obscure information on bass fishing, or stories of yesteryear that ignite my passion.

Recently, I learned of a few gems featured in ancient copies of Bassmaster Magazine. Acquiring the special articles required me to purchase an entire set of periodicals, those from the calendar year 1978.

Scrolling through the timeworn texts, I found my intended pieces, but also came across a number of notable others. Some will make you feel silly, others old. Even a few will show how little we know, when we think we know everything.

Consider the most interesting from four of the ’78 collection.

Long Sticks for Shallow Water

This was the final chapter of a six-part series on flippin’, a new technique at the time. Input came from two California experts: Dee Thomas, heralded as the father of the technique, and Dave Gliebe, who was one of the West-coast’s most successful tournament anglers, racking up earnings in regional events that would rival even today’s purses. I remember reading that Gliebe won more than 40 boats over a 20-year period.

Regardless, Thomas and Gliebe shared their insight on the special considerations needed when embarking on a flippin’ mission. Rods were discussed at length, and we see in ’78 a group of manufacturers producing the first ever flippin’ sticks.

Imperative was the concept of heavy butt and tip, with a softer mid-section. Note that premier rods of the time were advertised to weigh nearly 9 ounces. Doesn’t sound like much, until you compare to todays’ version. My St. Croix model weights less than half that.

Also in this piece is a sidebar on tying flipping jigs. You read that right. Dee Thomas insisted that the only jig capable of top performance with his pet technique was a 5/8-ounce, hand-tied bucktail, featuring a weed guard made from water-ski rope!

While a few early flippin’ concepts still ring true, we’ve come a long way, for sure.

Opinion Poll: Boat Industry Execs

Here, Bassmaster interviewed top boat builders about the trends in bass boat manufacturing. At the time, 17-foot rigs were the accepted models, and a few outboards in the 150 hp-class were being used. Most often, bassers fished out of boats powered by 75- to 115-hp engines. Here’s what top executives like Forrest Wood, Bobby Murray (Hydra Sports), Jerry Meyer (Skeeter) and others offered about the future of bass boating:

“Bass boats probably won’t get any larger than they are, because people want to be able to trailer their rigs …”

“There is a trend toward the family boat because of inflation …”

“Manufacturers have been forced to drop one or more designs from their line because there is not room for sufficient foam … (government regs requiring level flotation had just come into play).”

“More tournament fishermen than ever are using aluminum.”

“Engine manufacturers are getting more cautious about promoting big horsepower. The horsepower race is about finished.”

How Rick Clunn Won the ’77 Classic, and How Larry Nixon Almost Did

The was Clunn’s second win in the event, done in back-to-back fashion. Florida’s Lake Toho proved to be a formidable opponent. Catch rates were down (Clunn checked only 12 bass in three days, combining to weigh under 28 pounds).

Clunn readily admitted he lucked into the win. The first day, heavy fog steered him into an unknown area, where a 7 1/2-pound bass engulfed his buzzbait. The rest of the event was a marathon to hang on to the top spot.

Equally big news, as it turns out, was that of the second-place finisher. A relatively unknown guide from Hemphill, Texas – Larry Nixon – made his Classic debut. The rookie nearly stole the show, and actually lost the winning fish when his line mysteriously separated at the rod tip. Sabotage?

Nixon’s fish were caught on a gold Smithwick Rogue – a jerkbait relatively unknown at the time.

State-by-State Guide to Top Trophy Lakes

I always scoff at today’s “Best Of” list when it comes to top fishing destinations. It’s fairly obvious that lots of picks are chosen by editors most interested in showcasing tournament-sponsoring locales. Would the old-time list be any different?

In Arkansas, we learn of obscure Mallard Lake, where a 16-pounder had been recently caught.

California’s best picks surround San Diego – little did they know what they’d be getting into.

Kentucky Lake and Barkley Lake are top picks in ’78, and would be for decades.

I was surprised to see Lake St. Clair on Michigan’s list; I had thought it was somewhat of a modern destination. Thousand Islands also came in high.

The Pamlico River was reported tops for North Carolina and Lake Gaston for Virginia. Most surprisingly, though, were reports of the largest bass in Texas being caught from Lake Falcon.

Falcon … in the '70s? Can you imagine?

Digging through these old editions is always fun. It shows how far we’ve come, but adds a bit of humility.

We know so much, until we see that we don’t.

(Joe Balog is the often-outspoken owner of Millennium Promotions, Inc., an agency operating in the fishing and hunting industries. A former Bassmaster Open and EverStart Championship winner, he's best known for his big-water innovations and hardcore fishing style. He's a popular seminar speaker, product designer and author, and is considered one of the most influential smallmouth fishermen of modern times.)