Join Blacker Friday!Signup to our newsletter and we will give you first access to exclusive Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals, ad scans, coupons, store hours, and so much more. February 19, 2014 by Terry 2 Comments Ad for Bass Pro Shops first mail order catalog placed in American Bass in 1974.
It’s hard to fathom bass fishing and fishing in general without Johnny Morris’ Bass Pro Shops. Prior to 1974, Bass Pro Shops had been in business for a couple years but only through the Brown Derby Mercantile in Springfield, MO.
Prior to this catalog, an angler could order gear from Herters and even Sears and Roebuck but the bass tackle in each of these catalogs wasn’t complete and in the case of the S&R catalog, hidden between toilet bowl wax rings and ladies undergarments.


I’ve never seen a 1974 Bass Pro Shops catalog – my first one was from 1976 – but I can imagine how it was received.
Well, after 40 years Johnny Morris has grown Bass Pro Shops and has become part of the American Dream.
In fact, they’ve been around so long there are a couple generations of anglers that haven’t lived without the ability to thumb through the giant catalogs or now venture online and make an order.
Then in ’74, the bass fishing world was turned on its ear when Morris sent out his first mail order catalog. I’m sure many a wife lost her husband to the “crapper” for extended amounts of time and their checkbooks probably became a little lighter with checks sent to this once liquor store in Springfield, MO.


But then BASS tried their own hand at running a mail order tackle company — The OutHouse. He left the Trail in 1977 for what appears to be obvious reasons – he had a heck of a business to run.



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