The Striped Bass: A Detective Story (SI, Aug. 27, Sept. 3) is the best fishing article that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has ever printed. Congratulations to you and to Gerald Holland.
Mr. Holland should, of course, have also spent a few days investigating Cape Cod, which is, absolutely and without question, the greatest striped bass surf fishing area in the world. Together with the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Cuttyhunk, the Cape produces more "sound barrier" (50-pound-plus bass) than any other area on the seaboard.
Dr. Merriman's belief that the striper from five to 10 pounds is as tough as any game fish will stimulate conversation among striper fishermen. Darned few striper addicts will agree. Those of us who always have sand in our ears love the bass because he is courageous, spectacular in striking—and completely unpredictable. But we know that a tarpon jumps higher, a bone-fish runs faster, a school tuna or a bluefish pulls harder. Coot Hall said it: "What I say he's got is a mind of his own...."
The inference that a majority of bass migrate to and from the Chesapeake Bay is open to argument. Readers of The Salt Water Sportsman once tagged 10,000 stripers, many of which were retaken and proved to have migrated no further than the distance from the Hudson River, New York to Connecticut's shore. Bass probably do spawn along the entire coast: certainly there are resident populations all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to the Maritimes. That abundance of "sea bass" mentioned by the druggist at Bar Harbor, Maine, may indeed have been an abundance of stripers.
September 23, 1956
Otto Scheer's contention that motor noise intrigues bass would surely be contradicted by surf boat anglers who fish relatively shoal water—and by charter skippers who have seen members of the outboard-powered mosquito fleet sound bass by running through them. In shoal water, at least, the sound of an outboard motor will usually scare bass into the next county.
The Detective Story is a credit to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED and to Gerald Holland's ability as a fact finder and, I'm sure, a rather good fisherman. I think that you'll find a majority of salt water sportsmen in full agreement.
The Salt Water Sportsman
THE CUTTYHUNK STRIPER
There is little doubt in my mind that no place can hold a candle to Cuttyhunk when it comes to the lore and the catching of the striper. Quite apart from the fishing is the tremendous thrill of going into the surf among the rocks in a little bass boat. Working the rips around the Sow and Pigs and off Gay Head when a strong wind is blowing against the tide at night has to be experienced to appreciate the exhilaration, sharpened by a dash of fear, that one usually associates with a fast roller coaster ride at an amusement park....
I am sorry that you were not informed about the old Cuttyhunk Surf Fishing Club. The club was founded around 1851 by a group of wealthy businessmen. Although they had to be rebuilt every year after the winter storms, piers were built over the rocks to points where stripers were liable to lurk. A platform at the end of the pier had room enough for a seat, the fisherman and a boy with a bucket of lobster tails with which he baited the hooks. I saw a photograph once and, believe it or not, it showed a member fishing dressed in frock coat, wearing a derby, smoking a cigar and with a bucket of champagne beside him.
H. S. MACLEAN
New York City
"Where, indeed, was the striper?" asks Gerald Holland.
In the James River, seven miles below Richmond, Va. at Drewry's Bluff 100 yards off the east bank.
POWELL A. BENEDICT
Too few people realize that the striper isn't just another fish. I have been running bass boats for five years and have been fishing for bass for 12 years and I really enjoyed reading the facts. Now more people will know that what we charter boat skippers say is true, that the striper is a hard fish to catch and that it takes long and hard fishing to bring home the bacon.
THE BRUNDAGE OATH (CONT.)
As a two-time Olympian and three-time winner in speed ice skating, may I present some facts that have not yet been brought into this amateur oath controversy started by Mr. Brundage and his head-in-the-ground cohorts (SI, Aug. 27).
I can never forget the quotation made by Mr. Brundage years back when I participated as an amateur. He stated that any American son or daughter who could not afford to be an amateur should not participate in amateur sports. Mr. Brundage's philosophy has not changed, apparently.
Do Mr. Brundage and others who hold his views want to do some practical improving of the Olympic and amateur principles? Here are some items that require immediate attention, and Mr. Brundage, as the international head of the Olympic organization", has it in his power to do something about them.
In Scandinavia and most other countries of Europe—particularly Russia and its satellites—an amateur athlete is allowed the freedom to endorse sports equipment, own a sporting goods store, be a professional physical training instructor, write books on his sport, endorse foods and other articles. He is allowed, according to their amateur rules, to accept gifts of homes and other costly articles. In Russia the amateur is allowed to accept cash awards for breaking records and a subsidy by the government as special reward for good accomplishments in amateur competitions. In most of Europe there is no professional problem, since an amateur, according to their codes, is allowed every privilege that our professional athletes are allowed, excepting the direct acceptance of cash payment for participating in their respective sports.
Mr. Brundage's immediate task should be to truly internationalize the concept of amateur sports by having one true amateur code for the world to look up to. As matters stand now, the only true amateurs in the Olympic Games are American athletes and those of a few of the other countries which conform to similar regulations of the amateur code.
Island Park, N.Y.
Robert Riger's drawings (College Ball Was Never Like This, SI, Sept. 3) are a very faithful reproduction of just what a professional training camp is like.
It is most interesting to examine the sketches and to identify the subjects merely through Riger's capture of a characteristic pose or even a set of the shoulder or nod of the head.
RAYMOND J. WALSH
New York Football Giants
Although I especially enjoyed Mr. Murray's article, The Case for the Suffering Fan (Anniversary Issue), I feel that one of the biggest injustices of all was left out. I refer to the everyday fans who support college football teams year after year (with some of those years being very lean) only to have tickets to bowl games or major games placed definitely out of their reach. They beg you to get behind the ball club, even though last year's record was only 6-3. But when the club is in the chips, they forget the guy who was buying equipment for them for years and put a very small percentage of tickets on sale for the local fans.
Maybe one day there will be rebellion!
FRANK L. WILCOX
AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE FAN
You have made a dreadful mistake! The illustration (see drawing) was incorrectly identified. This is what you see when you are on the inside looking out.
The long-suffering fan approaches the window with the idea that the ticket seller is ignorant, does not know his tickets, does not know the stadium and is hiding all of the "good" tickets under the counter. But the fan should stop to realize that:
1) When he comes in late, 2,000 other people already have asked for "his" seat.
2) The ticket sellers know how hard it is to earn $2 and they want the fan to get his money's worth.
3) The ticket sellers want the fan's long surly face to appear again at their windows.
4) It is not the ticket seller's fault that buses run late, the parking costs 50¢, half of the seats are in the sun, the mosquitoes are biting, the beer is warm and the gates don't open until 7 p.m., and the architect didn't consult them when the park was designed.
5) The slightest gripe brings on profanity from the fan. And even his children are learning to swear at ticket sellers.
Remember, you only have to smile once at a ticket seller, but he has to smile 5,000 times a day.
TWO SURLY TICKET SELLERS
(M. RAIHALA AND B. L. MANNICK)
Many congratulations on your wonderful harness racing story (War Is Declared, SI, Sept. 10).
In my opinion, it will do more good to help chase the rats out of racing than anything that has been done up to this time. I knew something was coming, but I had no idea it was going to be so thorough and complete as Jeremiah Tax's story. Again, I congratulate you.
U.S. Trotting Association
LOVE, IT'S WONDERFUL
Congratulations on your fine coverage of harness racing by your efficient writer, Jeremiah Tax. Our sport has finally, through your effort, won its recognition as a great sport along with the other leading sports of the day.
It was wonderful to see your coverage of harness racing at the big fairs. Here thousands of people witness the races for love of the horses only as there are no betting facilities.
Meadow Lands, Pa.
It certainly does a female heart good to see a clear picture of what the distaff side is up to in the world of sports (Can the Soviet Girls be Stopped?, SI, Aug. 27). You men may think that we girls are too busy managing children and households to keep up much of an interest in sports. It's true I couldn't give you Yogi Berra's batting average on a bet, but I sure will keep close tabs on Mae Faggs, Karen Anderson and crew with the help of such able and fine reporting.
Your reporting of the Olympic track and field trials was very good, and when the trials were concluded you ran the names and the pictures of all the members of the team (SI, July 9).
On the other hand, the reporting of the Olympic swimming and diving trials (Anniversary Issue) was as poor as the average newspaper account. In the Aug. 6 issue SPORTS ILLUSTRATED mentioned that there are 47 spots for qualifiers on the 1956 swimming team. Who earned these spots? I'm not asking for pictures of all those who won places, just their names.
I know that many others all over the U.S. would be interested in this.
JOSEPH R. ROGERS JR.
Three-meter springboard dive
Don Harper (23), Palo Alto, Calif.
Glen Whitten (20), Lakeland, Fla.
Bob Clotworthy (25), Mountainside, N.J.
Gary Tobian (20), Los Angeles
Dick Connors (22), Pasadena, Calif.
Willie Farrell (21), Los Angeles
Bill Woolsey (21), Hawaii
Dick Hanley (20), Evanston, Ill.
Reid Patterson (23), Pineville, Ky.
George Breen (21), Buffalo
George Onekea (17), Hawaii
200-meter freestyle (for 800-meter relay team)
Ford Konno (23), Hawaii
Dick Tanabe (21), Hawaii
George Harrison (17), Berkeley, Calif.
Perry (Tim) Jecko (19), Bethesda, Md.
David Radcliffe (22), Los Angeles
Bill Yorzyk (23), Northampton, Mass.
Jack Nelson (24), Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Bob Hughes (25), Los Angeles
Yoshi Oyakawa (23), Hawaii
Frank McKinney Jr. (17), Indianapolis
Al Wiggins (21), Pittsburgh
Three-meter springboard dive
Mrs. Patricia McCormick (26), Long Beach, Calif.
Barbara Gilders (19), Detroit
Jeanne Stunyo (20), Detroit
Paula Jean Myers (21), Covina, Calif.
Mrs. Juno Irwin (27), Glendale, Calif.
100-meter freestyle (also 400-meter freestyle relay)
Nancy Simons, Belvedere, Calif.
Joan Rosazza (19), Torrington, Conn.
Shelley Mann (18), Arlington, Va.
Marley Shriver (19), Glendale, Calif.
Mrs. Betty Mullen Brey (24), Bethesda, Md.
Kay Knapp (17), Bethesda, Md.
Sylvia Ruuska (14), Berkeley, Calif.
Susan (Dougie) Gray (16), Bethesda, Md.
Mary Jane Sears (16), Bethesda, Md.
Nancy Ramey (15), Seattle
Carin Cone (16), Ridgewood, N.J.
Maureen Murphy (17), Portland, Ore.
Mary Anne Marchino (18), Indianapolis