Robert A. Pond, noted outdoor writer, conservationist and businessman,
died December 26, 2009 at Attleboro, Massachusetts. He was 92 years of age.
Bob Pond is also know within the East Coast saltwater fishing community
as "Mr. Striped Bass" for his selfless efforts to save the Striped Bass from
extinction. The Striped Bass was and remains today the premier recreational
saltwater fishing species along the East Coast. In face of declining numbers of
Striped Bass in the '70s Bob mobilized the members of Stripers Unlimited, an organization he had earlier founded to lobby both state and federal agencies,
resulting in the Emergency Striped Bass Act of 1979, sponsored by Senator
John Chaffee of Rhode Island.
In 1945 Bob developed his famous Atom plug, testing it in the Cape Cod Canal
and manufacturing it in Attleboro. In his sales travels up and down the coast he
noted a desire among striper fishermen to fish other states and so he developed
the Tri-State Tournament in 1965 in which local clubs in Massachusetts, Maine
and Rhode Island sponsor a weekend visit to their local hot fishing spots. The
Tri-State exists today as an honor code catch-and-release tournament.
Using his income from the Atom plug, in the early 1970s Bob began a series of
research trips to the Striped Bass spawning rivers of Maryland. He also attracted
fish scientists and state hatchery personnel to join in his work. It was on these trips
that Bob began to see serious deformities in spawning population and put out the
call to get Federal monies to research the problem. His efforts resulted in the Act
of 1979, a subsequent moratorium, and eventual resurgence of the Striped Bass in
the 1990s. In all these efforts he was assisted by Avis Boyd, who he later married.
Bob was born and raised in New Rochelle, New York and graduated from Syracuse University Forestry College, an education he credited for his life-long conservationism. During WW II Bob worked as a munitions inspector for the British, and later, the
He is survived by his wife Avis Boyd. Memorial services will be held on Saturday,
January 2, 2010 at 11AM at Bethany Village Fellowship, 516 Newport Ave., South
Attleboro, MA. Donations in memory of Bob may be made to his wife Avis Boyd at
267 Mendon Rd, N. Attleboro, MA 02760.
I have several plastic A40 models and even a few wooden ones with the Patent
pending stamps and an eel skin swirly that I fish whenever I can.
I also have a remake made by a good friend and master builder with cotter pins.
Its a special plug to me.
you really gotta feel bad as a chunk of history left the earth. i'd comment but my two cents pale in comparison to anyone who knows plugbuilding history and it's origins. if i thought i could cull a fish from this water i'd sail a 40 out there :notworthy:
So true JB. And much more than what you posted. I can remember a guy from the Cape who wrote for On The Water passed this fall as well. There were some others that I can't recall but it just seems like there has been a lot of that this year
Just watched Secrets of the Striper Pros and Mike Laptew highlighted his accomplishments and love for stripers. Sounds like he made his mark more than a man could dream of. God Bless Him !!!!!!!!!!:usa:
BY RICK FOSTER SUN CHRONICLE STAFF Tuesday, December 29, 2009 2:17 AM EST Link
THE OCEAN LOSES A DEAR FRIEND
Conservationist Robert Pond, founder of Stripers Unlimited, dies at 92
Robert Pond, a retired fishing lure manufacturer who founded Stripers Unlimited and was an early crusader for ocean conservation, died Saturday at the Golden Living Center-Garden Place in Attleboro.
The husband of Avis Elizabeth Boyd, he was 92.
Mr. Pond, a resident of Attleboro and North Attleboro, was an avid fisherman who revolutionized striped bass fishing in the 1940s after discovering a method for catching the fish on the surface. He turned his knowledge into a business manufacturing multi-hooked swimming lures that the game fish found irresistible.
His Attleboro-based Atom Manufacturing cranked out wooden and plastic lures beginning in 1945 and continuing after he sold the business in 1998.
Mr. Pond was also a visionary in conservation, pointing out the threat to the fish from coastal fish traps and diseases.
Founder of the conservation group Stripers Unlimited, Pond's work, alongside that of the late Rhode Island Sen. John Chafee, is widely credited with helping save striped bass from extinction along the East Coast.
Mr. Pond persisted in his efforts despite being scoffed at by many sportsmen and scientists. Today, bass fishing constitutes a $1 billion a year business, said New York writer Frank Pintauro, who noted that Pond's vision helped open America's coastlines to a new, populist sport.
"At the end of World War II, when America's beaches were becoming a playground for everyman, rather than just the wealthy, Bob was a pioneer lure maker for what some have called the golden age of surf-casting," he said. "He was an extraordinary guy."
So influential was Mr. Pond's role in molding the sport, that some of his original lures have fetched up to $750 apiece from collectors.
But Mr. Pond's efforts in awakening the need for conservation is perhaps his most important legacy.
"Bob Pond was way out ahead of all the experts in sounding the alarm in the 1960s about dangers facing the striped bass, and without his tireless efforts on this magnificent fish's behalf, we wouldn't be out there catching them today," said Dick Russell, environmental journalist and author of "Striper Wars: An American Fish Story. "He was a pioneer in ocean conservation, long before the impacts of overfishing and coastal pollution became topics of widespread concern."
Russell's book contains a chapter about Pond's work.
Pond, who became a mighty voice for the environment, as well as a crafty fisherman and fashioner of lures, got into the business of plug-making virtually by accident.
According to the Web site of Atom Lures, Pond had been fishing under the Sagamore Bridge on Cape Cod during the 1940s when he witnessed a nearby fisherman reeling in a big striper.
That surprised Pond, as the big game fish were thought to be mostly uncatchable when feeding on the surface.
Pond salvaged a strange-looking wooden plug he assumed had been discarded by the other fisherman and soon found that he was able to haul in stripers virtually at will.
The North Attleboro resident swiftly duplicated the design out of curtain rods and developed an improved model that had better bouyancy. The "Atom" lure was born.
In 1965, Pond founded Stripers Unlimited originally as a clearinghouse for bass fishing information. But it soon became a sounding board for the need to conserve ocean resources.
Pond even funded research on striped bass out of his own pocket.
Mr. Pond, who lived on Mendon Road, was born on July 4, 1917, in New Rochelle, N.Y. He was raised and educated in New Rochelle and graduated from Syracuse University Forestry College, an education he credited for his lifelong conservationism.
During the World War II era, Mr. Pond was employed as a munitions inspector for the British, and later, the American government.
He resided in North Attleboro for the past 20 years, having moving to the community from Attleboro, where he was a longtime resident.
In addition to his wife, Avis Boyd, he leaves his grandchildren: Glenn Haakmeeser of Georgia and Paul Trost and Christina Trost both of North Attleboro.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Bethany Village Fellowship, 516 Newport Avenue in South Attleboro.
He was a brilliant man, If anyone is looking for replicas of some of Bobs old wooden atom lures..... my brother, Paul Trost, makes them with the same designs. We are his grandchildren and Paul is doing whatever he can to keep theses lures alive..... Here is a link for more information. http://www.facebook.com/pages/PT-Custom-Plugs/178024612239226
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